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

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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.


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.


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.

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