Fabiola Stpierre12/11/17English 61- 002Professor Haynes The Tempest Inthe play The Tempest, written by William Shakespeare, the use of power is amongstthe characters are very strong. The idea of power presents itself in many differentways. For example, the power of love, magic and illusion, the power of masterover his slave, the aspiration for power amongst all men. The main character Prospero takes advantage ofhis authority and power, especially when it comes to his daughter, Miranda (whois the only female character throughout the play).
Firstly,the relationship between Prospero’s and his daughter Miranda is very strong. Though,he is very stern with her, and likes to control everything she does, especiallyanything associated with sex “Obey, and be attentive” (Act 1, Scene 2″). He isobsessed with the idea of keeping her pure. But he also somehow has respect forher. Shakespeare shows Prospero as someonewho loves to use his power to control everything, and Miranda being one of them.However, they do have the typical parent and child relationship.
They do have disagreement,but that doesn’t change the strong connection between them.Prosperoexplains his suffering of being trapped and isolated on the island. Mirandagains knowledge form her father, which makes her an interesting character. At first,she comes off as a naïve teenager because she everything her father tells her-asmost children are. Until new people start to arrive on the island. It becomeshard for Miranda to believe her father. but she continues to because she doesnot have any choice since Prospero has taught her everything she knows. Prosperotalks a lot about Miranda’s virginity.
It is said to be treated like a”treasure”, and that it needs to be protected, especially my him. Forexample, when he prevented Caliban from raping Miranda and infecting the islandwith baby Caliban’s. He stopped the potential threat to the island that couldhave been ruled by Caliban and his off springs. In some moments in the play,Miranda virginity is seen as innocence, virtue and of course purity, which allsee to make the island regain it naturalness.
Rather than the witch Sycorax whogave birth to Caliban. Secondly,Prospero’s relationship with Ferdinand. When Ferdinand first appears, Prosperotreats him poorly. Ferdinand wanted to marry Miranda, but Prospero quicklydenies because he believed that Ferdinand is traitor. Prospero’s does pretend to dislike Ferdinand,but he secretly wants him to marry Miranda. He puts Ferdinand to the test, hemakes him work for love. Lastly,when Ferdinand and Miranda first meet, it was love at first site.
Miranda says toFerdinand “I might call him a thing divine. For nothing natural I ever saw anoble” (act I, scene II, pg. 4). She uses very descriptive words to describe howmuch she likes him. Ferdinand then says to her “Most sure the goddess onwhom these airs attend! -Vouchsafe my prayer” (act I, scene II), he sees her assomeone that needs to be worshiped.
During this encounter, Prospero sees theattraction between them and immediately becomes protective of Miranda. He wantsto protect her like a good father would, as he did when he stopped Caliban fortrying to rape Miranda. However, as I mentionedbefore, Prospero wanted Ferdinand to work for Mirandas hand in marriage. As afather, this is a very loving thing to do for her because he wants to make surethat Ferdinand is the perfect fit for her. But in a way, he still wants to controlthe situation.
Inconclusion, I believe Prospero started off as being power hungry. The way he treatedFerdinand clearly shows use of his power and his inclination to manipulateothers to get what he wants. Though he is not disappointed with the attractionbetween Miranda and Ferdinand, he does not want their love to get in the way ofhis plans. Thus, he has no problem with taking advantage of Ferdinand and deceivinghis own daughter about how Ferdinand is unfit for her. Work cited “The Tempest”, WilliamShakespeare, Dover thrift edition, 1999