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How does Shakespeare present the character of Prospero in The Tempest?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare present the character of Prospero in 'The Tempest?' The Tempest is a play written by Shakespeare. It is quite a powerful play, it looks at the theme of love between Ferdinand and Miranda , but also deals with evil in, 'Antonio' Prospero's brother. Who in my opinion is the meanest character in the play? The Tempest is a comedy, but not like we would think of comedy today, like 'My Family', but the audiences would have found it funny. The play is about Prospero's revenge and his desire to get his Dukedom back from his brother. "Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years since, thy father was the Duke of Milan and a prince of Power." Antonio had always been trusted by his brother "like a good parent, did beget of him a falsehood in its contrary as great as my trust was, which had, indeed, no limit." But Antonio's greed for power took control. So much so, he decided to cast his brother and Prospero's daughter, Miranda, adrift in a rotten carcass of a boat and he hoped to their death. Prospero is a powerful man with strong magical skills, a wizard he had held a superior position 'The Duke of Milan' before his brother had planned with King Alonso of Naples to take over this position as permanent one. ...read more.

Middle

Prospero, still desperate to have control threatens him that their relationship will not be happy if, "Thou dost break her virgin - knot before all sanctimonious ceremonies may with full and holy rite be minstistered" Prospero uses his magic for mostly selfish reasons. It is through his magic that he plans his revenge on his enemies. He could almost be a cruel sorcerer from the way in which he treats his enemies ,But his magic gives him 'Power' which is the only thing he has if he is to get his Dukedom back. "The wronged Duke of Milan, Prospero: For more assurance that a living prince Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body; And to thee and thy company I bid A hearty welcome." It shows that Prospero wants, justice and reconciliation rather than just power. The use of supernatural powers is widely used throughout the play. Prospero uses magic to free Ariel from the magical prison which Sycorax imprisoned him in. "When I arrived and heard thee, that made gape the pine and let thee out". This shows that Prospero felt sorry for Ariel, although he may also have had another reason, knowing that he could be useful to him, as Ariel too had magical powers. Prospero promises to free him once he has helped him to get what he wants. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is a very dangerous and ambitious man. Sebastian is Alonso's brother he too is like Antonio and doesn't feel sorry for what he did. When Prospero meets up with Gonzalo he greats him warmly. "Holy Gonzalo, honourable man" and thanks him for providing him and his daughter with food and water "O good Gonzalo my true preserver." He knows that Gonzalo is a loyal and "Noble friend." Alonso has a conscience and he feels remorse over the wrongs he did and asks for forgiveness from Prospero "The Dukedom I resign and entreat thou pardon me my wrongs. Prospero forgives Alonso "welcome my friends all" Its Prospero's desire for magic that gets him into this problem, but it also helps him to restore the situation. It shows how people can become obsessed by desires, but in the end Prospero's appreciates that his obsession was destructive. "I'll break my staff, Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, And deeper than did ever plummet sound I'll drown my book." I think that Prospero's is a Mixture of both victim and Villain. As he tells the story of past events it is easier to believe him than too look at the other side of the story. By the end of the play I think that most of the people get what they deserve with most of the characters learning from the mistakes they made. Josh Robinson 9SD 3/4/09 ...read more.

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