Tempest In Act I, Scene 2 Of Term Paper

Length: 3 pages Subject: Plays Type: Term Paper Paper: #39757385 Related Topics: Characterization, Shakespeare, Play, Plays
Excerpt from Term Paper :


In Act I, scene 2 of Shakespeare's The Tempest, the protagonist Prospero explains his case to both his daughter and his familiar spirit Ariel. Thus, the main themes of the play are elucidated in this one scene more than any other. The concept of power, of power overused and power usurped are evident and constant in Act One, scene 2 of The Tempest. This early in the play, before the audience is privy to the p[ersonalities of Alonso, Ferdinand, Antonia, Sebastian or the other, Prospero establishes the main theme through his characterization, his dialogue, and his stage presence: he embodies the main theme of power tempered with wisdom. Even thought Prospero's very act of bringing on the storm seems morally degenerate at first, the audience seems ironically sympathetic to him. We are led to believe that his birthright as a Duke lends him a sort of ultimate moral authority that would not have been proffered to him had his birth been more mundane. Moreover, his abuse of power is forgiven partly because of the uniqueness of his mystical powers and equally so because of his having been usurped from power by the victims of the storm, those who stole his title from him in the first place. The Tempest is largely about the triumph of justice and the nature of justice; through...


Shakespeare's play pits universal, divine justice against the human constructions of justice that constitute government and legal societies. In Act One, scene 2 in particular, Prospero states his case, both to his supernatural familiar Ariel and to his daughter Miranda. Shakespeare's play The Tempest poses a particularly peculiar problem because of the supernatural elements contained in the play. Like so many of Shakespeare's plays, The Tempest is founded on universal ethical values, which are brought about by clever use of character, language, and stagecraft.

Prospero is a confident leader. In Act One, Scene Two, Prospero is portrayed as an effective, even if egotistical, leader in his homeland. The fact that he has created a viable alternative society on the island is testimony to his innate potential as a leader. In this scene, Prospero proves his merit to two different characters: Miranda and Ariel. Through Prospero's relationship with both these characters, the audience can discern the greater themes of the play. Prospero is the most godlike character of the play, by far. Even though Ariel is a supernatural creature, Prospero is his master. Moreover, even though a witch "owned" Ariel, Prospero is painted as Ariel's ultimate controller. In addition to the power that Prospero has over Ariel, the main character also demonstrates power over his daughter Miranda. His psychic and political power over these two key characters brings about the main theme of the play. Thus, Prospero, Miranda, and Ariel are not just static persona but rather serve as dynamic functions throughout the play. Especially in this early scene, their roles…

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