Explore How the Character of Prospero Develops in the Course of the Tempest. How Does the Prospero of Act One Scene Two Compare to That We Hear in the Final Scene of the Play? Compare Your Interpretation of the Play with That of Other Critics.

1736 Words May 2nd, 2008 7 Pages
Prospero is the most central character in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. The play revolves around his personal task to regain his dukedom, which his brother Antonio usurped from him. Throughout the play it is shown how Prospero develops and changes as a character and seems a different person to the character we first meet in Act One Scene Two. How Prospero’s character develops happens in a variety of ways, one of the most potent ways appearing to be the treatment of the other characters within the play. Prospero’s character is introduced into the play in Act One Scene Two, after the tempest has shipwrecked Antonio and Alonso’s ship. We firstly come to realise that Prospero and Miranda are looking down upon the tempest and so the …show more content…
It is easy to see this by the way that Prospero speaks to him using sub-human terms such as “Thou poisonous slave”(4) and him being called a “fish”(5).
Yet as Prospero’s character develops, he appears to become less vengeful. Caliban as a sub (or non) human has no rights at all. Furthermore, he was part of a murder plot to kill Prospero so it would not be unusual for the audience to expect Prospero to use his power to get rid of Caliban. Yet in the final act of the scene of the play, Caliban says:
“Ay, that I will; and I’ll be wise hereafter
And seek for grace.” (6)
Caliban here repents and agrees to seek grace and is simply allowed to go and live on the Island. This does not mirror the actions of Prospero at the beginning and throughout the play. He seems to play the role of the cruel sorcerer using his powers to gain control over people and scare them. Yet his action towards Caliban in Act Five seems unlike the character that he has been throughout the play.
How he treats Caliban does mirror how he is treats the rest of the characters in the final scene. He does not seem to punish any of the characters, even his brother Antonio. It appears to me that once he has completed the task he wanted to complete and so is able to become Duke of Milan once again he is a more compassionate person. He lets the other characters go free from their punishments. The only characters who seem to be punished are Trinculo and Stephano but they are