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In Act 5, Scene 1, lines 1-104, what differences are there between the way Prospero and...

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luke-8 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 8, 2007 at 5:33 AM via web

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In Act 5, Scene 1, lines 1-104, what differences are there between the way Prospero and Ariel use language?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 10, 2007 at 3:50 AM (Answer #1)

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The most obvious differences relate to their relative power relations. Prospero asks; Ariel answers. Even when Ariel is trying to remind Prospero of his obligations to free Ariel, there is a hesitancy.

A related difference is that Ariel speaks to Prospero, while Prospero speaks to Ariel, the world, and perhaps a host of other invisible spirits.

If we turn to content, Ariel, while descriptive, focuses on the tasks at hand, and is more precise. Prospero, by contrast, refers to a much wider range of activities, discussing all of his many activities. Ariel focuses on the present; Prospero discusses power, and reflects on the past.

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