As the play opens, Prospero uses magic to whip up a violent storm—the tempest of the title—to bring his enemies to the island kingdom where he's been living out his exile from Milan. It was his preoccupation with magic that led Prospero to be dumped as Duke by a cabal of conspirators, which included his brother, Antonio. Back then, magic could provide no assistance to Prospero; it was a sign of his weakness, his lack of worldliness. But now, things are different; now his magic skills are an expression of his power over other people and the forces of nature.
Prospero has created his own little world on the basis of the magical powers he's developed over the years. Since he fetched up on the island, he's used magic as a method of control over his new subjects, Ariel and Caliban. What was once little more than an eccentric hobby that precipitated his downfall as Duke of Milan has been transformed into the very foundation of his rule upon this island kingdom.
Magic has restored some...
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