Prospero as a Magnanimous Ruler or an Oppressive Coloniser Essay

Prospero as a Magnanimous Ruler or an Oppressive Coloniser Essay

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Prospero as a Magnanimous Ruler or an Oppressive Coloniser


At first glance Prospero seems like a well intentioned magician, a
serene old man who only wanted to restore harmony and achieve
reconciliation. But when you look closer into his character you see
something else there, a character who is harsh and impatient,
demanding and ambiguous, power hungry and deeply troubled. However,
there is also a noble, kind and divine side to him.

Ariel knows Prospero well and is one of the main characters and so has
an advantage over the other characters about what he knows.

Ariel calls prospero:

"…..My noble master"

However, Ariel has good reason to call him this. Prospero treats Ariel
very well compared to Caliban often calling him names like "bird,
"chick" and"...mine free spirit"….Ariel is under Prospero's control
because he set him free from a tree which Sycorax imprisoned him for
12 years because he did not obey her commands. Although prospero is a
much better master than Sycorax The fact still remains that he is
still master and through out the play Ariel longs for "my liberty" but
when he asks for it back Prospero becomes angry and threatens him with
twelve more years. He has been extremely unjust and unfair against
Ariel's wishes and has not realized this. However, Prospero might feel
that he has good reason for keeping Aerial in his service, not to
mention that because he freed him Ariel owes him a favour. It might be
that prospero is keeping Ariel because he NEEDS him to carry out his
plans, just like the English settlers needed the African slaves to
survive. But one cannot make this entire comparison because Ariel is ...


... middle of paper ...


...adistic oppressive
colonizer....?

While prospero was in Milan he was the divine ruler, his people loved
him and this was all done without the aid of magic to control people.
However, when prospero arrives on the island he tries to take it by
force off the original inhabitants and from Caliban, who is the ruler
by right. The way in which he beats Caliban is cruel and the fact that
he keeps everyone under control by force is an act of an oppressive
coloniser. This is nothing short of what the European colonisers did
to the native Americans.

While Prospero is in Milan he has the divine right to govern and is a
magnanimous ruler, but while on the island he thinks he is doing what
is best, not what is right, and so has become in effect an oppressive
ruler and coloniser who keeps people under his control force fully.

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