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Literature and the Process of Discovery

            The process of discovery entails a journey that can induce a metamorphosis in an individual through new experiences, which can be evoked by curiosity or wonder. Discoveries of both the known and unknown may be confronting and provocative, but what remains common is that that they are ultimately fresh and intensely meaningful. These all however lead to an acquisition of new perspectives that shape how an individual perceives the world they live in. These aspects are present in William Shakespeare's, " The Tempest", and Lord Alfred Tennyson's, "Ulysses". .
             The Tempest demonstrates the notion, of how a fresh and intensely meaningful discovery can result in the transformation of an individual and lead to new values and perceptions. This is highlighted through the transformation that Prospero undertakes, from revenge towards reconciliation. Initially Prospero is confronted by the arrival of his treacherous brother Antonio and is initially desirous of revenge. He is entrapped by feelings of anger at his "false brother" and the "treacherous army levied" by him. He at first chooses to inflict suffering upon those responsible for his exile, through high modality in "why, that's my spirit!" in response to the havoc created on the ship as a result of the storm. As a ramification this initially prevents him discovering the power of forgiveness and compassion.
             Prospero's desire for revenge wilts though the play and the catalyst for his transformation start when Ariel described the prisoners as, "brimful of sorrow and dismay", whose " tears run down his beard like winters drop". Shakespeare's characterisation in Ariels figurative language reminds Prospero of his humanity in which Prospero concludes that there is "the rarer action in virtue than in vengeance". This dichotomy of virtue and vengeance highlights extent of human capacity, emphasised through alliteration, evocative of Prospero's vindictive past and the metamorphosis he undergoes as a result of this meaningful discovery.

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