Character discoveries in The Tempest
Personal responsibility behind holding power.
Prospero’s need for revenge catalyses his inner darkness. His thirst and dissociation with the nobles is heavily emphasised in lines such as “false brother”. He discovers that his actions were causing distress and pain to the other characters; his cruelties were finally revealed by Ariel towards the end of the play- “I would so if I were human”. Along-side ‘losing’ his daughter to Ferdinand, Ariel’s line gave him the perspective he needed to see his inner demon. Prospero discovers the impact he has from his (magical) power. Power helped him lose his dukedom and his driving force for revenge. Prospero’s magical power retakes control of his own life and the life of overs - the same magical power that disempowered him from his throne and allowed him to return to his feet. It is through the impact of this magical power that ultimately allows him to assume a higher status/control than his human self and can artificially manufacture his own sense of justice – a different, yet just as realistic sense of power. In the scene where Ariel poses as a harpy. “As the morning steals upon the night, melting the darkness so their rising senses so do their senses rise…chase the ignorant fumes that mantle clearer reason”, power is demonstrated as the force that allowed his enemies to attain ambition thus expelling “remorse and human nature” causing their humanity to become “foul and muddy”. He also realises without his magical power he is but “same stuff as dreams are made of” (likens himself to his enemies). After attaining ‘true’ power over the nobles (compassion and mercy), he decides to abandon his magic. However, this does not disempower Prospero, as he still maintains full control over the other characters with the power discovered in compassion. Once Prospero puts down his magic, he has a whole new perspective on the world, as he discovers that everyone is human, while he – possessing an inhuman power and using them cruelly – is not. He gains freedom and inner peace in the new world without magic. By observing betrayal and repentance, Prospero is brought to feel passion and offer mercy – a display of how much power he truly has over the nobles (he still maintains control over other characters even without magic). Ariel had reminded Prospero of what it is to be human. The casting aside his magical powers, “charms are all o’erthrown that strength I have’s mine own”, he has gained his own, independent and humane power. Prospero discovers that humanity is an important aspect of life. His reconciliation with Alonso shows compassion while he offers mercy. Ariel is the catalyst to remind Prospero to remember what it is to be human In the epilogue, Prospero states that his discoveries have allowed him to see the errors in his ways by metaphorically likening himself to his enemies and by casting aside his magical powers “charms are all ‘thrown, my strength I have’s my own’” Miranda
Important character in the play= audience discovers Miranda’s transformation throughout Traits include dependence, naivety, pure & innocence (during the onset of the play= a subject to guided discoveries provided by her father) (initially ignorant to the past) Controlled by her father (complex relationship/ prompts a deeper commentary about gender expectations/ familial interactions) Play progresses= Miranda becomes aware of her own as well as her father’s past before the island (innocence/ compassion act as a trigger for her transition to a mature/new understanding) (curious) = breaking Miranda’s sheltered life (consisting of a new realisation of men & love) Discovering something new to the wider world
She is emotionally transformative in love and is mutually transformed in love for another man (overwhelmed with infatuation) Emotive exclamation: “O, the cry did knock against my heart” as she witnesses the drowning= emphasising on her sympathetic/empathetic...
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