Critically analyse the theme of the play ‘The Tempest’.

The Tempest is one of the lighter plays of Shakespeare. It is a story about love, revenge and greed. It is set on a mythical island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Prospero comes up with a plan to avenge a disservice that has been done to him. He reclaims the title his brother stole and in the process, helped his beautiful daughter find true love. Through the use of magic and spirit servants, he also uncover plots to kill the King and himself. Unlike some other romantic comedies of Shakespeare, The Tempest is less focused on the love story and more on the plots of murder and Prospero’s plot to avenge him. Prospero himself is the most powerful character in the play who controls everyone to some degree. He seems to know exactly what and when something is going to happen which makes his tasks simple.

Prospero’s revenge is simple and not intended to hurt any of the characters involved in it. He merely wants to show them what he had to go through when he was first stranded on the magical island. He also wants to make the characters feel guilty for their plot against him so that when he shows himself, he will be more likely to be welcomed with open arms. Other than Prospero’s revenge, Caliban also tries to plan his own. His revenge for being a servant is, at first trying to take Miranda. After that, when he enlists the help of the drunkards, he is inclined to win the island for himself and kill Prospero.

Greed, however, is the most powerful motive in the play. Antonio and Sebastian are shown to be the greediest characters because they are willing to commit heinous crimes for it. The only two characters in the play who are not greedy are the ones who fall in love. Since love is often associated with innocence, this is not surprising. Even Prospero, though often thought of as a righteous character, creates the plot in order to gain things for himself. Ariel too, helps Prospero in hope of buying his freedom from his servitude.

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