Exploring the Themes of Forgiveness and Reconciliation in The Tempest by William Shakespeare

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Exploring the Themes of Forgiveness and Reconciliation in The Tempest by William Shakespeare Prospero is a character that seems to stand at the very centre of The Tempest. Throughout the play, he prompts most of the action, and he has the last word. The entire plot of the play is a scheme designed by Prospero to bring his rivals to a state of regret so that he can pardon them and restore the rightful order of things to his dukedom of Milan. As Prospero is seen as being all-powerful over the island, he could easily destroy or punish his enemies by any method or means. However, he chooses not to and brings the past conspirators face-to- face with the sins of their past, which causes them to be repentant. In a god-like way, Prospero…show more content…
Instead, he uses his power to gather his enemies so that he can bring them to repentance and subsequently forgive them in order for everyone to be reconciled. Throughout the play, Prospero?s god-like representation is shown by his judging, punishing, and forgiving. With the help of Ariel, Prospero also appears to be all-knowing too. It can be argued that he is an Old Testament God, where he turns to vengeful fury when he is crossed, and the question throughout is Prospero will overcome his anger and forgive his enemies. Christians are expected to forgive and revenge is not a Christian attribute. As Prospero observes, forgiveness is a nobler action than vengeance. However, it may be argued that Prospero?s actions were quite harsh. For instance, it may be said that the sufferings of Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo are comic. However, there seems to be something cruel in the way Prospero deals with his old enemy Alonso, letting him think until the last minute that his beloved son Ferdinand is dead. (Bringing Ferdinand back from the dead, so to speak, is God-like too.) Also, throughout the play Prospero?s anger is shown, for example, late in the fourth act, Prospero interrupts the spirits' pleasant masque when he's suddenly overcome with rage at the thought of Caliban's plot against him. Then, early in Act V, he admits to Ariel that he can only forgive his enemies by letting his "nobler reason" overcome his ?fury." This fury, more than any other

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