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The Change in Prospero's Character.

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How does the character of Prospero change from Act 1 scene 2, to Act 5 scene 1? Prospero is the principal character of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'. Without question, he vaguely bestows a sense of a 'prevailing authoritarian', using his powers to control the capabilities of others, solely for the purposes of self indulgence and expediency. We see this domineering and overwhelming trait throughout the play. An instance of this can be perfectly supported by the dreaded incident of the king of Naples' ship, as Prospero uses his powers to manipulate the winds, causing the ship to capsize. This is just one example of his officious personality. However, there is a staggering change in this behaviour toward the end of Shakespeare's prodigious play. He suddenly transforms into a penitent and modest individual, willing to give up all magic and power to become a typical human being..... Prospero was once the Duke of Milan. Loved immensely by the people, his callous brother Antonio grew increasingly covetous of his eminence and supremacy. Despite Prospero's popularity amongst the people of Milan, he consumed most hours within the day to read and study the art of magic and philosophy. ...read more.


In lines 312 to 317, Prospero reluctantly explains to Miranda how his 'slave', Caliban, is needed to fetch fire wood and carry out other chores; "He does make our fire, Fetch in our wood, and serves in offices That profit us. What, ho! Slave! Caliban! Thou earth, thou: speak!" "Come forth, I say! There's other business for thee. Come, thou tortoise! When?" In addition to his interaction with Caliban, he also portrays a negative superiority through bribery, threats and a large use of imperative verbs. A sufficient example of this would be his dealings with Ariel, for when he suggests being freed; Prospero challenges Ariel with the prospect of enslaving him back to the confinements of a tree; "I will rend an oak, I And peg thee in his knotty Entrails." This mere quotation shows how his potentially ruthless persona coincides with his manipulation of power. He flaunts his power in Act 1 Scene 2 to affect people's actions. On the contrary, this is one of the main changes of his character in Act 5 Scene 1. ...read more.


By translating the Elizabethan style text to modern day, Prospero's account of his astounding intentions is made more apparent to a modern day reader. This also shows his transformation of personality more comprehensible; "I've darkened the noontime sun with the aid of you elves who Live in the hills and brooks and groves, and you who chase The sea on the beach without leaving footprints in the Sand, and run away when the waves come back; and you Who make toadstools while the moon shines; who make Mushrooms as a hobby after the evening bell has rung. With your help I've called up the angry winds, and set the Green sea and blue sky at war with each other. I've given Lightning to the thunderclouds, and burned up Jupiter's Beloved oak. With his own lightning bolts; I've shaken up the sturdy Cliffs and uprooted pines and cedars; I've opened up graves And awakened the corpses sleeping in them, letting them Out with my powerful magic. But I surrender all this Magic now, when I've summoned some heavenly music to Cast a spell, as I'm doing now, I'll break my staff and bury It far underground, and throw my book of magic spells Deeper into the sea than any anchor ever sank." ...read more.

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