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The Tempest

            The relationships between humanity and the natural world and its rhythms can bet seen in Shakespeare's The Tempest and Tim Flannery's The Explorers. In The Explorers, Tim Flannery puts together a collection of excerpts from reports of Explorers of the Australian continent. The perspectives of the explorers from different times can be compared and contrasted to the attitudes of characters in Shakespeare's The Tempest, and in this way it can be seen that people from different times and cultures have various attitudes to the natural world. One perspective on nature is to look at it as a means for economic or personal gain. This perspective can be seen through the attitudes of explorers Jan Carstenz (1623) and James Cook (1770), as well as through Prospero's manipulation of nature and Trincolo and Stephano's wish to use Caliban as an exhibit in The Tempest. The attitude of some explorers and characters in The Tempest is awe at the beauty of nature. This can be seen through the masque and Gonzalo's utopian vision in The Tempest, and through George Frankland's attitude (1835) towards the beauty of Tasmania's central highlands in The Explorers. The harmonious relationship of Caliban and Jackey Jackey with the natural world also communicates a perspective of mutual dependence of nature, where nature is seen as an essential part of life.
             Exploitation of nature can be seen in both The Tempest and The Explorers. A relationship with nature based on exploitation is normally evident in those of a Eurocentric perspective. In The Tempest, Prospero is one of the characters whose attitude towards nature is representative of a European, or "civilized" viewpoint. As The Tempest is a fictional play, Shakespeare makes use of fantastical elements such as the idea of magic to convey the relationship between humanity and nature. Prospero manipulates nature, by use of his magical art, to use it for his own advantage.

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