Prospero, the former Duke of Milan and protagonist of The Tempest by William Shakespeare, is the incarnation of values and talents of a Renaissance man. A Renaissance man is someone who is not only broad and deep in knowledge, but also applies that knowledge to his profession. Prospero embodies these values because he dedicates his life to learning magic and developing powers that he uses in the play, not only to get his work done, but also to gain control of spirits on the island and of his circumstances. Since Prospero possesses these talents and traits, the reader can infer that he is a Renaissance man. He shows these endowments in his quest for knowledge, his ability to ensure his survival—not only in Italy, but also on the island—and his proficiency at controlling people and situations with his verbal and physical skills. The portrayal of this character as a Renaissance man creates a strong association between the reader and the play because it allows the reader to connect to Prospero and understand his decisions and actions. [This is vague—see if you can get more specific. HOW does Prospero’s status as a renaissance man make him easier to connect with?]
Prospero is characterized as a Renaissance man by his eternal quest for knowledge and power. He demonstrates that quest in his desire to learn more while he was a duke, his ability to teach himself magic, and his mastery of magic in an attempt to gain control of his dukedom once again. He teaches himself magic through books; they seem to be amongst his most treasured possessions, so much that when Antonio usurps his throne and Prospero needs to flee, Gon...
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...ding of the play because it shows readers that they can also overcome their obstacles by using their wits to overcome difficult situations just like Prospero.
A Renaissance man is intelligent, artistic, social, and overall comfortable in his own skin. Shakespeare presents these traits within the protagonist, Prospero, to strengthen the reading of the play. His near-infinite amount of knowledge, survivability, and manipulation of people and situations not only helps him achieve his goals, but also helps the reader connect to him. The characteristics of a Renaissance man contribute greatly to The Tempest and place a greater significance on the decisions that Prospero makes through the entirety of the play. The interpretation of Prospero being a Renaissance man strengthens the reading of the play as it allows the reader to empathize with the characters and the events.
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