If in Richard II, Hamlet, and King Lear, Shakespeare envisions the degradation of both the personal state of being and the political body of the state, as versions of a fallen paradise overgrown with weeds, in his late plays, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest, the playwright begins to imagine the possibility of a paradisiacal personal and political state. This paradise is not simply a return to the Edenic, uncomplicated by the weight of society; rather, it is mitigated through new scientific inventions that radically shift the place of the human in the philosophical, theological, political, and natural worlds. These plays interrogate the agency of the human when faced with both the societal pressures from political and cultural changes and the shifting natural environmental issues of the early modern world. Tempered by the mechanical innovations that populated the large estate gardens in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, human agency combats the preconceptions of the past while constructing the possibility of a new future-“a brave new world,” in Miranda’s words (5.1.183). In The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare traces the progression from the fallen world of a lost Eden through to the problematic vision of a paradise of hybridity and finally arrives at a garden that offers redemption by means of mechanical production. In The Tempest, the world of the mechanical permeates the entire play: from the opening storm, to the vanishing banquet table, and finally to the enchanting wedding masque-all of which masquerade as magic but are technologically produced, performed by human or human-like agents. Shakespeare utilizes these mechanical devices-actual or imagined-to recuperate a complex idea of paradise. Although The Winter’s Tale does not use real mechanisms, the play mimetically reproduces hydraulically driven, moving statuary that recreated organic forms in the aristocratic gardens of Europe. The Tempest expands the ideas from The Winter’s Tale, not only making human analogues to mechanical devices but implementing garden/stage machinery to create the magical effects, which are the work of supernatural airy spirits governed by the powerful, yet still human, hand of Prospero. Prospero’s manipulated island comes to represent the perfect elysian landscape: Gonzalo’s encounter with the garden isle inspires him to recall the classical golden age “commonwealth” in which labor is evacuated and the perpetually producing earth provides all necessities (2.1.148). Wideeyed Ferdinand finds Prospero’s masque so wondrous that it makes the island a “paradise” (4.1.125).