Prospero in Shakespeare's "The Tempest" fits the description of a Machiavellian
Prince. He is cunning, conspires, and schemes, and has a tremendous amount of power
throughout the whole work. Prospero's Magical powers give a fairytale-like quality to the
work, which he uses to his advantage to become the most powerful character in the work,
controlling the destiny of all the characters in the play. He was unrightfully overthrown
as the Duke of Milan by his also scheming Machiavellian brother and Alonso, the King
of Naples. His exile marks the beginning of this Machiavellian drama filled play.
Prospero's plans to destroy Alonso's ship as it travels to Naples are murderous,
an important characteristic in Italian politics and that of a Machiavellian prince.
However, one must understand that it is an act of vengeance because he was exiled to a
deserted Island with his three year-old daughter, Miranda by his brother and Alonso and
their intentions were also harmful.
There is a lot of resentment from Prospero toward his peers in Milan because of
how he had been mistreated. The tempest he stormed up was a result of his anger and his
desire to protect his daughter, Miranda, which clearly upsets her.
Although getting revenge is very important to Prospero in the beginning of the
work, his experiment which brings Miranda and Alonso's son, Ferdinand together softens
Prospero as well as Alonso. Alonso ends up repenting for his "sins" and offers Prospero
his proper position as Duke of Milan. Prospero forgives Antonio, although Antonio
refuses to forgive Prospero.
Ultimately, Prospero loses his daughter to Ferdinand and Milan, which I think parallels how he was harshly treated by Milan's politics. Prospero becomes expresses his helplessness: Now my charms are all o'erthrown,
And what strength I have's mine own,
Which is most faint. No 'tis true
I must be here confined by you,
Or sent to Naples....
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