I have actually responded to the following concern (my thesis is underlined):
3) It has been theorized that Shakespeare based the character Prospero on himself. Where can you see this? What do Prosper and the play reveal about the theater? How does Prosperos last monologue lastly expose?
In his play The Tempest Shakespeare gives us an allegory of the artist as creator. It is his last play with full authorship, and it seems that the playwright wishes to bid goodbye to his art with a distinct declaration about the real function of the author.
In it he shows us how the author is in complete control of the world he creates, and that he is able to enforce his own worths on the character he develops as he guides their fates.
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From the very first howling tempest that trashes a ship peopled by kings and nobles, to the last wringing of applause from the audience that secures his final release, Prospero is the author of all that occurs in the time frame of the play.
Every occurring on the island is prepared by Prospero and is meticulously carried out by means of his magic. However, it is a mistake to judge them as being simple puppets to Prospero’s advising.
His magic is the fruit of the pure pursuit of knowledge; it is not simple hoax or hypnotization that he results. He does not induce emotions onto those that fall under his spell. He merely shepherds the pre-existing emotions, so that they play out towards a simply conclusion. Justice is seen completely from the perspective of Prospero. He has actually suffered through the treachery of his sibling Antonio, lost the Dukedom of Milan and is exiled on a desert island. He is now dealt with to fix this wrong-doing, to which purpose delves into the art of magic on his desert vigil with his child.
We know that Shakespeare relates to Prospero by the repeated parallelisms between Prospero’s world and the theatre. Books are the origin of his downfall; he confides to us that his avidity for books distracted him from tasks as the Duke of Milan, which permitted his bro and rival Dukes to plot his elimination. Books again become his means to repair of his sovereignty, for they are the source of his magic on his desert island of exile. He wields his magic to end up being the arbiter of the fates of all who have ventured on his island, handling the occasions with the accuracy of a chess game, up until he has actually handled to remedy the injustice done versus him 12 years formerly. Shakespeare is telling us that it is within the powers of the author to wring justice within his art.
Yet he regrets “We are such things/ As dreams are made on, and our little life/ Is rounded with a sleep” (4.1.155-157). Justice that is wrought within the boundaries of the theatre is in vain if there be no path back to reality. To this end Prospero seeks release after he has actually drowned his books: “Bury it specific fathoms in the earth,/ And deeper than did ever drop sound/ I’ll drown my book” (5.1.55-57). This act is symbolic of the playwright closing his play. The make-believe world of fiction needs to come to an end, and Prospero urges this end entreatingly. In order for his art to succeed he needs to step off the phase.
The entreaty is made most specific in Prospero’s parting monologue. This is a direct address to the audience asking for them to launch him from the boundaries of the theatre. Now that his “beauties are all o’erthrown” he is sinking in strength and is at the grace of the audience. He asks them not to restrict him in his world of fiction, especially so because the real world beckons, where he has actually restored his lost Dukedom. His “project fails” if they do not join in with the applause of their hands and cheer with their voices, which becomes the breath on which he will have the ability to set sail back to Milan (Epi. 1-12). By advising the audience to applause Shakespeare is in result requesting the recognition of his art, for therefore lies its success.
Shakespeare, William. “The Tempest.” The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Vol. 3. Ed. Peter Alexander. London: Collins, 1965.