Power in the Tempest
Explain the ways the theme of power is presented in “The Tempest” In “The Tempest”, the theme of power is evident throughout and manifests in many forms. This manifestation is shown by Shakespeare through the use of almighty characters and those of less significant power, Prospero and Caliban are an example for this particular power relationship.
Moreover, Shakespeare explores various forms of power such as love, magic and betrayal, and in addition to this also makes his views apparent. Furthermore, the opening to the play we see the ship which contains the crew and royalty of Naples being ripped apart by the storm, this is symbolic of the play as here the ship is used to portray the changes of the hierarchy, the devastation caused by chaotic storm which devastates the ship is dramatizes the hierarchy being torn apart.
This idea is further reinforced into the audiences mind through the use of the conversation between the Boatswain and Gonzalo, ‘what cares these roarers for the name of king”, this quote signifies the beginning of the hierarchy deteriorating as the Boatswain a person considered low in the hierarchy placed back in Naples explains that the nature/ waves do not care about the social status that any on board have.
Moreover, this quote is directly aimed at the king to mock the fact that although he has all this power in Naples and rules over a nation he still does not have the ability to quell a storm. What’s more, the audience is then shown that the storm was caused by Ariel under orders of Prospero this immediately shows the audience that Prospero hold a significant amount of power on the island. Additionally, as we learn about Prospero’s story of how his power was stolen by his brother, this particular desire to reclaim this lost power drives the plot of the play.
Ariel and Prospero have the relationship is similar to that of servant and master, this theme is outlined through the use of reverential language by Ariel, “All hail, great master! ”, this specific quote is used in Act 1, Scene 2, shows Ariel’s deep respect for Prospero, the term “hail” has the connotation of royalty, this also supports the idea of Ariel of being a servant and Prospero being in authority.