Truth and Justice in Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Subject: Literature
Pages: 6
Words: 1416
Reading time:
5 min

Truth and justice are mutually reinforcing, with truth having a significant influence on justice. The manner in which truth is expressed contributes to the formation of institutions’ structure, role, and function. Justice entails equal opportunity, righting wrongs, and making reparations. It is the ethically just attribute and the most critical characteristic since only through the application of justice can liberty, pleasure, and truth exist. Only on the basis of justice can a society of free and autonomous individuals exist. Although the concepts of justice and vengeance are synonymous, justice does not imply suffering for those who have wronged others; rather, it is intended to bring about peace for those who have been wronged. Hence, justice cannot exist without truth.

Freedom and Forgiveness in Relation to Truth and Justice

There can be no truly peaceful society if the three cornerstones of human rights — freedom of expression, equality of opportunity, and justice – are not respected and upheld. In healthy civilizations, it is feasible to find both freedom and justice at the same time. Freedom cannot exist in the absence of justice because it is impossible to live on an empty stomach when freedom is absent. It is the consensus reached by the colonial enterprise on who has the authority to wield power in a certain situation that we refer to as “political freedom.” This environment is characterized by the assertion of one’s own authority as a justification for violence. This is what passes for freedom here. Similarly, the paradox of freedom is that there are rights that allow for the justification of violence and oppression, but that there are rights that allow for the liberation from violence and oppression on the other hand.

Prospero kidnaps Ariel in The Tempest in order to release the princess and then professes his eternal love for her before releasing him. Shakespeare asserts that “Mercy itself frees all faults, as you from crimes would pardoned be, let your indulgence set me free” (15-20). In recognition of Ariel’s devotion to Prospero, Ariel is entitled to many of the island’s advantages as a result of his friendship with him. Prospero now has complete authority over the island as a result of Ariel’s magical abilities. As long as they continue to engage in acts of violence in order to maintain Prospero’s dominion, they will be granted their freedom from servitude at the appropriate point in time. After saving him from a witch’s ensnarement in a tree, Ariel has pledged his allegiance to Prospero’s cause in exchange for his assistance. Prospero has promised Ariel that he will be able to reclaim his life in exchange for his service, and this is Ariel’s primary motivation for serving him. Ariel is granted his release and is lauded by Prospero for his acts as a result of his loyalty.

Revenge, Truth, and Justice

One frequently hurled critique of forgiveness is that it is self-sacrificing. Shakespeare argues “Yet with my nobler reason ‘gainst my fury Do I take part. The rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance” (30). It is a widely held belief that when we choose to forgive, we give up our right or obligation to seek justice. All that is required to forgive is an inadvertent fixation on the past and emotional distress. When there is no hatred or guilt, we may understand the intricacies of human interactions. We become more apt to accept responsibility when it is appropriate, to give empathy, and to evaluate what might be a just solution. The desire to see justice done is a basic component of human nature. When victims believe justice has been served, it is easier for them to forgive the culprit. This assertion is highly supported by the existing evidence. However, it is not a necessary condition for the presence of justice. It is just as critical to establishing if the victim carries the entire burden of proof as it is to demonstrate regret. Our current understanding of the victim’s inherent authority to forgive is insufficient. Because forgiveness is a voluntary act, it cannot be compelled, even if it may be easier to understand what is just after someone has been forgiven.

Expecting an intrapersonal reconciliation before justice is rendered is implausible. Individual healing is harmed when forgiveness is elevated to a moral requirement. While Restorative Justice highlights the possibilities of community reconciliation when a victim forgives, the system as a whole should not be obliged to do so. By placing the weight of reestablishing society squarely on the victim’s shoulders, such a mandate discourages genuine acts of reconciliation and instead throws it squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrator. When individuals can process, learn from, and recover from their errors, society is healthy and functional.

Prospero’s ‘art’ enables him to accomplish his goal of retribution, which he exploits. It might be compared to his brother Antonio’s intentions in this regard. Antonio had to have been conspiring against Prospero before seizing control of the once-his Dukedom. For crying out loud, he orchestrated the murder of the father and his daughter. While Prospero was preoccupied with other matters, Antonio exploited his power. When he attempts to convince Sebastian to overthrow his brother Alonso, King of Naples, he is fully aware of his actual objectives.

Loyalty, Truth, and Justice

Work done against one’s will and under threat of punishment is referred to as forced labor. It refers to situations in which people are forced to work through the use of violence or intimidation, or through more subtle means such as manipulative debt, retention of identity papers, or threats of deportation to immigration officials. Some human relationships are born, while others are formed but there is no such thing as “natural” devotion to anything or anyone. No one is born faithful; we must earn it by sticking to our decisions and promises, no matter how difficult it may be. Shakespeare argues “By foul play, were we heaved thence, but blessedly holp hither” (59-65). Making a good impression on others and developing a committed connection or relationship is the first step toward achieving something outside of oneself – whether that is a goal or an aspiration – but it is only the first step toward life itself.

Loyalty is presented in a multitude of contexts and settings in The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Although this is a recurring topic in Shakespeare’s other works, the characters in The Tempest add a unique twist. Rather than expressing allegiance to specific persons, each character communicates their commitment to a concept. The three stories of Ferdinand, Caliban, and Ariel, which follow the characters throughout the plot, highlight how redefining allegiance enables us to study each character’s motivations and personalities. Shakespeare used concepts rather than people in his plays to demonstrate allegiance as a construct that can be modified to match the individual’s values and ambitions.

Ferdinand’s faithfulness to love is arguably the most eloquent demonstration of a concept’s fidelity. Ferdinand demonstrates his dedication to the concept by refusing to stop working even when Miranda implores him to do so. Ferdinand’s devotion to love is demonstrated further when he pledges to serve the king’s interests. Ferdinand simply follows Prospero’s directions because he desires Miranda’s devotion above all else. While Ferdinand’s devotion to Miranda and her father looks to be an act of loyalty on the surface, Ferdinand is actually pursuing his own goals and attempting to earn Miranda’s hand in marriage. Ferdinand is able to grow as a person and as a believer by keeping devoted to the concept of love rather than to a particular person or persona in his life. Although it is not what he desires, he is willing to make the sacrifice for personal gain.

The manner in which rights are granted and rejected reflects the tensions between freedom and unfreedom and is contingent on the consent of both just and unjust individuals. One common method of justifying oppression in fiction is to depict how characters accept and absorb the pain inflicted by tradition or institution within the given power system, which is imposed both forcefully and quietly by those with the choice or privilege to do so. As a result, when negotiating resistance and acquiescence, one’s ability to negotiate visual evidence within the framework is considered. It has been established that liberal conceptions of liberty develop as a result of violence and the use of force. As a result of this process, awakening consciousness has the potential to pave the way for human expression and the advancement of positive change.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William, and Homfrey, Louise. The Tempest. NSW Department of Education Division of Guidance & Special Education., 1968.