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Is Prospero good or evil?

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Is Prospero good or evil? Prospero has two very obvious sides. He has a very compassionate side where he helps people and tries to make the island a better place to live, and his darker evil side where he torments people. It could be argued he's only compassionate to help him self but he could only behave evilly for an over all good. When Prospero is with Miranda he displays all of the compassionate characteristics of his personality. He speaks to Miranda very genteelly but sometimes patronizingly as is she is still a young child. He has kept the past from his daughter. This could be seen as protecting her, but he waits until she is in early childhood to tell her "thy father is the Duke of Milan." This could show that's he's a bit of a control freak as he is sheltering her and denying her knowledge of her past. By keeping her in the dark he could be protecting her from what went on as he might still think of her as a young child as she was when they landed on the island. His sheltering could also be for his own good. ...read more.


This shows Prospero has double standards. Its ok for him to take over form someone who is inferior but didn't like it when some one pushed him out of control. In act two scene two it is clear to see that after Caliban has helps Prospero to survive on the island Prospero enslaves him. Not only has he enslaved him he tortures and torments him to such an extent that when Caliban sees someone new, for example Stephano and Trinculo, he assumes that they are sent by Prospero to torment him " do not torment me, prithee; ill bring my wood home faster." This shows how Caliban is afraid of the man he helped to survive on the island that is technically belongs to Caliban. Caliban first words in the play are curses directed at Prospero. "...With raven feather from unwholesome fen drop on you..." this shows the disgust the Caliban feels at being kept as a slave by Prospero are he helped Prospero survive on the island. Prospero has in affect taken the island from Caliban yet Prospero keeps reminding Caliban how much he has done for him. "I pitied thee, took pains to make thee speak..." ...read more.


Again Prospero has helped someone on the island for his own selfish gain. This shows Prospero's more two faced, self-involved side. Through out the play Prospero is seeking revenge for what injustices have been done to him in the past. To achieve this he manipulates everyone around him. Prospero considers himself as a combination judge and jury. He has decided who was to blame for his exile and then carries out their punishment. Alonso corrupted Prospero's brother Antonio and convinced him to over throw Prospero. In his mind this is the worse crime that could be committed. Not only was Alonso Prospero's enemy he turned a member of his only family against him. This is where Prospero's evil side shines through. Instead of just killing Alonso in the shipwreck he keeps him alive so that he can suffer physically and mentally just as Prospero would have done. Alonso has to search for food and shelter but he also has to live with the assumption that his son, Ferdinand, is dead. "My son is lost". Alonso is obviously wracked by grief at losing his son. To make it worse Ferdinand isn't dead he is just being used by Prospero in a game on the other side of the island. This shows how Prospero likes to torment people just for the fun of it. ...read more.

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