The tempest is an intellectually challenging play that explores a wide range of significant issues, such as power and control and versions of reality. Shakespeare uses a large variety of language techniques and dramatic devices such as imagery and music to help us fully understand the true meaning of The Tempest.
Power and control is shown through Prospero and Antonio’s complex relationship. Prospero was the rightful duke of Milan until Antonio stole his role, which is the main reason for Prospero’s need to have power over everyone and everything. When Prospero says, “Lie there my art.” He is referring to his cloak, which is just another instrument of his ultimate power. The cloak acts as a symbol the power he has over other beings, which reside on “his” island. The “art” in the quote is referring to his magical power.
The Tempest abounds in such imagery, which helps the audience understand the power struggles between many of the characters. For example, Prospero describes his brother Antonio to Miranda as “ The ivy which had hid my princely trunk and sucked my venture out on’t” Here Antonio’s gradual destruction of Prospero’s power is conveyed by comparing Antonio to ivy, which covers and weakens a mighty tree.
Power and control in The Tempest is an extremely important issue, as it explores ideas that the audience feels they can relate to. The issue of power and control is very significant as it plays a major role in shaping the entire play and especially the ending in which Prospero forgives Antonio for usurping his rightful dukedom. Prospero says, “I must uneasy make, lest too light winning” when he sees Miranda and Ferdinand start to fall in love. This is an aside to the audience where the audience sees another example of Prospero’s craving for power and the need to control everything around him, even his own daughter’s romance. As a result of Prospero’s manipulation of their romance the two lovers fall deeply in love, but still does not make it...
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