Prospero's Choice in The Tempest

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Prospero's Choice in The Tempest

 

In The Tempest, Prospero achieves his ultimate goals of exiting the island and regaining his kingdom without unnecessary killing, torture or deception. Both this choice, and his decision in the end to rescind his magic, allow him to morally reconcile with himself.

 

Prospero's choice to refrain from murder sets his objectives above mere revenge. By using ingenuity and the spirit Ariel's help, he achieves the semblance of death without the reality thereof. He could have simply made the tempest so furious that it destroyed the ship, or subjected the offenders to lingering torture, but instead spends more time to separate the "survivors" into three groups to deal with them more effectively. Thus he avoids guilt and criticism for unnecessary death.

 

The island magician also abstains from using his arts to force the evil men of the group into excruciating pain with possible death. We know he is capable of this - he has punished Caliban in such a way. However, no only does he refrain from torturing them, but also makes sure they are not uncomfortable! Alonso's group includes the pervasively cheerful Gonzalo, and is never kept away from food or water. Caliban knows the island, and helps Stephan and Trinculo survive. Ferdinand even fins the love of his life.

 

Even though Prospero deceives the shipwrecked captives, it is never for his own personal enjoyment. Instead, he specifically aims to achieve his goals by putting pressure on Alonso and restricting Caliban's scheming. As if this were not enough, he further surrenders his powers and even begs the readers' help to assure his safety! It becomes obvious that Prospero has no desire to rule or lust for power to corrupt him, but only wishes a return to his previous status.

 

Because he avoids death, torture and unnecessary deception, there is nothing to stain Prospero's long trek to return to civilization. He has given Ferdinand love, Alonso his son and recognition of his deeds, and Caliban a lesson in obedience. Thus, the long-suffering magician is able to reconcile morally with himself.

 

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Very precise and well-organized, although it doesn't address every aspect of the question.

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A few very minor grammatical issues, but nothing truly "wrong." Doesn't address how Prospero's restraint in exacting his objectives achieves a "reconciliation" - how did Prospero grow over the play? This is the only real, major flaw of the essay. Otherwise it's very well-structured and written. Only other concern is a lack of voice - reads very smoothly, but lacks any really interesting dynamics to keep the reader's attention. It's not a bad essay by any means; however, by addressing the question more accurately and managing a little more variety in voice and syntax, it could be better.

 

 

TEACHER FEEDBACK

You show good vocabulary and syntax skills - the essay points to the text and shows insight. Get to a deeper discussion of the play's themes. Delve to the meaning level.


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