In this talk, Professor Esolen discusses the importance of wonder as one of the main themes in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. At the beginning of the lecture, he refers to words of Aristotle, according to whom this concept can be defined as the beginning of philosophy and learning (Esolen unpaged). The speaker shows that wonder is the fascination of a person with better qualities of other people, for instance, their heroism, courage, self-sacrifice, or beauty. Moreover, this fascination prompts a person to acquire or develop these qualities.
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In the play, wonder manifests itself in several ways. For example, one can mention Ferdinand’s fascination when he sees Miranda. This character understands that this girl is a perfect human being. Similarly, Alonso is amazed by Prospero’s ability to forgive his betrayal. This feeling has a transformative effect on these characters. To a great extent, it helps them reveal their better qualities. This is one of the main issues that should be considered.
Professor Esolen believes that wonder plays a vital role in Shakespeare’s play. People, who are incapable of having this feeling, can be deprived of any moral principles. In this case, one should on such characters as Antonio and Sebastian (Esolen unpaged). These individuals are more likely to be driven by self-interest, ambition, or jealousy. In Professor Esolen’s opinion, Shakespeare pays attention to this theme in order to highlight the differences between the characters.
On the whole, Professor Esolen lecture has highlighted to me the importance of wonder for the fulfilling life of a person. In particular, it is essential for the moral integrity of a person, ability to learn, and willingness to make achievement. In contrast, many educational institutions stifle learners’ ability to wonder. This is one of the main arguments that the lecturer puts forward.
Esolen, Anthony. The Tempest and Wonder. 2010. Web.