The Tempest Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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In Act I scene ii, lines 250-304 and Act V scene i, lines 1-61, how do these extracts suggests that magic can be used for both good and evil purposes? need to support ideas by referring to both of the extracts, quotes need to be included, need to be long, have more than 1 answer, explained well, need to be like an essay answer! (I posted this question before but I need a more clear one instead so that I can understand better!)

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gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Magic can be used for both good and evil purposes in The Tempest because magic is like any tool or weapon: it is essentially neutral. It's mainly a way of multiplying the power of those who use it.

You therefore have to look at how the magic is used, and who uses it, to see if it is used for good or evil.

For example, in Act I we see that magic can be used to imprison beings. To be specific, Sycorax trapped Ariel. That seems clearly dark or evil. By contrast, Prospero frees Ariel.

In Act V, in Prospero's long speech, we hear an account of all that Prospero did with his magic. If anyone who was evil opened graves and woke the dead, the results would be very dark indeed.

However, to really see how magic works for good, we need to look other places in the play. Prospero creates a storm in Act I…for justice. Prospero sends Ariel to confuse the shipwrecked…for justice, so he and Miranda can have their rightful places again. Then he sets the magic aside.

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emasdk | Student

prospero used his magic for good. he used it to free the imprisoned spirits from the trees and to let Caliban do the hardest work on the island. he also used it to set justice.

Sycorax used magic in order to imprison because they did not obey her wicked commands.