Use And Abuse Of Power In The Tempest

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The Use and Abuse of Power in Measure for Measure and The Tempest William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Measure for Measure are similar in that they both raise controversial questions 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 compassion, the desire for power amongst men, the power of an authority over his subjects, and the power of magic and of manipulation. The purpose of this paper is to address the problematic relationship between power and the intention of the major characters to teach others a bitter lesson, albeit with different tactics. These two plays highlight the self-serving nature of power and the human tendency to use it to one’s own advantage.…show more content…
Readers may feel as if they are on a pendulum between admiring the Duke’s actions and despising him for all the mess he creates. The Duke is one of the distinctive characters in this play because he appears almost in every scene, undetectably gets to the bottom of the secrets of others with the mere intention of having it all brought to order. Everything that happens in this play is an outcome of his own desires, his lies and twist of truth resulting in ordinary people being offered a false view of their world. A.P. Rossiter argues that what one makes of the ending… depends on what one makes of the Duke. Interestingly, however, he also says: “I do not quite know what to make of the Duke” (Rossiter 164). The dilemma seems to be based on the fact that the play itself offers us a choice between positive and negative attitudes towards the Duke and his use of
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