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Thesis: Through the usage of various literary devices that support and enhance the contents of his story, Prospero is a master storyteller [who portrays his brother in a villainous light].
– continuously tells Miranda to listen to him: “I pray thee mark me” (68, 88), “Dost thou attend me?”(78), “Thou attend’st not?” (87), “Dost thou hear?” (106) ï¿½ Prospero uses story-telling to control and manipulate, in this case to manipulate Miranda’s feelings to evoke sympathy for himself and anger towards his brother and the King of Naples
– diction: perfidious ï¿½ treacherous, but also deliberately faithless, conjures up image of scheming man who purposefully overthrows his brother for own gain
– dual-meaning of “state”: “state” (70) as in estate, domain or land, and “state” (76), as in mental state and knowledge
– pause (indicated by dash) after “Thy false uncle”(77) ï¿½ to create tension and emphasis
– repetition of “false”, as in “thy false uncle”(77) and “my false brother” (92): needs to drill in the point that Antonio is evil etc. while Prospero is virtuous and kind
– multiple negative meanings/connotations to the word “false” (such as untruthful, disloyal, unfaithful, misleading, deceptive, treacherous, corrupt, falsify, cheat)
– “who to trash for overtopping”(81) ï¿½ irony, as Antonio “overtops” Prospero of his position as Duke of Milan
– “key” (83) ï¿½ pun, leading to metaphor of “set all hearts i’ th’ state/ To what tune pleased his ear”(85-86)
– metaphor: “he was/The ivy which had hid my princely trunk/And sucked my verdure out on’t” (85-87) ï¿½ comparison to ivy, probably English or common ivy, which bears poisonous leaves and berries (representing the poisonous nature of Antonio’s); also, modifying adjective “princely” to raise himself in status in the eyes of the audience
– “and my trust,/ Like a good parent” (93-94)) ï¿½ simile
– “in my false brother/ Awaked an evil nature, and my trust,/ Like a good parent, did beget of him/ A falsehood in its contrary as great/ As my trust was, which had indeed no limit,/ A confidence sans bound” (92-97) ï¿½ alternating negative and positive words (negative when alluding to Antonio, positive when alluding to himself)
– “Me (poor man)” (109) ï¿½ self-pity, which incites sympathy in Miranda and audience
– “he needs will be/ Absolute Milan. Me (poor man) my library/ Was dukedom large enough” ï¿½ juxtaposition in actions, Antonio is portrayed as ambitious and overreaching, whereas Prospero is content with something small (his library)
– “bend/ The dukedom, yet unbowed (alas, poor Milan!),/ To most ignoble stooping” ï¿½ personification of the dukedom of Milan, hence describing the shame, dishonor or disgrace brought to Milan by Antonio’s actions
– Prospero unreliable narrator: though it seems that Antonio, as the usurping duke, is in the wrong, Prospero did not do anything for Milan: he pushed the responsibilities on his brother so that he can study his magic
I, ii, 243 – 300
Thesis: As Shakespeare characterizes the magician Prospero and the spirit Ariel, the power dynamic is established between master (Prospero) and slave (Ariel).
– Ariel is characterized as mischievous and playful, a spirit who yearns for freedom due to his enslavement for many years, first by Sycorax the witch, then by Prospero
* “Is there more toil?”
* “Let me remember thee what thou hast promised,/ Which is not yet performed me” ï¿½ “My liberty.”.
– Prospero manipulates through story-telling, and is sometimes vengeful and unsympathetic when his wants are not met by obedience
* “Dost thou forget/ From what a torment I did free thee?”
* Stories become more and more elaborate to achieve desired effect of intimidation (“I must / Once in a month recount what thou hast been,/ Which thou forgest’st”)
* Uses many words with negatively connotations when talking about Sycorax (“This damned witch Sycorax”, “earthy and abhorred commands”, “grand hests”, “her most unmitigable rage”)
* Describes Sycorax’s magic as “sorceries”, while his magic is “art” ï¿½ manipulates Ariel’s feelings to his own advantage
– when Ariel protests against the difficult tasks Prospero assigns him, Prospero launches into a tale that is meant to frighten and intimidate
– by the end of the tale, Ariel is so frightened by the images that Prospero implants that he is obedient and docile, calling Prospero “noble master”
– it is difficult to sympathize with Prospero in this episode, as it is apparent that he deliberately manipulates Ariel to do his bidding willingly
– the power dynamic of Prospero as master is established