How Does the Relationship between Prospero and Ariel Change During The Tempest The tempest is the last play Shakespeare wrote. The play is simply about a man who was taken away from his dukedom, and was cast on an island. Of course this man is Prospero who has magical powers. Prospero eventually gives up his powers and I believe this is a representation of Shakespeare of his writing and the end of his work. All though the tempest is an unusually short play by Elizabethan standards, yet it continually gives the impression of being much bigger than it actually is.
Like an iceberg, it conceals most of its bulk beneath the surface.
So as you can imagine the impact of this play and the deep meaning of it. The main subject of this essay I will be writing will be about how Prospero’s relationship and Ariel’s changes during the play. In this essay I will show how the relationship does in fact change between Prospero and Ariel during the play, and how it grows to a love of sort.
I will talk about how Prospero is commanding and violent at the start of the play and then slowly how he gains trust with the spirit, slowly becoming softer, his want for him to be free and finally how he does indeed love Ariel.
Prospero commands Ariel like a slave. The first time he addresses Ariel he says “Come away, servant, come! I am ready now. Approach my Ariel” As we can see Prospero calls the sprite his servant; this shows how he does not consider him as an equal. Some people could consider that when he says my Ariel that it is of endearment and caring like one would say to a child. But I believe Prospero is saying in the way that he owns Ariel rather then being a fatherly figure. I believe this because he calls him his servant and that is already setting the relationship as a master – servant one.
Prospero treats him like a dog, in that sentence he is saying you are mine and you must do what I say, now come to me. We also know that he made Ariel create the tempest for he says “Hast thou, spirit, Performed to point the tempest that I bade thee? ” We can see that he speaks in blank verse; this is to show that there is seriousness about him and that he is in authority but not only does it do this it informs the audience what has happened. He also uses harsh sounding words, which makes him seem more in control. Directors generally keep Ariel below Prospero to also show the status between them and also keep Ariel at a distance from him.
Then we see the violent side of Prospero. He seems to not care about Ariel and has no true bond towards the spirit. He says “Thou liest, malignant thing! ” When Ariel asks for his freedom he scolds him. He is the owner of the island and has been so for many years. This could show that he has never been questioned before, because of this he yells at Ariel profoundly showing how he is not used to this and it also helps the audience understand the story better for he explains of Caliban and Sycorax. While being yelled at Ariel, contrary to how he’s been talking for paragraphs about his work, is now very silent.
People could take this to show that perhaps the servant feels sadness for asking such a thing. Like a child would while being yelled at by a father. Personally I find that Ariel see’s that there is no use in questioning the matter further, Prospero is obviously unwilling at the moment, so Ariel tries to get on his good side again. I believe this because this isn’t the last time Ariel asks for his freedom. I also believe this because Ariel gloats to Prospero over and over again he never just says yes I have done what you asked but instead goes into detail of everything he done for example “To every article. I boarded the King’s ship.
Now on the beak, Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin I flamed amazement. Sometime I’d divide, And burn in many places…” and even more. He is doing this clearly to sound like a good servant and get Prospero to set him free. All though the audience may see this as a faithful relationship towards Prospero like a spaniel with his master, there is trickery behind it. Prospero though after yelling at Ariel says he shall be free in two days. Most people view this as Prospero being a kind master. All though seeing that he just yelled at him for asking for freedom, I think this is a trick to just get Ariel to be more devoted to work for him.
Then later in the play we see that he slowly opens up to Ariel. There is still a master and slave persona, but we see that he counts Ariel more then just as a slave for he actually asks Ariel for his opinion which you would not do that if the person was lower than you Prospero asks “Dost thou think so, spirit? ” and Ariel replies with “Mine would, sir, were I human”. This means that Prospero likes Ariel; he is also using soft words towards him. They aren’t harsh words but soft and gentle. When Ariel replies, he says that if he were human your words would have such power or me to make me tremble etc.
I believe this shows the great bond between them that even though Ariel is a spirit he can relate to the humans because of the power of Prospero’s story. This leads me to my next point that Prospero speaks to Ariel much softer. Prospero says “Come with a thought, I thank thee, Ariel. Come! ” and “This was well done, my bird” So as we can see that he is no longer calling Ariel as a slave and as ownership but his bird which is like a pet which you love and take care, we know that he means this because he says “I thank thee”. Prospero has never said thank you to Ariel before.
This shows that he is finding that he needs Ariel and is happy and is thankful for what Ariel does for him. There is a bond forming between them, and there is appreciation for the work the spirit has been doing. Prospero seems to slowly want to give Ariel freedom, contrary to how he acted to when Ariel first asked for freedom. Ariel in the play later asks for freedom but he is not yelled at how he was before with such fierceness. Instead of this reaction Prospero says you shall be free soon. This means that Prospero wants Ariel to be free. Prospero says “Why that’s my dainty Ariel!
I shall miss thee, But yet thou shalt have freedom” Clearly even though Prospero likes Ariel and wants to have him stay he says you shall have freedom. He is no longer reluctant but has come to terms thinking that it isn’t right for him to keep Ariel. For he soon will has his dukedom in Milan. Ariel has done what was needed, and he wants to let him go for that is what Ariel wants. Finally it is proven that Prospero loves Ariel. We know this from the points I mentioned earlier but we get full 100% proof when Ariel says “Do you love me, master? No? and Prospero responds with “Dearly, my delicate Ariel. ” But what should be questioned is does Ariel love Prospero. Ariel is a spirit after all; can a spirit have human feelings as such? It’s a sad thought to think, because we know that Prospero has become fond of Ariel, but is he only after his freedom is there any connection? Is this a one way love? I believe that it is because at the end Prospero says “My Ariel, chick, That is thy charge. Then to the elements Be free, and fare thou well. – Please you, draw near. ” and Ariel afterwards says nothing.
People say that Ariel just whizzes off into the air as some directors do. Frankly I believe that Ariel could not fully love Prospero. He is a spirit after all. As mentioned earlier Ariel said “Mine would, sir, were I human” this shows that Ariel could not feel like a human would. Ariel is like a wild animal, you may love them but you could not tame them nor could you keep them. I believe that Prospero knows this that’s why he lets him go, no matter how much he loves Ariel. Prospero even has to distract himself with the men that are around them and talk about the plans ahead.
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