The Relationship Between Servants and Masters in The Tempest Essay

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The Relationship Between Servants and Masters in The Tempest

Within "The Tempest" there are several accounts of different relationships between various servants and masters. Many scenes throughout the play are used to convey different messages concerning each character involved, and reveal many things about them. The most prominent cases of servants and masters are those involving Prospero. He was shipwrecked on the island after being usurped from his title of Duke of Milan. Since the savage Caliban attempted to rape his daughter, Miranda, he seems determined to make life for him very unpleasant. As well as Caliban, Prospero is also in control of Ariel - a spirit whom he rescued from being
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Gonzalo, the King's councillor manages to find some comfort in the Boatswain:

"Methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him, his complexion is perfect gallows… If he is not born to be hanged, our case is miserable

Gonzalo is furious with the Boatswain for giving orders to him and his superiors and is certain that it is his destiny to be hanged. Therefore by divine right they must safely return to land for him to meet his fate. This is a peculiar relationship between these people of differing status, and reflects the insecurity of the people with higher status when their "lesser" peers give them orders or prove them wrong. "


A similar example of where the master figure is angered by the servant answering back or challenging orders is one involving Ariel and Prospero, in Act 1 Scene 2. Ariel is weary from the work that Prospero continues to assign him and expresses this to his master by saying:

"Is there more toil? Since thou dost give me pains, let me remember thee what thou hast promised."

The fact that Ariel is questioning his masters orders shows he is not completely submissive, and that he is willing to question orders, which he does not believe to be just.

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Ariel continues to say: "I have done thee worthy service, told

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