As an engagement gift, Prospero is going to whip up a little "masque" (a lavish courtly performance with lots of … Then again, possibly Prospero freed Ariel from the tree only a year prior to the events of the play. 3. There's a sense that this was indeed his plan all along, as all his actions seem so calculated. Overall, Prospero is quite a foreboding character—he deals out punishments, treats his servants with contempt, and his morality and fairness are questionable. Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team. Top subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics. In Prospero’s final speech, he likens himself to a playwright by asking the audience to applaud, turning the play’s final scene into a touching celebration of art, creativity, and humanity. This is most clearly exemplified at the start of the play, where he uses his powers (and help from Ariel) to conjure the tempest itself. What do the red windows in the last chamber symbolize in “The Masque of the Red Death”? The rightful Duke of Milan, Prospero was usurped by his brother, Antonio, and cast away on a boat. His desire to rule the island reflects his brother Antonio's desire to rule Milan, and they go about it in similar—arguably unethical—ways. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Prospero can be controlling and unpleasant in the way he treats others. BACK TO EDMODO. Lee Jamieson, M.A., is a theater scholar and educator. Prospero secretly watches them and is delighted they have fallen in love. He expresses sincere concern for the welfare for those on board ship: But are they, Ariel, safe? (Act I Scene ii). In the last two acts, we come to embrace Prospero as a more likable and sympathetic character. Prospero’s masque features Juno, the symbol of marriage and family life in Roman mythology, and Ceres, the symbol of agriculture, and thus of nature, growth, prosperity, and rebirth, all notions intimately connected to marriage. Prospero was wronged by many of the characters in the play, and this reflects in his actions. Miranda interrupts him and tries to make him stop so that he can talk to her instead. Prospero almost single-handedly drives the play's plot forward with spells, schemes, and manipulations which all work in tandem as part of his grand plan to achieve the play’s ending. rooms to be locked. Reveal answer. Prospero is one of Shakespeare's more complicated characters. When Prospero relinquishes his magic at the end of the play, he says, "I'll drown my book" (5.1.57). What does Prospero do for his dying subjects? Yet his mercy, such as it is, doesn't strike one as being particularly sincere. 4. At the end of this speech, he tells himself that he will abandon “this rough magic” once he’s managed to resolve his conflict with Alonso and Antonio: “I’ll break my staff, / Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, / And, deeper than did ever plummet sound, / I’ll drown my book” … His desire to rule the island reflects his brother Antonio's desire to rule Milan, and they go about it in similar—arguably unethical—ways. Either way, Prospero’s unwillingness to set Ariel free stems from the fact that Ariel possesses immense power. He wants to be restored to his dukedom, and once he's assured of that, then he has no further need of either magic or vengeance. Both Ariel and Caliban want to be free of their master, which suggests he is unpleasant to work for. Are you a teacher? Who are the experts?Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions. Initially, he's bent on revenge against those responsible for his enforced exile. Prospero stops Ferdinand's punishment, and decides to finally give Miranda to him, since he has proven his love for her through his service. 3 Educator answers. Caliban advises Stephano to seize Prospero's books when they make plans to murder Prospero and take control of the island.