The Tempest By William Shakespeare Essay

970 Words Jun 9th, 2015 4 Pages
The definition of moral character rests on an individual’s sense of morality: the principles of right and wrong behavior, and the goodness or badness of human character. Political authority is reflected in individuals who are able to attain their power in a fair and reasonable way, and use this power in order to rule for what they believe is right for the general good. Therefore, one cannot be seen as a legitimate political authority without displaying a highly moral character. In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the plot follows Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, cast away to a remote island by his usurping brother Antonio. Prospero makes a life for himself and his daughter on the island using his magical powers, as well as his spirit servant Ariel, and the enslaved Caliban. The element of sorcery brings Prospero’s moral and political character into question. The Tempest opens with a storm created by Prospero, seeking revenge on his brothers by trapping them on the island. The use of magic by Prospero in order to achieve his goals of power and revenge can be seen as a separation from the natural world. While Prospero does indeed gain his authority back as the rightful Duke of Milan, he still cannot be seen as either a moral or political figure, as he rises to power using actions against those around him which are driven by his magical powers. This use of sorcery is a manipulation of the natural world and therefore reflects on Prospero’s inability to display morality and rule as…

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