Prospero as a Magnanimous Ruler or an Oppressive Coloniser
At first glance Prospero seems like a well intentioned magician, a
serene old man who only wanted to restore harmony and achieve
reconciliation. But when you look closer into his character you see
something else there, a character who is harsh and impatient,
demanding and ambiguous, power hungry and deeply troubled. However,
there is also a noble, kind and divine side to him.
Ariel knows Prospero well and is one of the main characters and so has
an advantage over the other characters about what he knows.
Ariel calls prospero:
"â€¦..My noble master"
However, Ariel has good reason to call him this. Prospero treats Ariel
very well compared to Caliban often calling him names like "bird,
"chick" and"...mine free spirit"â€¦.Ariel is under Prospero's control
because he set him free from a tree which Sycorax imprisoned him for
12 years because he did not obey her commands. Although prospero is a
much better master than Sycorax The fact still remains that he is
still master and through out the play Ariel longs for "my liberty" but
when he asks for it back Prospero becomes angry and threatens him with
twelve more years. He has been extremely unjust and unfair against
Ariel's wishes and has not realized this. However, Prospero might feel
that he has good reason for keeping Aerial in his service, not to
mention that because he freed him Ariel owes him a favour. It might be
that prospero is keeping Ariel because he NEEDS him to carry out his
plans, just like the English settlers needed the African slaves to
survive. But one cannot make this entire comparison because Ariel is
treated far better than the Africans. Prospero also calls Ariel "Moody
" or "Malignant thing" a noble master would not say this but would
give him encouragement with kinder words. Maybe prospero says this
because he feels that if he treats Ariel too well then he will take
advantage of him. It could be that Ariel is actually very intelligent
and knows that even though he longs to be free there is not much he
can do about it. So wisely he makes the most of a bad situation by
serving Prospero well and even seems to take pleasure in his work,
knowing that if he does he will be rewarded with his freedom, there is
also evidence that would suggest that there is deep affection between
Ariel and Prospero. However can we trust Ariel about what she says
after all she is just an air spirit and does not have a brain and
might not be able to think like humans.
"â€¦mine would sir were I humanâ€¦"
But Ariel does show some humane qualities like when she convinces
prospero to forgive his enemies instead of taking revenge.
"â€¦your charm so strongly works em that if you now beheld them, your
affections would become tenderâ€¦"
This shows that she can think...