Who benefits from magic? What examples show these characters benefiting from the magic? What are the results of using magic?At the same time of answering the question, how would it apply to...
Who benefits from magic? What examples show these characters benefiting from the magic? What are the results of using magic?
At the same time of answering the question, how would it apply to colonialism?
Prospero benefits from magic because it allows him to enter an alien realm, conquer it, and subdue its native inhabitants (Caliban and Ariel, whom Prospero liberates), making them his servants. Prospero has no compunction about ordering Caliban and Ariel to do whatever he wishes, or threatening them with magical punishments. Ariel, purchased by his own partial freedom and a promise of full freedom in the future, is a willing collaborator; Caliban, who retains memories of a time when he was the master, must be forced. But both remain subjects, under the rule of Prospero's magic.
This is an obvious analogy to the entry of Europeans into the new territories discovered by exploration in the Elizabethan age, and the use of technology and superior science to dominate and enslave the local populations. Magic is simply incomprehensible technology, as Arthur C. Clarke has pointed out ("Any sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic.")
The difference between Prospero and European imperialists is that Prospero is not interested in permanant settlement. His powers are bent towards restoring his position in the Old World and forcing a favorable reconciliation with his enemies. Still, the liberation of Ariel and Caliban is only granted after both have been acculturated and Caliban repents his earlier defiance. Prospero may have renounced dominance over the bodies of his former subjects, but he has left his mark on their minds.