The Themes of Power and Ownership in the Tempest Essay

The Themes of Power and Ownership in the Tempest Essay

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The Themes of Power and Ownership in the Tempest

Ownership is a dominant and ever present theme in the Tempest; almost
every character in the play is involved with the theme of ownership in
the play. They are either the more dominant, or the one who is
dominated in the relationship. Ownership is present right from the
beginning of the play, as we see that Prospero creates a storm to
shipwreck Gonzalo and his men, this immediately shows us that Prospero
is a powerful character in the play, later when he is talking to
Miranda we find out what makes her father the Powerful man that he is.
Although the characters have become dislocated on the island there is
still a sense of dynastic power. There are no laws on the island, and
there is no government but the characters themselves create a level of
communal normality. The different sets of characters’ relationships
with each other play a significant part in the theme of ownership;
there are the characters that were shipwrecked such as, Sebastian,
Antonio, and Gonzalo. The characters that have been marooned on the
island for many years (Prospero and Miranda), and the characters that
have been on the island long before Prospero and Miranda were isolated
there like Ariel and Caliban. These set of characters hold onto their
alliances with the people they know best. It is soon apparent when
looking at the text which are the dominant, and powerful characters
and who are the weaker characters.

Act 1 scene 2 Prospero and Miranda

Shakespeare soon makes it clear to the audience that Prospero is the
most dominant character in the relationship between the magician and
Miranda. It is evident tha...

... middle of paper ...

...ty where this
can be reflected there is still a class system where this is enforced.

The characters are not disturbed in the slightest by what has happened
to them in the previous few hours, or what may happen to them in the
next few. Shakespeare shows us that, because of their arrogance they
believe they are still of the same significance on the island as back
on the main land of Europe. They may never see Italy again but this
does not cross the minds of the majority of islanders, and this is why
Prospero is able to use power and ownership with such a significant
effect in the Tempest, because he, as master and creator is able to
focus on manipulating the other characters to provide him with what he
wants. All the magicians’ requirements are met by the other characters
even though they are unaware of them doing so.

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