The Tempest - Eng 111 4/30/09 Bondage and Freedom within...

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Eng 111 4/30/09 Bondage and Freedom within “The Tempest” In William Shakespeare’s, “The Tempest” one of the most prominent themes within the script is the theme of bondage and freedom. There are three characters of who display the highest form of proof and importance of bondage and freedom. These three extremely important characters of the play are the spirits Ariel and Caliban and their master Prospero. Ariel and Caliban are both spirits that are servants to Prospero, who has taken command of power of the island they all live on. Even though both Caliban and Ariel are servants to Prospero, Ariel is the only one who shows interest in truly trying to gain his freedom by doing all the bidding Prospero asks. Caliban on the other hand finds it exceedingly amusing to upset Prospero at any given moment. Prospero is bonded by the hate and resentment towards his brother Antonio, for betraying him and taking his kingdom while Prospero was exiled to his island. He then in turn enslaves the two spirits which inhabited the island (Ariel and Caliban) to feel he was free since an enslaved man cannot have slaves himself. He uses both Caliban and Ariel to try to gain freedom, or forgiveness, towards those who have hurt him. It isn’t until Prospero can forgive those who have hurt him can he set those who he is hurting free. In the beginning of the play, Prospero is needy and ungrateful at moments towards Ariel even though he is at his beck and call whenever needed, while Prospero is malicious, condescending and has hatred towards Caliban who in return treats him just as badly. It isn’t until later in the play when Prospero has begun to change due to the significance of bondage and freedom or forgiveness in his life.
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Ariel, who is the spirit of wind, once was suffering before Prospero came to the island. Before, she was the servant to Sycorax, who is Calibans mother. She confined Ariel into a pine because Ariel was too fragile to be able to complete tasks that Sycorax had asked him to do. Ariel was imprisoned in that pine for many years until Prospero came to the island and released him, asking for his servitude in return and one day earning his freedom. Since in Ariel’s eyes, he was saved by Prospero and that is the reason why Ariel is so submissive and attentive towards Prospero and his every wish. When Prospero calls Ariel, he enters with such energy and optimism to make sure that he
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The Tempest - Eng 111 4/30/09 Bondage and Freedom within...

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