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How do you respond to the dramatic presentation of Prospero? You may confine yourself to two episodes in the play, or range more widely if you prefer.

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Introduction

How do you respond to the dramatic presentation of Prospero? You may confine yourself to two episodes in the play, or range more widely if you prefer. Shakespeare portrays Prospero throughout the play as an almighty powerful enigmatic protagonist, who plays a significant lead role in the play. He is particularly authoritative through the means of his 'art', in which he is a dedicated studier. 'Without a parallel: those being all my study'. His magic books symbolise his wisdom, although this is not always the case. We know that he can be ignorant, as we know that 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 traitorous brother. Not contented with his position, Antonio "new created the creatures that were mine, chang'd 'em or else new form'd 'em" and "confederates wi'th King of Naples" to bend Milan "to most ignoble stooping". It is therefore obvious that Prospero was not conscious of what Antonio was doing and so we feel sympathetic for him although he is partly at fault for his downfall. ...read more.

Middle

An example of this is when he says to Caliban "As you look to have my pardon trim it handsomely." Prospero forgives Caliban even though he tries to rape Miranda, turns against Prospero, and tries to kill him. This was especially hurtful, because Prospero raises Caliban like a son. This was probably not as hurtful as the betrayal of Prospero's brother, Antonio. Antonio was the one who casts Miranda and Prospero out on a ship to die. Only they end up on an island for twelve years. Still Prospero forgives Antonio when he says "for you most wicked sir, whom to call brother would even infect my mouth I do forgive thy fault all of them." These are the reasons why Prospero is forgiving. His punishments of Caliban are petty and vindictive, as he calls upon his spirits to pinch Caliban when he curses. He is defensively autocratic with Ariel. For example, when Ariel reminds his master of his promise to relieve him of his duties early if he performs them willingly, Prospero bursts into fury and threatens to return him to his former imprisonment and torment. He is similarly unpleasant in his treatment of Ferdinand, leading him to his daughter and then imprisoning and enslaving him. ...read more.

Conclusion

His main aims are for harmony, and to marry off Miranda Prospero does not have many friends He can see seen as ignorant, or even primitive, as he is always wrapped up in his studying of magic books, he is often oblivious to reality. For example when Antonia usurped his brother's dukedom of Milan. prospero can also be seen as noble, He can exploit the other characters on the island to do what he does not want to do. For example he controls Caliban to carry logs for him. He is a sympathetic character in that he was wronged by his usurping brother, but he is first portrayed as also ........, self-important His punishments of Caliban are petty and vindictive, as he calls upon his spirits to pinch Prospero emerges as a more likable and sympathetic figure in the final two acts of the play. In these acts, his love for Miranda, his forgiveness of his enemies, and the legitimately happy ending his scheme creates all work to mitigate some of the undesirable means he has used to achieve his happy ending. If Prospero sometimes seems autocratic, he ultimately manages to persuade the audience to share his understanding of the world-an achievement that is, after all, the final goal of every author and every play. Tom Platts 12L ...read more.

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