How is fate used by Shakespeare, in the Tempest, to change and control
the range of characters, using Prospero’s power and his magic?
In Literature, Destiny or Fate is a source of irony in literature;
where the characters may act without realising the destiny that the
audience or reader is aware of. This is very much true to that of the
plot in the Tempest. Shakespeare has used Prospero’s craft of magic,
his great source of power, to influence and change the fates of other
characters in the play; for personal gain or for the good of others.
His personal gain is seen by his plan to use his power and magic for
his vengeance against his brother Antonio, whom usurped his throne.
For non-selfish reasons, he uses his power and magic to unite and
create love between Miranda and Ferdinand throughout the play.
Throughout the play, neither of the characters are fully aware of
Prospero’s tempting with their fates, but only the audience are
completely aware of it.
The Tempest with which the play opens is the result of Prospero’s
control of the elements, where Prospero creates a storm at sea.
Alonso, the king of Naples, is sailing home after the marriage of his
daughter, Claribel, to the King of Tunis. During the voyage the
weather suddenly deteriorates, and Alonso’s ship is separated from the
rest of the fleet and driven towards an island. Miranda has seen this
shipwreck and asks her father, Prospero, to help the victims,
especially as he is the one responsible for carrying out the storm.
Prospero has done everything to make sure that no harm comes to anyone
and that he has used his magical powers entirely f...
... middle of paper ...
...to give power to prospero to carry his
plan on the couple. Miranda and Ferdinand take Prospero’s criticisms
at face value:
‘Speak not you for him: he’s a traitor. Come;
I’ll manacle thy neck and feet together:
Sea-Water shalt thou drink; thy food shall be
The fresh-brook mussels, wither’d roots, and husks
Wherein the acorn cradled.
However, the audience realises that Prospero has arranged the meeting
between Ferdinand and his daughter in the hope that they will fall in
love and thus heal the breach between Naples and Milan. The punishment
is created so that Ferdinand will not feel that Miranda is won too
easily. Shakespeare gave power to Prospero to accomplish this, and
this is an example of him using the magic and power for non-personal
gain, but that of the love for his daughter and her happiness.
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