How is Prospero presented in Act 1 of The Tempest?
In Act 1 of The Tempest Prospero is presented negatively. He is presented negatively by symbolising excessive power of England in the 17th century and people as a whole. Prospero's power is represented by his control over Caliban, Ariel, Ferdinand and aspects of Miranda's life, (her love life). Another negative presentation is that Prospero is resentful and angry. This can be seen from his brother's betrayal. This makes Prospero's character more complex and adds to his confusing relationship with Miranda in which she doesn't know her true family history. Prospero can also be seen to have a positive presentation as he acts protectively and caringly towards Miranda. Both of these aspects portray Prospero ambiguously. Act 1, scene 1 starts with a storm being created at sea leading the passengers of a boat swimming to shore in order to save their lives. In scene 2 it is discovered that Prospero has created this storm as he tells his daughter Miranda who is watching it from on the land. Here, Miranda learns that Antonio, Prospero's brother was unfaithful to him and while Prospero was studying magic he took over his land and sent Prospero and Miranda away. The fact his brother betrayed him shows a breakdown of family presenting Prospero as a victim and rather fragile. The game metaphor ‘foul play’ is how Prospero refers to his situation and how his brother took over his land. This portrays Prospero as a victim as it suggests it was unfair. This moment of speech also starts with enjambment following on from Miranda’s speech. This creates iambic pentameter which Shakespeare often used so the audience knew when a character was telling the truth. This further portrays Prospero as truly pained. However it should be noted that Prospero was ignoring the people of his land to practice his magic, therefore neglecting his position of power, presenting him as greedy as he tried to have both; magic and land. Overall this has...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document