John Locke 's Second Treatise Of Government And William Shakespeare 's Play The Tempest

866 Words Nov 9th, 2016 4 Pages
After reading John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government and William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, readers witness two vastly different forms of governing. One of The Tempest’s main characters, Prospero, perceives himself as the only one fit to be the sole bearer of power. This form of thinking may be due to his upbringing where he originally had a copious amount of control. Locke on the other hand, trusts people’s rights to be held in the hands of the people. There are a few examples in Locke’s book where he expresses that a monarchy is not a completely irrational way of governing. When Locke wrote, “Hence it is evident, that absolute monarchy, which by some men is counted the only government in the world, is indeed inconsistent with civil society, and so can be no form of civil-government at all…” (48) He did not imagine democracies to be the only acceptable method of government. In fact, he thought a monarchy could also be beneficial as long as its power is not absolute. Locke would be very disappointed in Prospero’s form of governing. In many cases throughout The Tempest, readers witness Prospero containing the absolute power John Locke warned us about.
In William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, Prospero is the overthrown Duke of Milan. He and his daughter Miranda have been living in exile on a secluded island for about twelve years. He is a very powerful magician, the master of both Ariel and Caliban, and his true passion is his books. Knowledge is power…
During the…

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