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Consider how the language used by Shakespeare explores the theme of service versus freedom in the play "The Tempest."

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Introduction

Consider how the language used by Shakespeare explores the theme of service versus freedom in the play "The Tempest." "Freedom, high-day! High-day, freedom! Freedom, high-day, freedom!" Caliban In every person the most basic desire of all is to be free. Essential to the discussion of this concept is the definition of freedom itself, which is being able to act at will, not under compulsion or restraint. Throughout "The Tempest" there is the constant struggle of obeying, followed by what that person chooses to do when they are faced with the opportunity to be liberated from their constraints. By the end of the play Caliban, Ariel and Miranda are all released from their bounds and set free. For many of these characters "freedom" means different things whether it to be escaping from and killing your master or being given leave or being able to depart from an over protective father. The one whom controlled them all was Prospero. Prospero is in control and directs their actions and their destinies. The main way in which Shakespeare has portrayed this significant and prominent theme is through his language of these four complex characters Prospero is a god like figure on the island. Prospero is unable to escape responsibility as he has control over the whole island including Caliban, Ariel and Miranda. Essentially, all of the characters are at the whim of Prospero, which means they truly have no personal freedom while on the island and under his will. He takes advantage of his authority over the people and situations he encounters while wearing a facade of integrity and compassion to disguise his devious intentions and to retain love and respect. ...read more.

Middle

This language shows Caliban's contempt for Prospero; it also shows why Caliban is so fickle in his admiration of people. He starts serving anyone that is nice to him; Prospero, Stephano and then back to Prospero towards the end of the play. He is mentally imprisoned because he always needs a leader figure. At first it was Prospero and Caliban was desperately unhappy at Prospero's actions and being a slave. Nevertheless, when Stephano came along brandishing "celestial liquor" Caliban was more than happy to kneel before him and even lick Stephano's boots a number of times. This shows Caliban's need for leadership but in spite of this when he gets it he always hates it. This is shown most at the end of the play when Caliban actually begs Prospero to forgive him and to take him back as his slave this is completely the contrary to what Caliban had told Stephano earlier in the play. Throughout Ariel's life she has constantly seeking freedom whether it to be from Sycorax or Prospero. It was Prospero who set Ariel free only to imprison her for his own uses. This should not be in the natural Order; as Prospero is but a mere mortal while Ariel is beyond humanity at the spiritual end of the natural hierarchy. However, the authority that Prospero possesses over Ariel is used exact his search for justice and reconciliation. Prospero reminds Ariel of her imprisonment by Sycorax, the mad witch and first inhabitant of the island, in the cloven pine tree. Ariel was left there for twelve years after she refused to carry out the foul plots the witch had suggested. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Prospero criticises Caliban's behaviour he realises that his freedom is imminent "Ay, that I will" and accepts his fate. Caliban is freed from his foul mouth and no longer feels the need for dishonourable language. Ariel takes her last order from Prospero by ensuring good weather for the ships, and then receives his freedom. Then, at the end of the play he was able to obtain his freedom from Prospero after Prospero achieved his plan of revenge. Prospero has gained and lost a great deal in this final scene. Not only has he lost his two servants but has lost his daughter as well. "I have lost my daughter". Conversely he has gained his pardon from the servitude of retribution that has plagued him for the last twelve years. In conclusion everything can be imprisoned whether it be beasts, sprits, daughters or even a magician's quest for revenge. But once something has been constricted there is also the possibility of freedom. Shakespeare touches on several different methods of gaining power; by constructing a mind that does not question authority, as in the case of Miranda, by fear, as with Ariel, and by force, like he does with Caliban. The languages used by these characters also show a discrepancy. Whereas Miranda refers to Prospero as "good sir" out of adoration, and Ariel calls him "noble master" out of fear and loyalty, Caliban curses Prospero, saying, "All the infections that the sun sucks up ". Though in the end Prospero frees Ariel, pardons Caliban, and plans to return to Milan where Miranda and Ferdinand will be married. When these individuals are faced with freedom they either return to the place in which they call home, stay with what they truly love or simply spread there wings and fly. Mark Strachan 12.6 ...read more.

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