Gift-giving is never free because it entails that the recipient return with acts of gratitude. The returning favor will apt to be reciprocated. I argue that Prospero’s gift of Miranda is not free evident through his motives and intentions manifested since the beginning and throughout the play. Miranda is a tagged gift because something is expected in return from the giving of that gift. Prospero’s plan drives him to create the storm, to manipulate the crew, and to lead Ferdinand to Miranda. Using the power he has ov...
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...teed. Until the occurrence of their marriage, all must complete the designated conditions. Therefore, salvation and gifts, like chastity, is neither pure nor free.
Following the idea that there is no such thing as a free gift or pure salvation, I observe that the relationship among the characters are contingent and reciprocal. A few examples are: the spirits depend on each other throughout the masque, Prospero depends on Ariel for magical powers and in return Ariel depends on Prospero’s promise of freedom. However, in the Epiloque Prospero by forgiving everyone he is at the same time freeing them from the repeating patterns of repayment we have seen throughout the play. One might further consider whether the reciprocation may have taken form in another way and if salvation or gifts are ever free just as Prospero might have said, “Thou shalt be free” (I. 2. 499).
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