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Does Prospero undergo any character development?

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enotes | Valedictorian

Posted September 8, 2013 at 3:56 PM via web

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Does Prospero undergo any character development?

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enotes | Valedictorian

Posted September 8, 2013 at 3:56 PM (Answer #1)

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With the sole exception of Miranda, all of the human characters in The Tempest undergo a transformation under Prospero's sway. Whether Prospero himself experiences a change of character or heart as a consequence of his experiences during the play debatable. He tells us that he has decided to opt for the virtue of mercy over his original plans for revenge, but this apparently occurred prior to the action of the play since he assures Miranda that no harm will come to those stranded in the shipwreck. Prospero does appear to mellow by the play's end. Before the final act, the wizard is given to temperamental outbursts, as when he scolds the innocent Miranda for failing to pay attention to his account of how they got to the island. Above all, Prospero voluntarily relinquishes his magical powers and returns to his rightful place as the Duke of Milan. Seen in this light, not only does Prospero effect changes in the character of the other humans on his island, he too enjoys a transformation from an authoritarian controller of events into a "normal" human being with a defined niche in society.

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