• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore Shakespeare's presentation of the theme of power in the "The Tempest"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore Shakespeare's presentation of the theme of power in the "The Tempest" Shakespeare shows the theme of power throughout the play "The Tempest". Prospero has power over his daughter, his enslaved servants Ariel and Caliban. Alonso has power as king of Naples, but there is irony in the fact he has no power on the island, and in a weakened emotional state is vulnerable to the loose of power that remains. Shakespeare presents a comedic attempt to gain power through the figure of Stephano. Shakespeare then presents us with a parody of the situation of Stephano using Sebastian, where he tries to take over the island with the aid of Caliban. The power that Prospero has throughout the play is let go of at the end of the play because of forgiveness. Throughout the play Prospero continuously has control of the people that land on the island, with the help of his servant Ariel. This is because he has planned how he was going to get what he wants which is his old position as the rightful Duke of Milan. The reason why Prospero lost his powerful position was because he spent too much time over his magic and his books, this then lead to him handing over to much power to his brother. ...read more.

Middle

The character of Caliban is very na�ve. This is because not only does he fall for the charms of Prospero but he also becomes the servant of Stephano and makes the same mistake twice. However this is only because they all become very drunk and Caliban has never had alcohol before so he decides it is magic. The fact that he is not used to the normal things from the outside world also makes him na�ve. He decides that he will help them take over the island even though they see him as a monster only because he hates Prospero so much. But Stephano has power over Caliban because Caliban lets him. This is shown when Caliban says, "I'll swear upon that bottle to be thy true sub/ject, for this liquor is not earthly." I believe that this shows how easily he is won over. Just the idea that something is not the normal to him makes him almost worship it. This whole idea that they will try to take over the island is very comedic because of the fact that they are drunk and also that Prospero knows exactly what they are doing. ...read more.

Conclusion

The king then becomes the leader again, Alonso then shows that has knowledge and understanding this is because he does not punish Prospero but just forgives him. This also shows that he does not just have physical power like Prospero and his magic. He shows that he is a good ruler of his subjects because he can give his subjects freedom just like when Prospero frees Ariel and everyone who was under his spell. I think that throughout the entire play Prospero has been in charge of everything that has happened. However there have been other power struggles in the play, for example Stephano wanting to be the king of the island. This was never going to happen because of Prospero. Also the plot to kill the king so that Antonio would become king. This was ironic because even if they had killed Alonso they wouldn't have any power unless they got back to Naples which they had no way of doing. However in conclusion all power was set back to normal with Alonso staying king, Prospero once again becoming a duke and everyone else not gaining any power. I think that the play shows that an unbalance of power will sort itself out after a while making sure that only certain people have power because the can handle it. Thomas Shannon ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Tempest section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Tempest essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does Shakespeare ensure that the theme of usurpation and its consequences runs throughout ...

    3 star(s)

    storm and tells the Miranda "I am the best of them that speak this speech...". In saying this he states that he is the King and therefore higher up the chain of being and better than anyone else. Because of this Prospero got angry for he knows that in fact the king was still alive.

  2. Discuss the presentation and significance of Caliban in 'The Tempest'

    As Caliban would speak on stage everyone in the audience including peasants would be able to recognise his noble status. This gives the image that Caliban has a wide and varied vocabulary and is educated. However Caliban doesn't speak blank verse throughout the entire play; when Caliban speaks with Prospero he speaks normally.

  1. Explore how Shakespeare presents the theme of power in "The Tempest"

    I'll manacle thy neck and feet together". Although Ferdinand is a prince, he must bow to Prospero's authority, similarly to the characters of Ariel and Caliban. Prospero has control over his slave Ariel, whom he controls by the promise of freedom. This type of master-slave power is a dominant form of power within "The Tempest".

  2. Discuss the character of Caliban and his relationship with Prospero

    He says, "I'll be wise hereafter, and seek for grace". He tells Prospero that he was stupid to make this alcoholic butler, who drowns his sorrows regularly, a god. Prospero is the overall winner. Conclusion I think that there is a reason for every action on this island, no matter how ludicrous the action is.

  1. How far do you agree that The Tempest is a play about the use ...

    Prospero has created this hierarchy himself almost experimentally to flatter his ego. If Prospero's power is as effective as he implies it is, especially against his enemies, it seems apparent to question why this power was not used in Milan to secure his title; this must be due to the island being the only inspiration to create such powerful art.

  2. The Tempest- The Significance of the love story between Ferdinand and Miranda in the ...

    my dear one; thee my daughter" We see Prospero's love and affection for his daughter; he repeats the term "thee" making her special and emphasising 'sincerely' how everything was only done for her. By making the tempest, Prospero had got a husband for Miranda although he did it secretly and

  1. Presentation of Prospero in the Tempest

    His high rank is reflected through him being raised and central to the action on the stage. This is also shown by other character's reactions and responses towards Prospero. An example of this is where Caliban addresses Prospero as his "master".

  2. Character study of Prospero

    This is shown when Prospero says this to Ariel: "Thou liest malignant thing! Hast thou forgot? The foul witch Sycroax, who With age and envy Was grown into a hoop? Has Thou forget her?" Prospero is abusive to Ariel calling her names like "malignant thing" He also uses repetition to make her remember her past.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work