The Tempest Theme Analysis

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The Tempest by William Shakespeare reveals a number of significant themes such as religion, revenge, discrimination, punishments, and many more. The three themes that represent this play the best are the use of magic, rebellion against authority, and the relationship between slaves and freedom. The Tempest takes place on a mythical island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. It is also where the first sign of magic appeared and used. Prospero, the protagonist has come up with a plan to avenge what his brother, Antonio has stole, the title of Duke of Milan. Therefore, Prospero create the storm to make Antonio’s ship sink by using magic. For instance, Miranda, Prospero’s daughter says to her father, “If by your art, my dearest father, you…show more content…
One stroke Shall free thee from the tribute which thou payest. As I the king shall love thee (The Tempest 2.1.334-336). Antonio replies, “Draw Together” (The Tempest 2.1.337). This shows how power can turn one to greed. Sebastian and Antonio are eager to kill their own brothers to become the most powerful in their city. In addition to power and greed, the relationship between slave and freedom also plays a big role. Ariel aids Prospero for all the spiritual work. In the play, Ariel is portrayed like a spy for Prospero and has to report everything back to him. In return, Prospero will grant Ariel’s freedom. However, Prospero was furious when Ariel reminded him of their promise. Prospero threatens Ariel by saying, If thou more murmur’st, I will rend an oak And peg thee in his knotty entrails till Thou hast howled away twelve winters (The Tempest…show more content…
Otherwise, Prospero can effortlessly break his promise and threatens him spiritually. Similarly, Caliban aids Prospero with all the physical work such as carrying the wood back to Prospero’s shelter. If Caliban does not do what Prospero tells him to do, he’ll get punished physically. For instance, Caliban refuses to bring Prospero more woods because he insist, “there’s wood enough within” (The Tempest 1.2.377). But Prospero threatens Caliban saying, “For this, be sure, tonight thou shalt have cramps, / Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up” (The Tempest 1.2.389-390). Clearly, this reveals the relationship between slaves and their freedom. If they don’t do what Prospero expects, they will never gain their freedom. Overall, power and control are the themes that continuously reoccur throughout the play. Many of these characters have been blinded by power and greed. They will do whatever it takes in order to get revenge or to inherit a throne. Furthermore, Prospero kept his promise to Ariel and setting him free at the end of the play. Although Caliban was never guaranteed freedom throughout the play, but in the end, Prospero gave back Caliban his island as he returns to
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