Theme Of Power In The Tempest

analytical Essay
753 words
753 words

The Tempest was written in 1611 as Shakespeare’s last romantic comedy. This play is focused mainly on the theme of power. Shakespeare portrays an aging magician who has been living in exile with his young daughter on a remote island for the past 12 years. Shakespeare presents forms of power in different ways, but mainly through the characters of Prospero. In The Tempest Shakespeare shows 3 different types of power, which are through love, power over his slave Caliban, and power of magic. Prospero uses the power of love to influence his daughter Miranda. Prospero knows that Miranda is devoted to him so he uses guilt to maintain her devotion. Miranda tells her father “Alack, what trouble/Was I then to you!” (I.2.153.154) her saying that to him shows that because of Prospero making her feel guilty, she is willing to do anything just for him. “Had I been any god of power, I would/Have sunk the sea within the earth…” (I.2.10.11). This quote indicates that she understood the extent of her father’s power and she had possessed the same amount of power, she would use it differently with Prospero. His power over Miranda is one that is continuously in this play. Prospero does say “I have done nothing, but in care of thee, /of thee, my dearest one…”(I.2.16.17) when he says that he makes it known that he does love his daughter and only trying to protect. Prospero’s trust is broken with Caliban because he tried to rape Miranda. There is no evidence of rape, however Miranda was the only female on the island practically supports the idea. Caliban being a natural creature he would not know the different in societies rule against sexual engagement. Prospero learns from his second betrayal, apparently tyrannical state is revealed in verbal abuse ... ... middle of paper ... ... teaching him. However later realize his intentions are good and that he did want Caliban to be taught. Having said the power of his love over his daughter helps him develop as a better father and allow his daughter freedom in marriage that she deserves. Ending of Prospero retiring from his magical powers represents his development in becoming the ideal ruler. In order for him to do this, he must give up his rights to magic and allow his power to come the loyalty of his people. The power over Caliban teaches him to be less self-indulgent and him not wanting to help Caliban after his actions says that he is not completely vain. When Prospero drops his stick that is like Shakespeare dropping his pen when he was done with this play. He knew that The Tempest would be his last one before he retired and Prospero knew he was done being controlling and forgave his enemies.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how prospero's trust is broken with caliban because he tried to rape miranda. he learns from his second betrayal and his threat to imprison ariel.
  • Analyzes how prospero uses magic to punish others for reconciling and to take control of situations that are slowly developing chaos. the tempest symbolizes the suffering he endured and wants to inflict on others.
  • Analyzes how the theme of power represents prospero in the tempest. the power of love between miranda and her father is controlling, but understandable by his paternal instinct to protect her.
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