• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Prospero is a self-centred magician who demonstrates some of the worst qualities" Do you agree with this statement? How should his character be portrayed on stage?

Extracts from this document...


"Prospero is a self-centred magician who demonstrates some of the worst qualities" Do you agree with this statement? How should his character be portrayed on stage? "The Tempest" was one of Shakespeare's last plays and unlike the earlier ones didn't really fit into any certain genre, instead it had elements of all the themes within it: Also a lot of his plays had sad endings, take "Romeo and Juliet" a very romantic play that had a tragic ending but this changed when he was writing his last plays and so they had happier endings which contained an element of forgiveness and new beginnings. "Let your indulgence set me free." It is set in the Mediterranean and has connections with Italy like many of Shakespeare's plays such as "The Merchant Of Venice" and "Romeo and Juliet". The statement appears to be rather harsh as it seems certain aspects of Prospero's personality and character, as well as some of the qualities he possesses which become apparent later on in the play haven't been taken into consideration. "I do forgive, unnatural though thou art." He possess some very good qualities as is shown later on in the play, one of these qualities is his ability to forgive, as he manages to forgive most of the people who transgressed against him. However the statement isn't completely incorrect since at times Prospero is portrayed as very self-centred, calculating, threatening and cruel! ...read more.


"Woud't had been done. Thou didst prevent me - I had peopled else this isle with Caliban." Also Caliban is rather evil himself as he suggests Stephano and Trinculo should kill Prospero. "Revenge it on him - for I know thou dar'st." "where thou mayst knock a nail into his head." Revenge is a strong theme throughout the play as well as deception and disloyalty as is illustrated here. It could be said that this is just a result of how Prospero treats Caliban and that anyone in similar circumstances would feel the need for revenge, but he also makes plans for Miranda in his plot to overthrow Prospero: "Ay, Lord, she will become thy bed." Miranda, the person who treated him well and taught him how to speak. "took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour." If Caliban merely made this plan to overthrow Prospero due to a need for revenge surely he wouldn't choose to cause any harm to Miranda too? The relationship between Ariel and Prospero cannot be defined or described as either bad or good, as they have moments of affection for one another: "my fine spirit." "chick." At other times Prospero threatens Ariel and insults him. "if thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak and peg thee in his knotty entrails." "malignant thing." ...read more.


"I say by sorcery he got this isle." They're plans go to waste because Prospero knows everything that happens on the island because Ariel his faithful servant tells him. Prospero's portrayal on stage should change in direct parallel to his change from a revenge seeking magician to a forgiving man. In the beginning his cloak should be highlighted as it is the source of his power along with his books and as the play gets closer to its conclusion the cloak should become less important and more of a background feature. In conclusion I feel the statement has been made rather rashly, without taking a thorough look at the character of Prospero. Admittedly Prospero can at first be to some degree described as a "self-centred magician" but this is not true throughout the play. As the evidence shows, he is only possessing of the worst traits when there is reason to be: being dumped on an island, the plots to overthrow him, Caliban's attempted rape and so on. It shows how bighearted he is that even after all that he is willing to forgive, even though many wouldn't be if in his shoes. Also at the time when his "enemy" Alonso was about to be assassinated by his own brother Prospero intervened, showing that he knows right form wrong. In the end Prospero is just a man with a passion for his books which led him to his misfortune but he manages to acquit himself by forgiving others and appealing to the audience in his final speech. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Tempest section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Tempest essays

  1. Free essay

    At the Opening of Act V of `The Tempest` Prospero decides to set aside ...

    The solemn music that Prospero requests generates a climatic atmosphere and an enchanting sense of magic which intensifies the turning point in Prospero's life. The second time there is music in the play, is when Ariel sings his joyful song of freedom while attiring Prospero.

  2. Character study of Prospero

    I think overall "The man" side to Prospero's character is his weakest aspect. The final aspect of Prospero's is the aspect of "master of slaves." In this aspect we learn about Prospero's relationship with both Ariel and Caliban. There are many positive and negative aspects to his relationship with each character.

  1. Discuss the character of Caliban and his relationship with Prospero

    Caliban reminds Prospero that "when thou cam'st first, thou strok'st me and made much of me". Prospero did this and in return Caliban showed Prospero "all the qualities o'th'isle". Prospero then took advantage of Caliban's good nature and eventually treated him as a slave.

  2. Why is Caliban such an interesting an important character in 'The Tempest' and how ...

    When Antonio is plotting, he already has a lot to lose, so needs to be wily and careful. This plot could be used as evidence that Caliban is not able to be nurtured and is ruled by his nature because even though Prospero has looked after him (even after he mis-treated his daughter)

  1. Presentation of Prospero in the Tempest

    do All points of my command" At first glance we see the haughty side of Prospero, who is angered by Ariel's request for release, reminding Ariel that he is indebted to him. "Does thou forget From what a torment I did release thee?"

  2. the tempest stage

    The two incidents that occur in the first act distinguish Prospero as a proud holder of his powerful position. At the beginning of Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production of The Tempest, the audience sees Prospero as a devious yet strapping man who uses his magical powers to entrap his enemies as prisoners on a remote island.

  1. European sense of superiority goes along with the ill attitude of the colonizer Prospero ...

    (Act I, ii, 371-74). Even to the Aerial he intimidates: If thou more murmur?st will end anoak And peg thee in his knotty entrails till Thou has howled away twelve winter. (Act I, ii, 299-99) He has that terror clasp with his magic and he has unjustly used over the

  2. The Tempest raises questions that were just beginning to be asked in Shakespeare's day ...

    One of the most original transformations of The Tempest ever filmed mocks the tempest and the audience's belief in it, thanks to Shakespeare's creative techniques. In Prospero's Books (1991) by Peter Greenaway, a toy-boat is used to represent the ship of the royal court.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work