Discuss the theme of freedom and forgiveness in The Tempest.

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Neither Ariel nor Caliban are free as the play opens, though both long for freedom. At the play's end, Prospero frees Ariel for all his good services. Finally, at the end of the play, Prospero also, in a burst of generosity, forgives Caliban.

Prospero, though initially bent on revenge against the men who stole his kingdom and set he and Miranda adrift on a leaky vessel to die, practices forgiveness at the end of the play. In this he is inspired by Ariel, who feels compassion for Prospero's suffering enemies. Prospero is moved by Ariel's empathy:

Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling
Of their afflictions, and shall not myself,
One of their kind, that relish all as sharply
Passion as they, be kindlier moved than thou art?

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