The usurpation of Prospero

The usurpation of Prospero is the most extraordinary form of injustice in the story. He is cast away from his dukedom and home and is forced to live in a secluded island alone with his daughter Miranda. However, the methods used by Prospero to re-establish justice and restore himself to the throne raises a lot of moral questions. Prospero’s idea of justice seems to be highly subjective. He uses magic to control the fate of all the characters in the story. Even though Prospero is the victim of injustice, enslaving other characters while attempting to right the wrongs that were done to him is hypocritical. Prospero is very bitter with his brother for taking his throne; however, he is not any different from his brother since he enslaves both Arial and Caliban on the island for the twelve years he has been there. When Ariel reminds Prospero of his promise to release him after serving him faithfully, instead of promising to set him free, Prospero chastises him for being ungrateful. Prospero’s form of justice is one-sided since he only thinks of his good. Caliban has also been enslaved and works for Prospero against his will. 

Prospero is the most powerful character on the island.  He is not only the rightful duke of Milan; he is also a talented magician who can communicate with spirits. Because of his power, Prospero commands the respect of all the other characters in the play. He is respected by his servants as well as Miranda. However, at different points in the story, his subjects disobey him. Caliban changes his loyalty to Stephano in an attempt to bring down Prospero.  Miranda believes that she is overstepping her father by falling in love with Ferdinand. She is unaware of the fact that Prospero’s harsh treatment of Ferdinand is intended to cause her to take pity on him. Prospero also believes that Ariel is disobedient when he asks for his freedom. Thus Prospero is depicted as a harsh and unjust leader. 

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