Power And Power In The Tempest

1983 Words8 Pages
Tugba Dilara Erarslan
Final Project
The Measure of a Man is what he does with power
William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Measure for Measure are very similar in that they both raise controversial questions, mostly focusing on the theme of power. Shakespeare displays many forms of power in different ways through Prospero in The Tempest and through the Duke in Measure for Measure. These forms of power include the power of love, the desire for power amongst men, the power of an authority over his subjects, and the power of magic(Prospero) and of manipulation(the Duke). The purpose of this paper is to address the problematic relationship between power and the intention of
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The play begins with a ‘tempest’ which is a symbol of Prospero’s magic; even the title of the play stands for Prospero’s power which will determine the fate of the play. This important symbol ‘tempest’ that begins the play and which is stormed by Prospero in order to bring his enemies to his feet, appears as his deep-rooted desire to cause them as much suffering as he himself has endured. The tempest is a manifestation of the evil side of power. He starts it with the intention of inflicting the same injury on the others and avenge his long- lost kingdom. In addition to him having lost his kingdom, two important characters appear that will give a deeper insight into Prospero’s character: Arial and Caliban. Prospero asserts his own superiority or knowledge of civilization by using his magic powers and Ariel to reach his desired goals and by constantly brutalizing Caliban to weaken his claims that the island actually belongs to him. His tyrannical state is revealed when he uses verbal abuse against Caliban and threatens to imprison Ariel lest he dare disobey his commands. His tyrannical or rather, say, revengeful nature becomes more pronounced in act III, scene III when the spirits appear inviting the king and the other men to a banquet of food they’ve brought. Prospero enters at this moment, having made himself magically invisible to everyone but the audience. Just as they are about to eat, Ariel appears in the form of a harpy, who then calls himself the instrument of Fate and reprimands the men for driving Prospero and his little daughter out of Milan. He also says that the spiritual forces have not forgotten this but just delayed it: “for which foul deed, the powers delaying, not forgetting have incensed the seas and shores” ( III.iii.72-74). This part may be the most significant part of this play in terms of revealing much about Prospero’s use of Ariel. Ariel’s main desire is to get his freedom from Prospero. Thus, he forces himself to obey Prospero’s

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