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

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial