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The role of Antonio in Shakespeare's Tempest
[Note: In this written work Antonio thinks of himself as an innocent person and believes that the world is doing wrong to him .He also believes that his rights have been snatched from him and no one in this world is more miserable and sympathy deserving than him.]
Life is so miserable. Here I sit in a corner of this darkened room all alone thinking about my past and trying to figure out what to do with my futile life .The night is dark and long just like the rest of my life. But it is not too late, as long as I am living I will struggle to get what I deserve. Life has become very upsetting lately and I miss the times when I was the highest authority and the sole Duke on Milan. Now things have changed and I sit here in my room helpless, with nothing in my hand, no charge or position in Milan. What a glory I have experienced, guards on my security at all times, wo castles with several maids at my service, I worked with people I liked and got rid of the useless ones. I was the master and everyone else a slave, my orders were fulfilled in no time and I lived a happy life. If only I had planned more carefully and kept track of my men putting my brother to eternal sleep I would have been living a pleasant life of a duke; I would never have been hopeless to Prospero's powers.
Ugh... I hear Prospero's insulting words in my ears. How could I have possibly heard those insulting words from him at the island when he snatched my dukedom from me? At that time my life was in his hands. Looking at him now sitting at the place where I have ruled for 12 years is an unbearable sight to me. What is my future? ...A slave for Prospero? No! I will not let this happen. Prospero is taking revenge from me, he treats me like I am nothing .He doesn't miss any chance of teasing me. He did the worst to me today.
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And I didn't do anything wrong, all I did was take the place where I was supposed to be. I wanted the dukedom that was mine, I was ruling over Milan all alone and Prospero was gaining all the reputation and money and any sensible man like me would not have tolerated it. So I decided to get rid of him which had been my desire since childhood. From the very beginning I had been discriminated. Everyone liked Prospero as a kid for he was more into studies than I was. He was the one whose suggestions were considered by our father as he was the older son and the duke-to-be and this hurt me a lot. I had always loved Miranda's mother, Surrinda and did everything to get to her but Prospero proposed her first and she became his life partner. I have cried on this loss for ages. Thus, thinking of how to take the dukedom from Prospero I met the King of Naples (Alonso) and told him how I was taking care of Milan and all the credit and benefits were going to Prospero. I made a deal with him that if Alonso would help me drive my brother out of office, then I would see that Milan paid him a yearly sum of money. This I knew would result in making Milan, which had been a sovereign power, subservient to Naples but it was not more important than ruling Milan all alone and putting Prospero down.. After making this deal I talked to the people and told them what was going on, they were all happy with me and there upon I usurped Prospero and with the help of our armies Prospero and Miranda were carried off. They were left in a boat in the middle of the sea one night, but some of my unfaithful ministers helped him and he survived. I will now take good care of those ministers and Gonzalo, they will have to pay the price for cheating me.
Someone is playing a familiar tune on tabor and pipe outside my window .Oh! It reminds me of the charms of the mystic tunes I heard at the island. I remember everything was going so smooth after I became the duke .I thought I had conquered the world and taken my revenge from Prospero for treating me as a low person all my life. I know everything was perfectly all right till fate started playing its role and Claribel's marriage took place in Tunis and we decided to go there together. I had no danger from any side. I was content and didn't know that Prospero was still alive. No one knew he has been living on an island and making plans of how to take his dukedom back. He with the help of his spiritual powers caused the storm that scared all of us to death and then brought us to the shore of the island where he lived. I was shocked to see him alive where he insulted my fellows and me and demanded his dukedom back. At that time I was left with no choice; I had to do as he said and I gave him back his charge of Duke of Milan. After that we all came back to Milan with Prospero ruling over us. I had thought people will never accept him but this didn't happen, people took him with open arms and were glad to see them alive .Everyone took part in Miranda's wedding whole-heartedly.
Only after one year Alonso left this world. He was miserable. I am sure it was Prospero's revenge to him with the help of his spirits that poor Alonso died of bubonic plaque. And it struck to me that it was my turn next and Prospero will not let me live. I talked to Ferdinand and tried to persuade him to help me fight Prospero but he was blinded by Miranda's love, which is why he refused to take my side. Ferdinand probably told Prospero about my demand of justice and fighting against him as I am the rightful duke of Milan. The result to this wasn't good either. In the next few days I was moved further away from the politics of Milan and was ordered to leave the castle, all I could do was clench my fists.
I can't see myself dying hopeless and powerless. I have belief in myself and I can get anything I want and If I don't take any step right now I am afraid Prospero will eventually disinherit me of all that I am left with. My friend Sebastian doesn't trust me anymore and that too is because of Prospero. He played a game with us and gave Sebastian a higher rank within the politics of Milan and he being so close to Prospero doesn't like me anymore. Sebastian is selfish for he forgot the help I offered him when we were on the island. I made him such a good plan of killing Alonso and ruling over Naples. So what if the plan didn't work, we could have thought of something else but Sebastain shouldn't have isolated me like this. Ah! But the point is why would he return to me when he is enjoying the royalty with Prospero. I have two options infront of me, one is to drink this poison bottle in my hand and the other one is to pick up my sword and put Prospero to death with my own hands. Both these options lead me to death. And if death is my destiny then why not die with pride and see the person who has made me go through all this pain DEAD. O Yes! I am sure I can do it.