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Nature Versus Nurture

In The Tempest, written by William Shakespeare, there are many themes that are developed throughout the play. So a few of the themes that Shakespeare develops in The Tempest are nature versus nurture, prejudice and its effects, and power of the artist. Shakespeare’s theme of nature versus nurture asks what the determining factors in someone’s development are. The two most determining factors in someone’s development are the person’s parents and his goals, which can be shown in The Tempest.So the person’s parents can be considered the most important factor that helps to decide the way a person develops. For instance, in The Tempest when Miranda talks with Caliban and says, “I pitied thee,/ Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour/ One thing or other.”(I.ii.333-335), showing that Miranda taught Caliban to speak. Therefore Miranda’s own kindness teaches Caliban how to speak. But since Prospero raised Miranda, the kindness in her personality and her knowledge of a language must have come from the way he raised her. Consequently, Prospero’s nurture allowed Miranda to be nice to Caliban, and Miranda’s nature had to do with her act of kindness. Another time in The Tempest where parents are a determining factor in a character’s development is when Prospero raised Miranda and helped to raise Caliban. So since Miranda and Caliban were both raised by Prospero they should be similar. But Miranda and Caliban are different because Miranda is a good person and Caliban is a bad person. So Miranda and Caliban’s good and bad temperaments show nature as the main effect onPemberton 2a person’s development. Another example in The Tempest where nature is exemplified is when Prospero loses his throne to his brother, Antonio. Prospero losing his throne to Antonio is mentioned in The Tempest when Antonio and Sebastian, Alonso’s brother, are talking about overthrowing Alonso and Sebastian says to Antonio, “You did supplant your brother Prospero.”(II.i.lns.264). Therefore a person’s nature can affect a person’s development because even though Prospero and Antonio are brothers and have the same parents, so they were raised similarly, Antonio decided to overthrow Prospero as duke of Milan and become the duke himself. So parents can be an important influence in a person’s development, but even with a parent’s nurture a person can still act differently because of their nature.So after parents, the next most important factor in a person’s development must be the person’s goals. For example, in The Tempest Sebastian and Antonio want to kill Alonso so that they can rule as kings, shown when they plot to kill Alonso and Sebastian says, “As thou got’st Milan,/ I’ll come by Naples.”(II.i.285-286). Therefore Sebastian and Antonio’s nature make it so they will kill someone in order to achieve their goal. Sebastian and Antonio are both nobles so they would have been taught to be civil and it would not be considered civil to kill someone, so Sebastian and Antonio’s nature are going against their nurture. Another example can be found in The Tempest when Stephano and Trinculo talk with Caliban about the island, then Stephano and Trinculo decide that they want to kill Prospero and rule the island. Trying to achieve their goal, Stephano and Trinculo act just like Antonio and Sebastian do when they try to kill Alonso. Therefore Stephano and Trinculo show nature being more influential in theirPemberton 3development than nurture. One more example of a goal affecting development can be found with Prospero’s goal of revenge against the people that took his dukedom from him. Trying to achieve his goal, Prospero shows nurture as the determining factor in a person’s development. Thus Prospero is different from Antonio, Sebastian, Stephano, and Trinculo because he uses his knowledge of magic to achieve his goal and knowledge can only be obtained from someone else’s nurture, through teaching, or through a person’s own nurture. So when someone, such as Prospero, sets a goal for himself it can change his development. Goals can change the development because in order for the person to accomplish the goal, they would have to act a certain way or do certain things. Another way a goal can change a person’s development could be if he accomplishes the goal then he will get something he wants. Therefore, there will be a positive affect on his development. One way a goal can change a person’s development could be if the person fails, then he might want to work harder to achieve the next goal he sets for himself. Conversely, he can have a feeling of failure, which would have a negative effect on the person’s development. So goals are the nature part of a person because it is a person’s nature to want things and try to achieve them. So goals are an essential part of a person’s development that is not nurture.Nature versus nurture is an important theme that Shakespeare develops in The Tempest. In The Tempest, Shakespeare creates many instances with Antonio, Prospero, and Caliban, which develop the theme of nature versus nurture. As can be seen in The Tempest, nurture from parents and one’s own goals has the same effect as nature in a .

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