Through the use of historical context, close analysis of the text and changes in critical interpretation we can make a judgement on what the theme of power actually represents for Prospero in 'The Tempest'. Prospero's many different types of power in the play can be seen as good and bad. The power of love between Prospero and his daughter is in some ways controlling yet underlined by his paternal instinct to protect her. Moreover Prospero appears largely flawed in his power of his slave Caliban, this is because he fails to teach him, however we later realise his intentions are good and that he did want Caliban to be taught. Finally his physical powers in being magic are perhaps his biggest downfall, having such powers makes him lack control over the self. Having said all this each part of Prospero's powers appears to be a learning path in which his character develops. The power of his love over his daughter helps him to develop as a father and allow his daughter the freedom in marriage she deserves. The power over his slave teaches him to be less self indulgent and the fact that he does still want to help Caliban after his actions says that he is not completely vain. Moreover the ending of Prospero retiring from his magical powers represents Prospero's development in becoming this ideal ruler, in order for him to do this, he must give up his "rough magic" and allow his power to come from the loyalty of his people.
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