Prospero's Illusion of Justice

Topics: The Tempest, Naples, Moons of Uranus Pages: 4 (1224 words) Published: April 20, 2008
Prospero’s Illusion of Justice
Justice means conformity to moral rightness in action or attitude; righteousness and in the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare tells a fairly straight forward story involving an unjust act; he was banished by his brother Antonio, he is on a quest to re-establish justice by restoring himself to power. However, Prospero’s idea of justice seems extremely one-sided and mainly involves what is good for him; the idea represents the view of one character that controls the fate of all the other characters. Nevertheless he presents himself as a victim of injustice working to right the wrongs that have been done to him. His idea of justice and injustice is somewhat hypocritical, despite the fact that he is furious with his brother for taking his power; he has no fears about enslaving Ariel in order to achieve his ends.

Ariel is a spirit, a servant to Prospero and it has male and female traits. He rescued Ariel from a long imprisonment by a witch named Sycorax. He promises Ariel freedom, but Ariel must carry out every task that he requests in the play.

Prospero: Hast thou, spirit
Performed to point the tempest that I bade thee?
Ariel: To every article.
I boarded the King’s ship; now on the beak,
Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin,
I flamed amazement. Sometimes I’d divide
And burn in many places. On the topmast,
The yards, and bowspirit would I flame distinctly,
Then meet and join. Jove’s lighting, the precursors
O’th’ dreadful thunderclaps, more momentary
And sight-outrunning were not. The fire and cracks
Of sulfurous roaring the most mighty Neptune
Seem to besiege and make his bold waves tremble,
Yea, his dread trident shake. (1.2.229-242)
This passage speaks about all the disasters Ariel has done to the ship that Antonio and Alonso, along with others. He did no harm to those on the ship, but they are on the same island. The result of this storm was because Prospero wants justice....
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