Prospero, the protagonist of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, remains the same cruel and merciless man throughout the entirety of the play. However, Shakespeare distorts reality therefore causing the reader to gradually sympathize with Prospero as the play progresses. Prospero begins the play as the perpetrator of the storm that causes the passengers of the ship to be scattered across the island. In addition, Prospero acts as the cruel master of Caliban. As the novel progresses, however, more is learned about Prospero. Prospero’s cruel actions develop to the point where they are perceived to be warranted and justified despite the unreasonable actions that he may use to achieve his goal.
The Tempest opens with Prospero unleashing a storm on a boat carrying the King of Naples, Prospero’s brother, as well as other royalty. Although this storm initially appears to be brutal, Ariel, Prospero’s loyal spirit, tells of how this storm merely “dispersed them ‘bout the isle” (1.2.209). Despite avoiding any physical harm to the ship’s passengers, Alonso, the king is incredibly distraught regarding the loss of his son, Ferdinand. As a result, Alonso and his company are in a constant state of disarray, likely to the satisfaction of Prospero. Regardless of the fact that this storm was not intended to directly cause harm, Prospero, at this point of the play, appears to be acting solely out of revenge. He tells his daughter, Miranda, that his brother, Antonio, usurped him as the Duke of Milan. This is the first moment that the reader sympathizes with the actions of Prospero. Regardless of being unrelenting and cruel towards the passengers of the ship, Prospero’s actions are perceived to be justified, therefore negating the fact that he is causing harm.
Adding to the perception that...