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

What is the importance of Prospero in the play The tempest

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. The Importance of Magic in The Tempest

    He can be seen in two different ways: as a powerful and magnanimous man, or as a cruel sorcerer. Prospero's beloved books are said to be the source of his power as this is where he gained all magical knowledge.

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

    with a curse: "As wicked dew e'er my mothers brush'd/ With raven's feather from unwholesome fen/ Drop on you both! A south-west blow on ye/ And blister your all o'er!" (321-324) Prospero replies to this curse the only way he can: by intentionally using his magic art to punish Caliban,

  1. Shakespeares 'The Tempest' as a Study of Colonialism.

    Ariel acts only when commanded by Prospero. He is also an adept sailor and one with nature. Ariel is happy pleasing man, but also craves freedom. Caliban is the offspring of the devil and a witch. He represents a creature of eart, not the heavens. While Ariel acts from reason and rationality, Caliban acts from instinct, like an animal.

  2. "The role of the teacher can often be a negative one" discuss…

    Caliban has had a false identity impose on him. The role of teacher is destructive for Caliban because Prospero attempts to homogenise Caliban to be morel like himself. Prospero is a bad teacher because he imposes his language and cultural values on Caliban.

  1. Discuss the role and importance of magic in the first 3 acts of "The ...

    Many could find it hard to believe that Prospero would want to give up his Dukedom for the practise of magic, and it is this strand of Prospero's character that leads the story on. Later on in the scene, a spirit called Ariel appears and it is revealed that Prospero had sent her to make the tempest occur.

  2. 'The Tempest' is not a story about a badly treated Duke. It is really ...

    Near the end of the play Alonso, Antonio, Ferdinand (the kings son), jester and butler become shipped wrecked by Prospero casting the elements upon them. They land on Prospero's magical island where Prospero has been waiting of them. When they all eventually find Prospero they all beg for forgiveness, Prospero

  1. An Exploration of the Themes of Power and Ownership in the Tempest

    Throughout the scene Miranda seems to have a problem listening to her father, this time Prospero tells her to "mark me" as she drifts off again. The magician orders his daughter to listen to him five times in act 1 scene 2.

  2. The Tempest raises questions that were just beginning to be asked in Shakespeare's day ...

    recurring motifs of the play such as power, responsibility, trust, betrayal, love, and so forth. It is at this stage of the play that I would like to explain the significance of the setting of the play. The island is described as a paradise.

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