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William Shakespear's Tempest

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Introduction

Explain how you would direct a production of Act 1 Scene 2 of the Tempest. What do we learn about the character of Prospero from the play and from this scene in particular? William Shakespeare wrote The Tempest in 1610, it was one of the last plays he wrote before his death in 1616. It has been said that Prospero's character is mirrored around William Shakespeare, Shakespeare based Prospero on himself. The Tempest is about a usurped duke, Prospero, who is set adrift on a small boat with his daughter Miranda by his evil brother Antonio. Prospero and his daughter end up on an enchanted island where Prospero begins to learn magic, using his magic he frees Ariel from a tree and enslaves Caliban, a hero and villainous task. Twelve years later, Prospero see's a royal boat passing the island carrying Antonio, Alonso, the king of Naples who helped usurp Prospero. Sebastian, Alonso's brother and Gonzalo, the kindly courtier who gave Prospero food, water, clothes and the vital magic books. Prospero summons a tempest, with the help of Ariel, and wrecks the ship onto the island, separating them into four different groups. This deed makes Prospero quite the villain as there were many innocent sailors aboard the boat that had done nothing against him. This part of the play is very much like a game of chess, and Prospero is the player. ...read more.

Middle

We began taking the natives and using them as our slaves, we also began to taught them our own language as we found their native language brutish, this is increasingly similar to what Prospero has done with Caliban. If I were to direct Act 1 Scene 2 to show whether or not Prospero was a hero or a villain, I would have in the first part, when he is talking with Miranda about the tempest he caused, Prospero dressed in a magnificent robe, with his staff in hand. This is to show his power and dominance over Miranda, it also shows that he is a powerful magician. Miranda would be in a simple white, lace dress, this is to show how simple her lifestyle is and the fact she doesn't own magnificent dress's, this would also make her seem more innocent compared to her father. She is sitting on a rock looking out to sea, almost in tears, with a look of despair. "I have done nothing but in care for thee, of thee my dear one -thee my daughter, who art ignorant of what thou art, not knowing of whence I am, nor that I am more better then Prospero, master of a full poor cell and thy no greater father." The type of language Prospero uses shows his caring side to Miranda and it is only Miranda that he ever shows it too; otherwise he is known as the usurped duke and powerful wizard. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Prospero could have been kinder to his enemies, should he of? Considering his enemies sent him and his daughter adrift in the sea in a shabby little boat, wasn't he entitled to at least revenge? He was wrong to summon the tempest and put innocent lives at risk. He was wrong to enslave Caliban and Ariel when he was the foreigner on the island. However in the end Prospero does do the right thing and forgive all of his enemies. He also freed Ariel from the hollow oak tree, ending Ariel's suffering. And lest not forget the love between Miranda and Ferdinand, for if Prospero hadn't of summoned the tempest they would never have found each other. In conclusion it is difficult to decipher whether or not Prospero is a hero or a villain. If anything he is a strong mixture of both, the actions he chose to make were both villainous and heroic. If we look back to how Prospero ended up on the island, is he not entitled to be a bit "mean" to the people who set him and his daughter adrift in the sea? The most important part though is the conclusion of the play. Prospero forgives all of his enemies proving that it is better to forgive those that have wronged you, forget that they ever wronged you and don't hold a grudge against them so that you are able to move along with your life. Kyran-Storm Curry ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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