Prospero’s on the Island because he has already

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Prospero’s epilogue at the
conclusion of The Tempest provides
interesting parallels to its
author’s life. Written near the end
of his career, numerous scholars
suggest that it is Shakespeare’s
written farewell. Just as
Shakespeare sculpts a world from
nothing, Prospero authors the events
on the island. Prospero’s
monologue flows naturally with they
story and provides a natural ending
to the work. He describes the loss
of his magical power at the
beginning of his monologue when he
says, “My charms are all o’erthrown,
and what strength I have’s mine own,
which is most faint.” He remains
“confined” on the Island because he
has already “pardoned the deceiver”
and does not wish to return as the
Duke of Naples. He follows this
with a peculiar request of those
listening to “release me from my
bands with the help of your good
hands.” This could be seen
literally as a request of the
audience to clap so that the sails
of the boats will be filled, for his
friends’ return trip home.

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Contrast this to what
Shakespeare is voicing through
Prospero. “Now that my charms are
all o’erthrown, and what strength I
have’s mine own,” takes on a new
meaning. Now his plays have ended,
and anything more he yearns to say
can only come directly from him, not
through his characters. Furthermore,
the “Island” or stage Shakespeare is
on is now “bare” and it is time for
the audience to release him and his
from the play with the “help of
your good hands.” Not only was he
requesting release from the
performance, but from his career as
a playwright. In addition, the
audience’s pleasure fills his sails,
or makes him happy. If no one finds
pleasure in his works then what he
sent out to accomplish has not been

Finally, after separating the
perspectives, one can see how
closely they are intertwined. This
is evidenced through the puns found
throughout the epilogue. Such as
the before mentioned “faint” and
“please”. Just as Shakespeare
creates different worlds in each of
his plays and dictates the actions
within them. So does Prospero on
his island where he has control of
the outcome of the occurrences.
Shakespeare’s magic is in the world
he creates. He is the magician and
the stories are his tricks.

Categories: Career


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