How Does Shakespeare Present Virtue In The Tempest

Decent Essays
William Shakespeare once said, “The rarer action is in virtue rather than in vengeance.” In his final play, The Tempest, Shakespeare expressed both virtue and vengeance. Virtue is the ability to forgive, and vengeance is punishing a person who has wronged another. After reading The Tempest, Shakespeare helped me realize virtue is more valuable than vengeance. Wronging someone elicits a fury of anger from within. If the person has the ability to forgive, they may be able to remove that weight of anger from their shoulders. If they seek revenge, they will never receive true victory or closure; Punishing the wrongdoer until the end of time would still never be quite enough. Shakespeare conveys these traits of virtue and vengeance when Prospero overcomes his human instinct to avenge himself and daughter. In The Tempest Prospero’s brother, Antonio, and two close allies, Sebastian and Alonso, betrayed him by taking his dukedom and leaving him and his three-year old daughter, Miranda, to die at sea. Once the three traitors reunited with Prospero, Prospero attempted to undertake revenge against them. After all of his efforts to avenge himself and his daughter for these actions, Prospero instead chooses to forgive Antonio, Alonso, and Sebastian.…show more content…
Prospero’s first reaction was to pursue vengeance on Antonio, Sebastian, and Alonso; accordingly,portraying the initial instinct of people to seek revenge. After a period of time, whether it be days or years, a person will realize that inflicting revenge will never make them feel justified; similarly to how Prospero reached this conclusion. Marianne Williamson demonstrates this development when she said, “Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without
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