The Tempest Power Essay

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The Tempest, often regarded as Shakespeare’s last play, displaces the theme of possession of control and command over other, commonly known as power. Ariel, Caliban and the courtiers from Milan, all demonstrate different levels of control. Prospero, the protagonist of the play, especially displays his ability to cast influence and affect others psychologically. The characters, their relationships and their use of power can be compared to the English government and society of the 17th Century. The play tells a story of Prospero, the Duke of Milan, was overthrown in a power struggle with his brother Antonio and then set adrift upon a raft bound to sink. After surviving the hardship and landing on a deserted island accompanied only by his…show more content…
Prospero runs everything that happens so he can be considered the 'king ' of the island. He is in complete control of what occurs on the island because of his supernatural powers. He has the "airy spirit" of Ariel to work for him and carry out his orders, who shows no animosity towards Prospero 's ruling. However, Ariel’s obedience doesn’t come without a price. Despite the strict social hierarchy, the nobles who dislike the king can still rebel with the lower class and topple the king. The reason for Ariel’s unwavering loyalty is that Prospero has control over him both physically and mentally. Ariel once askes Prospero to set him free: “I prithee, Remember I have done thee worthy service, Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, served Without or grudge or grumbling. Thou did promise To bate me a full year (Act 1 Sc. 2, 294-298).” Prospero responds harshly: “Dost thou forge From what torment I did free thee?,” reminding Ariel who was extricated from the witch Sycorax to be grateful. He further pressures Ariel with a series of questionings, shaming Ariel’s the lack of gratitude and threatening to tie him back to the tree (Act 1 Sc.2, 315-320). Horrified by the thought of experiencing the same torture, Ariel feels obliged to pay back Prospero’s graciousness, forgetting the fact that he has already served faithfully for one year and now
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