Essay on William Shakespeare 's The Tempest

1058 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 5 Pages
The Playwright: Prospero
The greatest playwright of English literature was William Shakespeare. His final play that he wrote alone was The Tempest, the story of how the former Duke of Milan, Prospero, returned to power after being exiled on an island for twelve years. While reading The Tempest, it is hard not to notice the ambivalence of the character of Prospero. Consequently, the character’s motivation and subsequent characteristics are solely defined by the reader. Typically, Prospero is seen as driven by either revenge or redemption. This divide predominately shapes the view of his character as a whole, and in turn the view of the whole play. This paper will demonstrate that, though there are many ways to interpret a work of literature, the best way to view The Tempest is in a meta-theatrical framework where Prospero is a vengeful and controlling character.
When we view Prospero as a man seeking redemption, we see him in a more positive light. At the start of the story, Prospero presented himself as someone who was wronged and betrayed by his brother, Antonio. His dukedom was stolen from him, and he and his daughter were left to die at sea. Somehow they made it onto an island together that they continued to inhabit for the next twelve years. All this time gave Prospero time to reflect on why he was usurped. He revealed that while he was duke, he pushed most of his duties onto his Antonio and spent time studying books and increasing his knowledge instead. He was not an…

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