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A planned discovery
can be challenged by the beliefs and values of individuals.

 

How is this view
represented in your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own
choosing?

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Discovery entails a
journey that is transformative and alters one’s insights into one’s self and
the world around them. Discoveries can be either sought or serendipitous and
can lead to positive or negative consequences, but they are ultimately
intensely meaningful and concerned with the acquisition of greater knowledge
and a new perspective. Shakespeare’s tragic comedy the Tempest presents a
microcosm of society in which power structures are challenged, leading to
discoveries about human nature. Miranda also experiences the discovery of
humanity, followed closely by her discovery of love. William Ernest Henley’s
poem Invictus reveals Henley’s discovery of bravery in the face of torment,
ultimately leading to a transformed perception of himself.

 

Prospero in the Tempest is challenged with unveiling
his humanity within the omnipotent ego he carries. Shakespeare composed this
play during the era of Christian Humanism which strongly emphasized the
overarching theme of ‘moderation’. Through interpretations of the plays
protagonist Prospero, who’s misery being an indirect correlation to his
obsession with power we can see this. The initial vengeance is displayed by Prospero
in his allegorical explanation of his Brother Antonio’s treachery, “Of all the
world I loved, and to him put the manage my state”, he further expresses this infatuation
with power, addressing himself in the third person shown in; “and Prospero the
prime duke… without a parallel; those being all my study”. The ambiguity of the
line offers insight that he valued his studies greater than the dukedom of
Milan, of which was ultimately his downfall. Alternatively foreshadows the mercy
that he will relinquish as he accepts the discovery of his humanity. However,
the characters Miranda and Ariel reassure Prospero’s ego through the repetition
of honorific titles such as “sir” and “great master”. A deep divergence is
reached as Prospero is prompted into mercy by Ariel as he the ——–of “at this hour lie at my mercy all mine
enemies.” Moreover, mercy and humane action is by Prospero through the
antithesis of his statement; “the rarer action is / in virtue than in vengeance”
as he sees the survivors of the storm distressed. Consequently, Prospero arrived
at his anagnorisis and eliminated intent
for magic and power, resulting in Prospero’s wholehearted forgiveness to escape
impregnable vengeance.

Alternatively, Miranda arrives at her own
discovery of of her identity amongst the human race as she welcomes new experiences
into her life initially through the emotive language “O, how I have suffered
with those that I saw suffer” where the anaphora of “O” is continues throughout
her epilogue to dramatize the extent of her discovery. The compassion Miranda
virtues impacts not only herself, but is far-reaching and transformative for
the broader society. Her passive heroine enables eager longing for love and
growth, aided by her patriarchal tutor Prospero who acts also as a catalyst,
leading her into self knowledge. Miranda metaphorically makes reference to her
revived memories through “Oh my heart bleeds.” Allowing herself to discover
transformative new emotions to the knowledge of love and man.

 

William Henley’s poem Invictus describes
how Henley’s discovery of bravery in the face of torment led to a further
deeply personal discovery of his sense of self. Henley battled tuberculosis in
the 19th century, leading to the amputation of his leg. During his
recovery, he penned this poem, which acted as a representation of his
sentiments in the infirmary. The tone of the poem is “black as the pit from
pole to pole”, and uses strong imagery of a dark night to establish a
depressive medium through which his “inconquerable soul” is able to surmount
the agony he faces. By saying, “in the fell clutch of circumstance/ I have not
winced nor cried aloud,” Henley acknowledges his bravery in a hopeless
situation by comparing his pain to that of a helpless animal trapped in the
claws of a predator. Fleeting moments of hope occur throughout the poem, as
seen when Henley states “the menace of the years finds me and shall find me
unafraid.” The menace of the years refers to the concept of death, which is
willingly accepted by Henley should his treatment fail, showing his
self-assurance resulting from his bravery. The development of a strong sense of
self is also evident when Henley says, “I am the master of my fate/ I am the
captain of my soul.” revealing a surety in his identity and his future and
denying his illness power over him. Henley’s discovery of bravery was an
intensely meaningful experience for him, as seen in Invictus, and led to
an altered sense of self and perception of his life.

 

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