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What is the importance of Prospero in the play The tempest

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Introduction

Lisa Walkden What is the importance of Prospero in the play? The main protagonist of 'The Tempest', Prospero is also the chief actor. He is of great importance in the play and we are subjected to many varying sides and emotions of Prospero as although he is just one character he plays many roles within society. Prospero is very highly respected in 'The Tempest' as a master, of Ariel and Caliban and a father, of Miranda. He is a teacher and is looked up to, he is also seen as a very wise and educated man. However because of his powers and the fact that he seeks revenge he is also feared by many of the others in 'The Tempest'. Prospero is a very powerful and important man who controls many things. He is a magician with great powers and is able to control elements as well as other people. ...read more.

Middle

By sheer force he has power over his surroundings, far greater than those of an ordinary human being, it is incontestable, as is the fact that he uses them for good in the course of the play. But as a final act, Prospero abandons his magic and releases Ariel and Caliban from their servitude. He describes the loss of his magical powers at the beginning of his monologue when he says, "My charms are all o'erthrown, and what strength I have's mine own, which is most faint." In Prospero, by concealing part of the truth at first, Shakespeare does not present us the perfect ruler immediately. Instead, he develops Prospero from a basically good, excessively trustful but flawed man, to tyrannical man, to a man who is willing to forgive. By the end of the play, Prospero indeed combines power over himself with power over the outer world. ...read more.

Conclusion

The wise Prospero speaks of how he had laid himself wide open to harm in "being transported and rapt in secret studies". "Neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated to closeness and the bettering of his mind" he entrusted Milan into the hands of his treacherous brother and in doing so, "awak'd an evil nature" in his false brother. Prospero's anger and feelings of vengeance are understandable but we know that "there's no harm done". After looking at all of the factors that I think make Prospero important in the play, I see him as being even more of an important character. He expresses many varying emotions that are necessary in order to show his importance in the play. We are presented with a multi-faceted Prospero. The avenger, the father, the master, the duke. Can we really define him? Shakespeare leaves that intriguing thought in our minds as we take leave of this account full of "imagistic" qualities and themes. ...read more.

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