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Discuss Shakespeares presentation of the following issue: Loss and Restoration

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Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of the following issue: Loss and Restoration 'Loss and Restoration' is an important antithetic presented by William Shakespeare in The Tempest. The motive behind the play's construct lies with Prospero who had been dealt a loss of his dukedom in Milan by his brother Antonio. Shakespeare additionally presents a series of other characters left ashore on an island undergoing a loss of their freedom at the hands of Prospero's magic. However, The Tempest is resolved by the restoration of Prospero's position in Milan as well as the freedom of the Court Party in the closing stages. Prospero, the protagonist of The Tempest, entertains the idea of loss and restoration. The reason behind the horrifying tempest which introduces the play is Prospero's motive to see those who have sinned against him repent. The tempest itself represents a violation against the natural order. Antonio had robbed Prospero, his brother, of the dukedom in Milan. Prospero was forced to flee with his daughter, Miranda, and washed up on the current island they inhabit now. ...read more.


Shakespeare parallels these events in the play to demonstrate the idea that Prospero is willing to restore the losses of others on the condition that they first help him restore his own losses. In the aftermath of the storm, Alonso and Ferdinand lose each other; father and son. Alonso grieves greatly while stranded upon the island believing his son to be dead. In reality, Ferdinand is happy and alive and this 'loss' is nothing but a construct of Prospero's imagination. The Tempest deals with the issue of reality and illusion in such situations and this directly ties in with Shakespeare's presentation of Alonso's 'loss'. Alonso has not been dealt a physical loss, in the death of his son as he mistakenly accepts, but rather an intangible one; in the form of the loss of freedom of thought. Every situation presented to Alonso along with the rest of the Court Party on the island has first manipulated by Prospero to portray an illusion. ...read more.


Ariel and the Royal Court Party are restored to their own free lives at the end of the play. However, Shakespeare does not explicitly clarify Caliban's fate; the audience is left with Prospero's final command banishing Caliban to his cell. Many critics have interpreted this as a possible signal by Shakespeare that Prospero does not restore Caliban to a state of independence. Restoration almost always follows loss in The Tempest but there are instances, such as Caliban's, where this is not the case. Much of the main action is centred on Prospero in The Tempest. He is the 'kingmaker' and, with assistance of the characters actions on the island, determines their fate. Prospero's decision to conjure the storm inflicts a series of losses upon the Court Party in the shipwreck. During their time on the island, they experience remorse inspired by Ariel who, like the island characters, has suffered a loss of freedom. Prospero surrenders his powers as a mage at the end and restores freedom to most of the characters; satisfied with the thought that those who have offended against him have acknowledged their sin. ...read more.

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