In our beginning discussions of “The Tempest,” the themes of captivity and submissiveness were mentioned. I think both of these play an important role in how we as readers see the characters and start to understand them. The play is set on an island, which in the setting itself reveals the idea of captivity and containment. We are then introduced to the characters: Prospero, Miranda, Caliban, and the androngenous spirit, Ariel. Although all of them are trapped on the island literally, Miranda, Caliban, and Ariel are trapped under the power of the magician Prospero. Miranda is revealed to be submissive because Prospero is her father and the only family she has on the island and therefore must trust him. Caliban is a rugged, unearthy being, who became Prospero’s slave after Prospero arrived to the island after his banishment (which can be seen as another theme of submissiveness and having no power towards the current King…even though it is his own brother who stole it from him in the first place). And although Ariel is Prospero’s aid, the spirit is still submissive towards him and references Prospero with the terms “Sir” and “Master.”

-Lauren

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