Play on Power - the Tempest

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Fabior94
Words 2029
Pages 9
Romano 1
Fabio Romano
Mr. Brown
English 1011
30 September, 2013
A Play on Power
In all of Shakespeare’s works there is always the element of symbolism to help display his personal beliefs of human nature throughout his play, which is suggested by Harold C. Goddard and other scholars. In The Tempest, one of the symbols that is most abundant and is the main driving force behind certain decisions the characters make in the play is power. The play is also certainly related to the change of power between nobilities such as the civil war between Lancastrians and Yorkists around the time Shakespeare started writing his plays (1422-85), which likely may have been an influence on the play along with other plays such as with Romeo and Juliet (Frye). An example of how power functions as the main influence on decisions that characters make, is when Prospero talks to his daughter about how they ended up on the island. He discusses how his brother was possessed by the lust for political and military power, which caused him to plot with Alonso, betray him and then proceed to take the throne for himself. It is evident when Prospero explains, So dry he was for sway – with’ King of Naples To give him annual tribute, do him homage, Subject his coronet to his crown, and bend The dukedom yet unbowed – alas, poor Milan! –
Romano 2 To most ignoble stooping. (I.2.110-116)
Prospero says that Antonio was so power hungry that he was even willing to pay Alonso, which undoubtedly provides evidence he was desperate for it. We must also remember however, that beneath the more apparent face of the power-hungry Antonio is how it manifested in the first place. Antonio, at one point, may have not been tainted by contemptuous lust for political and military superiority since Prospero trusted him in the beginning. In other words, he must have had a sort of trustworthy…...

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