Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The Tempest - Prospero's portrayal

The Tempest by William Shakespeare is a play that presents many characters, each with different facets that are perceived differently by various readers. Some plays have cast Ariel as either male or female. Some plays more importantly have portrayed Prospero differently. This leads me to this blog post's question, how do you personally perceive Prospero? Here is an extract from an essay I wrote on how we, the reader, may perceive Prospero initially... "Prospero's initial story of how he, the rightful duke of Milan, was back-stabbed, cruelly usurped by his brother, Antonio, and his daughter, Miranda's initial carelessness of their story does draw some sympathy from the reader's part. However, once the reader recognises that Prospero is seeking revenge, the reader is left confused as to whom really does deserve sympathy as the balance of power is tipped firmly in Prosper's favour." Prospero is a complicated character, certainly an ambitious figure, harsh and demanding, certainly cruel as well as impatient and deeply troubled. He is shown to seek revenge and justice. This side of him draws no sympathy from the reader, coupled with the fact that Prospero neglected his people in Milan, giving the power to his brother, whom as all men seeking power would, realised he could have even greater power without his brother. Yet Prospero grows into a leader on the island who perhaps is seen to restore harmony and who aims to reconcile with his enemies. Shakespeare has undoubtedly created a very detailed character whom is open to interpretation. I would love to hear what you think of Prospero? Does he draw any sympathy from you?

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