• 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)

    Because he believes that Ferdinand has drowned he thinks that Sebastian is now the heir to the thrown and will be the one to take over if Alonzo dies. Sebastian realises that if Antonio becomes the king of Naples then he could dominate Antonio and take charge himself.

  2. 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".

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

    But Ferdinand and Miranda are still very different from these two characters also seen as all good, because they are in love! Romance is the key to softening an audience into liking characters because it is such a common feeling everyone in all of time has felt love and romance at one point in their life.

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

    Caliban is often referred to as a dirty, unworthy, slave/monster "A howling monster, a drunken monster" (Act 2, Scene 2, L179) However Caliban speaks in blank verse, which is spoken by noble people. "As wicked dew as e'er my mother brushed" (Act 1, Scene 2, L321)

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

    Prospero has therefore created the scenes unfolded before the audience's eyes, by the power he has to bring and maintain the illusory magic enchanting his family on the ship to be lured towards the fantasy he lives in. Prospero has the absolute power to control what humans see, hear and feel on the island, as well as the audience.

  2. Explore the theme of rightful authority in The Tempest

    Prospero's power and magic are dominant throughout the play yet in reality his power is limited as it is based on the willingness of Caliban and Ariel to comply with what he says. Ariel and Caliban give him his power as they let him rule the island.

  1. Character study of Prospero

    I believe that Prospero is trying to appreciate where she is now. Although he is using emotional blackmail to get what he wants from Ariel. The other relationship is with his other servant Caliban. Once again there are both positive and negative points.

  2. Exploring the theme of enslavement in The Tempest

    'inferior', inherently incapable of civilized behaviour. In Act 4, Scene 1, Prospero calls Caliban "A devil, a born devil, on whose nature nurture can never stick." This condemnation is merged with the frustration of the teacher who has failed with a difficult pupil, "on whom my pains, humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost," (4:1:189-190).

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