The Tempest: A Negotiable Meta-Panopticon

Hanieh Mehr Motlagh


In The Tempest, Shakespeare represents a world in which the model of a panopticon within a panopticon reveals how the power relations functions. All the major and minor characters establish panopticons which start from their own bodies and soul and move toward the larger one which belongs to that of Prospero as the higher order who has access to a magical power and a mysterious police force. As a social group is formed in the play, the individuals in that group seek to make use of the process of testing, recording, explaining to provide obeying subjects. There are negotiations between the subversive voices and the rulers which expose the issue of containment as a personal, social, and cultural production rather than a coercive factor.

Keywords: panopticon, subversion, containment, discipline, punish, negotiation

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