Forgiveness and Freedom -The Tempest
Do you agree that forgiveness and freedom are the theme of ‘The Tempest’? Give reason. Or “Critically analyze the statement: “The rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance.” Or “Discuss the theme of the play ‘The Tempest’. Or “Discuss ‘The Tempest’ as a morality play.
Forgiveness and Freedom -The Tempest
‘The Tempest’ is a romance. It is different from a comedy as well as a tragedy. In fact, it is a separate category of plays. It is comic in atmosphere, but it is akin to tragedy in theme. It is much like a revenge tragedy in which the hero decides to take revenge for a wrong done to him. But it differs from a revenge tragedy in this way that the heart of the hero is filled with noble inspiration and he gives up the idea of taking revenge.
The dramatist shows the rare greatness of forgiveness. The hero suffers, but does not take revenge thinking it is a prince’s part to forgive. In this way, the nobility of virtue is established and the wrong doer is forgiven, complaints are dissolved in tears of repentance giving way to friendship.
Motive of revenge –
Shakespeare’s. ‘The Tempest’ deals with the motive of revenge. On an island, as result to a tempest, all the characters of the play come together. The ship is broken, but the passengers are somehow saved. They reach the different parts of the island. Alonso, the King of Naples thinks Ferdinand, his worthy son is drowned. Prospero, the right Duke of Milan rules the island.
He was banished unlawfully. He is a great magician and his potent spirit Ariel had raised the tempest. Antonio, his brother usurped the throne of Milan. To teach a lesson to Antonio, the tempest is raised by Prospero who lives here with his daughter Miranda, But his motive is less to injure than to make the wrong doers repentant of their past wrongs.
Faith in forgiveness-
Ariel reports about the suffering of Antonio and other passengers of the broken ship. Hearing about Gonzalo’s suffering, Prospero’s heart melts. Ariel claims that Prospero can’t bear their miserable condition. Prospero asks if Ariel feel sympathy for them. Ariel claims he would pity if he were a man. Prospero thinks if Ariel who is an airy spirit feels their sorrow, he should feel sympathy for them. Their sorrow, should move him also. He feels though their wrongs do not deserve pardon, yet he should forgive them. His nobler reason dominates his fury. He believes in the ideal that the greater action is in virtue than in revenge.
Those who had done wrong with him are sorry for their mistakes. He decides not to extend his anger any more. Prospero’s faith in forgiveness is exposed in case of Caliban also. With Stephano and Trinculo, Caliban conspires against Prospero and Miranda. In place of giving him severe punishment, Prospero asks Caliban to go to his cell and take with him his companions to clean the cell properly. Caliban is ready to do it. He promises to be wise in future and prays for forgiveness. He feels sorry to take that drunkard for a god and worship a fool. –
Bliss of freedom-
Freedom is the greatest bliss. Prospero makes Ariel and Caliban free when he leaves the island for Milan. Ariel has won his freedom through sincere service. Caliban is made not only free, but duke of the island also. All are made free from the effect of magic. Besides, Prospero gets freedom from his life as a magician. Prospero addresses all supernatural powers to tell them his decision of retirement. Prospero claims that he is taking retirement from his life as a magician. Now his magical show is over. His magic was powerful enough to do wonders. He commanded the lower world too and graves opened to obey him.
These actors, whom he presented as living creatures, were all spirits and they have disappeared into air when his show is over. He has no interest in working as magician. He had a daughter who is married to a worthy prince. He has decided to lead the life of a common man. He will break his magic rod and drown his magic book for if they are owned by an evil-minded person, the magic powers may be misused by him. The’ Tempesi’ is a great symbolical play. The speech has a symbolical meaning. Prospero is symbol of Shakespeare. The show of fairies is symbol of his plays.
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