The Tempest Essay

1307 words - 6 pages

William Shakespeare uses the events of the plot to present a theme of how a lust for power can drive actions. The specific settings of scenes help clarify the desires for power in the characters and how they plan to achieve them. The Tempest provides insight, through Prospero, into the question of how our decisions reveal our character. The Tempest is filled with examples of strong manipulation and how much is too much. The title of this play used both literally and metaphorically explains the overall action of the plot.
Lust for power is the driving force throughout this play; it makes up almost all of the plots and subplots. Prospero’s actions are all driven by his desire to regain his ...view middle of the document...

Antonio’s and Sebastian’s description of the island in contrast to that of Gonzalo’s shows how they are unhappy and always wants more. This leads into their plotting to take Alonso’s life and with it the throne. They are unsatisfied with the island even though it could be a lot worse in the same way that they are unsatisfied with their own political titles even though they are in a good situation. The stormy setting that forces Caliban, Trinculo, and Stephano together symbolizes their clouded minds due to the alcohol they have consume as they make their plan to kill Prospero. The storm can also symbolize the trifecta of power with Stephano being the most powerful lighting element that could do damage as a ruler but rarely does. Trinculo represents the thunder that is under the lighting and can threaten but really poses no threat. The rain is Caliban who does all the work. The different settings Shakespeare uses serve to clarify and solidify the ideas of the characters.
Shakespeare uses the character Prospero to reveal how our decisions show our character. Prospero’s choice to enslave and use Caliban and Ariel to do his own biddings rather than set them free reveal the cruel and evil nature of his character. His patience is shown as he waited twelve years for the perfect opportunity to enact his revenge. The forceful use of Caliban shows his show his resourcefulness in a cruel way because he saw Caliban as something useful and exploited him. The power of Prospero is shown through affect on Caliban when he talks about why he cannot be free “I must obey: his art is of such power, It would control my dam's god, Setebos, and make a vassal of him”. Prospero’s egotistical nature is shown in his speech to Miranda about how he was wronged when his dukedom was taken away from him and how all he ever did was love his brother and do well for the kingdom. The outbursts at Ariel and Caliban and his threats to imprison them again show his temper. His decision to marry his daughter away to first man she see because it helps him secure his return as duke reveals how he does not care about the desires of others but only those of himself. The thought out plan for everyone on the island shows the thoroughness of Prospero. The actions of Prospero throughout the play reveal his character.
The Tempest is teeming with examples of manipulation for gain. Prospero has mastered the art of manipulation and uses it freely to get what he wants. Shakespeare uses manipulation to point where it becomes over used and in some ways invalidates the justice that Prospero is seeking on those that betrayed him. Every aspect of the plot is controlled...

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