The Tempest: Analysis of Prospero
Prospero is shocked, stating My brother and thy uncle, call’d Antonio “ I pray thee, mark me “ that a brother should be so perfidious.
Indeed, Antonio shows himself to be more monstrous than a monster, for unlike Caliban, he cannot excuse his behavior with drunkenness or genetics. (His mother was not a witch, but the same woman who gave birth to the generally moral duke, Prospero.) In fact, Shakespeare suggests that in some ways Caliban is more sympathetic than his human counterpart: Caliban gives a beautiful speech on the natural wonders of the island, whereas Antonio can only stupidly curse its “barrenness.” Though human, Antonio repeatedly acts like a beast.
Another interpretation concerns the fact that The Tempest is Shakespeare’s last theatrical creation (Tuglu, 2016). Similar to the way Prospero sets his offenders free with magic, the playwright takes a final bow with the final lines of the epilogue, wherein he asks the audience to release him with their applause. “Let your indulgence set me free” (Shakespeare, 2013, p. 233). While some literary critics still argue about the relevance of this phrase to the end of Shakespeare’s career, a clear connection can be seen between the writer’s actions and the last words of Prospero.
By the play's conclusion, it is clear that Prospero is just and fair, in addition to intelligent.
Asif, M. (2017) ‘The Tempest: a postcolonial analysis’. Journal of Social Sciences, 8(1), pp. 192-209.
Blair, S., Pettit, M. and Page, P. (2018) Shakespeare’s The Tempest: a graphic edition with CSEC study guide. London: Hachette UK.
Shakespeare, W. (2013) The Tempest: Evans Shakespeare edition. Edited by Grace Tiffany. New York: Simon and Schuster.