Act 5 Perhaps Prospero's most decisive action in this act is to renounce his magic and drown his books. Why would he do it?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Prospero renounces his magical powers for a variety of reasons.  Here are some possible reasons why he would do this:

  1. He no longer needs his magic.  For most of this play, he has wanted to use his magic to punish those who did him wrong and to get a better life for himself and Miranda.  Now this is no longer necessary.
  2. Perhaps he feels that the power that the magic has given him has corrupted him.  I think that he may feel that using magic to essentially enslave spirits like Ariel (as well as Caliban) is something that he should not continue to do.