The Crusades And The Tempest By William Shakespeare Research Papers Example
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The crusades highlight a time in history when missionaries from major religious organizations went out on a mission to win people to their religion as well as establishing places of worship. This happened between the 10th and 11th century when most cultures practices their traditional way of worship. A group of people, who were mostly referred to as crusaders or missionaries spread to all corners of the world with a hunger to transform the attitudes of the people by influencing their religious, believes. The Tempest, on the other hand is a piece of literature that looks at an event that took place in history. The story is all about Prospero and his daughter Miranda and they embark on a journey towards freedom. The two will take on a journey that will restore their dignity and rightful place in the society. The historical event and the novel have specific relations that lead to a significant theme. In the paper, we shall analyze the relationship that the two share and how significant they are to modern studies and life.
There is a significant aspect on the journey that was taken by the crusaders and that which was taken by Prospero. The crusaders had to undertake a journey to places they had never been before and to a people whose culture they did not understand. It was a journey they would have otherwise never taken, yet they were compelled due to the hunger they had to see and impart transformation. On the other hand, Prospero had to take a journey for the sake of her daughter. He did not know how the results would turn out to be, but he was positive that the journey would yield the much needed results. The crusaders and Prospero had a craving within them that they could not ignore (Runciman 75). They were unsettled in their own places of location due to the conviction within them to take the epic journeys just to settle their hearts. They knew of the challenges they will encounter due to the fact that they were going to meet people with inferior motives, yet they had to establish a relationship with them, just to accomplish the purpose they had.
The journey that the crusaders, who were mostly Christians, were prompted by their religious believes. They were commanded through the Holy Scriptures to go out and make disciples. Having encountered Christ and salvation, the Holy Spirit convicted them to spread the word and the gospel of Christ that would redeem and deliver people from their wickedness. On the other hand, Prospero had an encounter where he was overthrown from his throne by his brother Antonio. Prospero was forced to live on a lonely Ireland with her daughter and therefore being denied the royal privileges he was entitled to. He was not settled, especially seeing him move on with his and on a mission to inherit the throne while they were living with his daughter as beggars on a lonely island. From the two stories, we realize that the crusaders and Prospero journey was prompted by a particular event in their life, which was followed by a command or condition. The event they encountered transformed their lives and their minds, which became a constant reminder of the promise they have to fulfill. Their hearts and mind would not allow them to enjoy where they were as they knew they had to fulfill a particular mission.
The conviction and command that Prospero and the crusaders had centered on a particular mysterious person they met. The encounter they had with the individual made them enter into an agreement, which ultimately became their source of inspiration. The crusaders had an encounter with Jesus who convicted them to reach out to other people who had not been reached. By reading the bible, the Holy Spirit kept the conviction within them for the lost and hence became a source of inspiration all through their journey. Prospero on the other hand had an encounter with Ariel, a spirit whom he had saved in the past and would now be a source of inspiration to him as he fulfills his mission. His ability to perform specific responsibilities without being seen became a bid advantage to Prospero. He became Prospero’s perfect messenger as he would cause confusion to the convoy to make them comply with the demands of Prosper (Shakespeare 70). The encounter that the crusaders and Prospero had with the mysterious figures became a constant inspiration to them to accomplish their missions. When the time came for them to fulfill the promise, they were left with little options but to comply and take up on the journey. It appears as if, they were the ones that were considered worthy and suitable for the assignment.
There were various challenges that the crusaders and Prospero had to face as they journeyed towards fulfilling their mission. They encountered hostile communities, harsh climatic conditions, hunger due to starvation and many other resistances. All this challenges would have made them give up on their journey, yet it was a promise they had to fulfill. Prospero and his daughter were at the mercies of Gonzalo, who provided for them water and food while they were pushed to the sea. They lived lonely lives and their journey was filled with a lot of misfortunes and even plans to completely destroy them. The crusaders had to travel to a people and culture they had not encountered before. Some of them were hence resisted and even killed by communities that were not ready for their teachings. They faced resistance mostly from Muslim communities who looked at Christianity as a foreign religion that will interfere with their cultural believes. The harsh climatic conditions also made them suffer various sicknesses and diseases, not knowing what to eat or even how to protect themselves from the looming dangers.
The motivation of the journey that the crusaders and Prospero took was prompted by the end results rather than the challenges they faced on their way. The promise of a reward at the end of the journey was what kept them strong and even motivated them to fight the battles and challenges they encountered. Prospero knew very well that he was the rightful heir of the throne, yet he faced the wrath of his jealousy brother who would not let him inherit the kingdom. He knew, by dividing the convoy of Antonio, he would bring sense into their lives and at the same time grand her daughter a dignified future. It was all about Prospero’s expected results that purposed to go ahead with the mission. The crusaders had an encounter with God through the holly spirit who subconsciously revealed the terms of their assignment (Greenberg 220). The crusaders were promised an everlasting reward of fellowship with God as well as a life of fulfillment. The desire for the crusaders to enjoy a life of fulfillment as well as eternity was the best promise they could received. They hence knew that for the reward to come to pass, they had to brave up for the challenges and accomplish the mission. As the crusaders and Prospero faced various challenges, their mind was focused on the reward they were promised, and hence being able to accomplish them.
