Which Events from Acts 1 and 2 Would Most Likely Categorize The Tempest as a Tragedy?

Even though Shakespeare’s The Tempest is considered to be a comedy and maybe a romance, there are some elements of a tragedy. It is especially noticeable in the first two acts. Some of the events just don’t align with the standard genre categorization of this play. One of them is Antonio and Sebastian plotting against the king. 

The Tempest usually falls under the categories of comedy and romance. It is not hard to figure out since the play has so many comic scenes, most of which include the notorious drunken trio of Caliban, Trinculo, and Stephano. The hint of romance is also present there as the audience has the pleasure of observing Ferdinand and Miranda’s innocent and genuine love. However, something feels off with a few of the events that may appear to be tragic. 

First of all, we can witness Prospero’s cruelty from the beginning of the play. He causes significant troubles to the ship crew and passengers on purpose despite Miranda’s calls to stop it. Moreover, the way he treats Caliban is far from fair. The native inhabitant was left without any rights and turned into a slave. There is no reason for such harsh treatment, but Prospero does not stop. Besides, we find out that Antonio encourages Sebastian to plot against the king. They are planning on murdering Alonso to get more power. Their plan fails, so there are no murders in the play. However, the fact that there was a possibility might make you think that The Tempest is also a tragedy after all.

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