Is Prospero a power obsessed tyrant or an egalitarian?

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Is Prospero a power obsessed tyrant or an egalitarian?

The play 'The Tempest' portrays one mans fight to bring justice to those who have betrayed him in life. This character, Prospero, once the rightful duke of Milan, was overthrown by his brother, Antonio, and is now hell bent on seeking revenge.

Throughout the play, there are elements of tyranny, egalitarianism and autocracy. Although these three elements are present, it is my opinion that Prospero is overall an autocrat. I will now explore the character of Prospero and show why I believe this.

Prospero and his daughter Miranda where set adrift into the Mediterranean Sea after he was overthrown. Once Prospero arrived on the island, he immediately imprisoned two people, Ariel, an airy spirit, and Caliban, a monstrous creature. Ariel her self had already been imprisoned by Sycorax, an evil witch, when Prospero reached the island. When he found her, Prospero freed her but in return made her his magical slave. Although Prospero has imprisoned Ariel he is not tyrannical in his nature. He has not used force or death to manipulate her and cannot therefore be branded a tyrant. Prospero also says 'I will discharge thee', when his work has finished. If he is willing to free Ariel after her purpose is served then he is not being tyrannical in imprisoning her as a tyrant would not free one of his captives. He cannot be an egalitarian either. By imprisoning Ariel Prospero is neither fair nor equal in what he is doing. He can therefore not be an egalitarian as someone who is, believes in equality and equal rights.
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Prospero's imprisonment of Caliban is also similar. Although his reason for imprisonment is much different, he does not use physical force or aggression to keep Caliban under his control. Prospero imprisons Caliban as he thinks Caliban attempted to rape his daughter, Miranda. Caliban is also the son of a witch, Sycorax, and this may lead Prospero to believe that Caliban is evil. Where this reason is a good one for imprisoning Caliban, it does not justify the fact that he is not being fair imprisoning anybody at all. Caliban is also the rightful owner of the island as ...

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A good essay that demonstrates a good understanding of character. There needs to be further focus on language analysis, both through the use of more quotations from the text and by fully explaining how these quotes can be used to justify the interpretations that are being made. 4 Stars