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Is Prospero the wronged duke of milan or a cruel colonial master?

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Introduction

Prospero: The wronged duke of Milan or a cruel colonial master? In my view Prospero is both the wronged duke of Milan and a cruel colonial master; there are arguments for both sides and against. Prospero both has claims to dukedom and he treats Caliban cruelly. He has reasons for both, but his views change throughout the play as he realises the true implications of his actions. Prospero is blinded by his obsession with magic and power. 'My library was dukedom enough' this suggests that Prospero neglected his rule whilst becoming engrossed in his studies. ...read more.

Middle

The way Prospero describes Antonio; it would suggest Antonio is some kind of devil. Miranda says 'good wombs have borne bad sons' I think that Prospero has blinded her to the real truth by his bias. This would indicate that Prospero misled Miranda into thinking that Antonio is immoral. However looking from the perspective of Antonio; he would think he was doing a duty to the people. Getting rid of Prospero would have been not a sin but a responsibility to Milan, despite the divine right of kings. Prospero's relationship with Antonio was fine when Prospero gave Antonio what he wanted, but when he grew more power crazed he wanted more; 'thine enemy the king of Naples' Prospero explains to Miranda. ...read more.

Conclusion

This implies that Caliban regrets doing favour to Prospero, he realises he has been manipulated and used. Prospero enslaved Caliban because 'thou did'st seek to violate the honour of my child' suggesting Caliban attempted to rape Miranda. This could be interpreted as colonialisation of the island; Britain did a similar thing to the aborigines in Australia. At first the Brits were kind to them and showed them technology, however when the Britons had everything they needed from the natives they cruelly enslaved them. This is very alike Prospero and Caliban, at first 'thou strok'st me' Caliban protests, however Prospero only used Caliban to gain footing in the island. In conclusion, my perception of Prospero is that he is a misinterpreted character and that power shows the worst in him. ...read more.

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