Which Aspect of The Tempest Is the Best Demonstration of a Difference in Power?

Shakespeare’s play includes characters of different levels of power. However, since the latter is one of the key play’s literary themes, the division between them is pretty straightforward. The characters who use magic are way more potent than the ones that don’t. Moreover, Prospero is considered to be in control of absolutely everything in the play.

The Tempest takes place on a remote island where Prospero and his daughter have spent many years in exile. In the rest of the world, power comes with status. Therefore, Alonso, the king of Naples, is considered the highest authority on the ship that gets into the storm. However, the crew and the royal party onboard are soon to realize that their ways of distributing power don’t work on the island. Prospero has been studying magic books since long before coming there. Moreover, he gets the support of a powerful spirit, Ariel. The use of magic allows Prospero to have control over every character and every event happening on that island. Therefore, magic is the way to demonstrate the difference in power in the play. 

In fact, Prospero is described as even a more powerful magician than Sycorax. She was a very strong and mighty witch who lived on the island before. However, Prospero’s studies have not gone wasted, and he reached the level that allows him to control everything. He mainly uses illusions and other ways to manipulate characters so no one ends up being hurt. At the same time, he realizes that it might be pretty dangerous. Therefore, by the end of the play, Prospero quits magic and swears to throw away all his books. 

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