How is the theme of magic explored in Prospero's soliloquy?

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gbeatty eNotes educator| Certified Educator

His soliloquy in Act V explores the reach of magic. It reads (or plays) like a catalog of all the places magic can go, and all it can do.

It also recounts Prospero's powers. As such, the speech is at once a kind of nostalgic eulogy, a kind of farewell, and a kind of self-praise. He's talking about how great he was, and how powerful, and he's saying good-bye to it. The distance between book and staff are a good sign of how tempting he knows magic to be.

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The Tempest

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