There was a test of commitment that the crusaders and Prospero had to face even as they accomplished their missions. This hence implies the importance of them being loyal to their course that they had to show some amount of commitment. The central figures that were involved in their conviction had to take them through various tests just to ensure that they were up to the task and were determined at fulfilling it. Prospero first test was to live away from the royal courts by being pushed to the sea. While he was at the see, he experienced lack, loneliness and rejection which prompted his intention to fight back. Prospero would have chosen to stay back and accept his fate, yet he thought of the life and future of his daughter Miranda. Even if it was not for himself, Prospero had to show love and loyalty to his daughter, whom he thought was too young to suffer indignity. Prospero was faced with the challenge of making his daughter understand that what he was doing was for their good. He had to hurt the feelings of Miranda on several occasions because of his actions, yet he had no otherwise but to ensure that things worked well for their good. The crusaders commitment was also tested first by them appreciating the gospel of Christ (Wilson 55). There were many people during that time, yet only a few people accepted the gospel and even sacrificed their comfort to spread the gospel. The challenges they encountered on the way could not stop them from preaching and winning people to Christianity.
The assignment that Prospero and the crusaders had came with a feeling of inadequacy within them. The calling was so big and appeared difficult to fulfill considering the challenges they had to face before it is accomplished. This therefore required them to rely in supernatural strength and conviction that would enable them to fulfill it. Prospero had to rely on the help and supernatural abilities of Arial to help him maneuver into places he could not physically manage. Arial working for him as a slave also meant that he absolutely trusts him to obey and follow his commands. The success of his mission was not based on his own strength or abilities but rather on the powers of Arial. Prospero had to use the earlier rescue he made for Arial to bind him up for his mission and assignment. Arial helped Prospero to evade a plot by Stephano and Trinculo to kill him. Through his invisible capabilities, Arial was able to play some sweet music which they were compelled to listen to as they followed its sound. The music played by Arial made them for sometime; forget the mission they had to kill Prospero and hence postponing it to a later date. This gave Prospero enough time to escape and even look for other creative ways to subdue them. The crusaders felt weak in their calling and had to rely on frequent prayer, devotion and meditation to be able to fulfill the great commission. They fellowshipped together and even solicited for prayers and help from other ministries across the world.
No assignment comes easy, the challenges faced are likely to make a person to mess up and not follow the commands. Some of the temptations faced may come in the least expected ways, which are likely to make the person miss out on the mark. Prospero was exposed to various challenges but was not able to overcome one. Prospero had an ability to charm people to sleep, which enabled him accomplish his assignments. On various occasions, his daughter Miranda was worried about some of the actions that were being taken by his father. Prospero could not handle the frequent concern and worry that were raised by her daughter. Prospero would hence charm her to sleep until when he had successfully set up his plans and strategy. Arial, Prospero messenger also used a similar tactic on Prospero opponents. He used his sleep charm to make some of the members of the con vey to sleep, and planting a destructive plot against them. once the mission was accomplished, they became awake and came up with contrary excuses and plans. Things were not always easy for the crusaders as they carried on with their mission to win souls (Reynolds 140). They found them selves in various mistakes which hindered them from successfully winning certain individuals. For instance, the crusaders lost the mark when they collaborated with the colonialists to manipulate people and enslave them in their own land. On such realization, most communities resisted the crusaders, mistaking them to be colonialists.
With all the challenges that the crusaders and Prospero went through, they came back to their people where they were celebrated. There was recognition within their own people that the assignment they took was not easy. Irrespective of the failures they encountered, having attempted the journey and coming back home was worth the celebrations. There was no telling for the crusaders who travelled across the world that they would come back alive and well. Most of them had to turn back because of sicknesses, others were killed by the hostile communities, and other died because of the tough environmental conditions. The safe arrival of anyone of them called for a celebration wit their family members and the local churches that had commissioned them. Prospero overcame many challenges and was reinstated back to his position. Miranda’s dignity was also restores as he ultimately got married to Ferdinand, and the last moment he was celebrated when he came back to his people (Smith 50).
The crusaders and Prospero were determined to succeed in their missions. Despite a prior notice of the challenges they will be encountered with, there was a willing spirit within them that pushed them to go out for the journey. They were determined at succeeding, even if it meant sacrificing their lives. The only reward they had at the time of them accepting the assignment was a promise of a better life. Theirs was hence a journey of faith, where they were not sure of getting the price. They therefore did it out of their personal conviction and obeying the command of a supreme being more than the reward they were promised. This was a determination that proved how committed they were. Prospero had to endure a life of loneliness and despair and the thought of the future of her daughter to realize the importance of taking up the journey. Were it not for the strong spirit he had, he would have given up on the way and settled for the loneliness in the sea. The crusaders on the other hand were only given a promise of eternal life, which would be experienced after their life. With this knowledge, they still went out, not just because of the promise but the burden they had for the lost souls. They believed in the saving grace of Christ and were hence determined beyond their challenges to reach out to the souls.
Prospero and the crusaders can be looked at as human messiahs who were sent to make the way for the others. They were a symbol of change and provided an inspiration to others but to fear taking up on assignments they feel convicted of. They symbolize the fact that where there is determination and a wiling spirit, victory is sure. Relying on divine strength and realizing one’s inadequacy is a vital ingredient for success. When Prospero and the crusaders felt burdened along the way, they resolved to seek the intervention of spiritual beings, which helped them overcome their challenges.
Greenberg, Jack. "Crusaders in the Courts." (1994): 217-22.
Reynolds, Bryan. Performing Transversally: Reimagining Shakespeare and the Critical Future. Macmillan, 2003.
Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The first crusaders, 1095-1131. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Runciman, Steven. A history of the crusades: vol. i, by steven runciman. Cup, 1951.
Shakespeare, William. The tempest. Vol. 9. Classic Books Company, 2001.
Smith, Daniel A. Tax crusaders and the politics of direct democracy. Routledge, 2013.
Wilson, John Dover. The essential Shakespeare: a biographical adventure. CUP Archive, 1948.
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