Where The Tempest Meets Forgiveness: Cold Nature & Sympathetic Character?

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So, lately I have been delving into scripture from the Bible that exemplifies forgiveness – it is an area of my life that needs more work than the rest. Last week, we wrote a Pre-Tempest Essay and I wrote about the root of Jesus Christ’s forgiveness. This week, we have read through all of Act 1 of the Tempest, by Shakespeare and instead of analyze two characters and forgiveness between them, I am going to pick Prospero and delve into his ways and forgiveness within himself. Prospero from Scene 1 seems to show the readers that his behavior does not emulate that of Christian values. Perhaps the most intense example of forgiveness that we get from the Bible is from Jesus’ Sermon on The Mount; Jesus says that one must forgive if one wants forgiveness. With the very short history I know of Prospero, and from what the play tells us, we know that Propsero has gotten lucky when he takes the cane to bring vengeance on his enemies in the ship. We learn that, between dialogue with Ariel, he had no intentions of mall play or to harm the enemies on the ship and actually inquires about their safety from Ariel. This is very interesting in the sense that Prospero seems to be the character in control from the start. He acts with selfish intent yet lets off sympathetic vibes. He does not think twice about putting the men on the ship through horrible toil, all the while they think the storm is a result of the death of Prince Ferdinand. He abuses their ignorance to give himself self-pleasure, almost. This is where forgiveness comes to play when looking at this scene and Prospero. He insists that those who turned against him suffer as a result of their actions, before he offers them forgiveness. This means innocent people suffer too but Prospero doesn’t seem to mind. He lets them be hurt and almost killed before he shows affection and forgiveness for them. The root of his forgiveness seems to be internal betrayal, but only from certain characters, perhaps Caliban, and not all of the people on the vessel. Very interesting to see that Prospero has such a cold nature but a sympathetic character.

We seem to be seeing lots of examples of forgiveness…Will we be seeing examples of reconciliation?

 

photo via:http://media.hamptonroads.com/cache/files/images/331241000.jpg

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Where the Tempest Meets Forgiveness: A Sailboat Without Its Sail?

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In the beginning of Act 1, Scene 2, we get dialogue between Caliban and Prospero. We have had less than 100 lines in the play and already gotten a full view of the relationship between these two men. As indicated through dialogue around likes 47, we learn that anger is just raging between them – forcing their views of each other to be seen through skewed lens. It seems as though they have had a rocky past, maybe with one another or maybe with other loved ones, that is acting as a barricade for forgiveness. The root of forgiveness in this case seems to be their past; an action that has occurred in their relationship in the past is stopping the growth of their relationship in the future. So, why a sailboat without a sail? Think about it. A sailboat without a sail cannot move. It cannot traverse the open waters or move out from a port. In fact, it doesn’t even have a sail so the chance to move is not even an option. The sail is a metaphor for forgiveness. Once the boat, or their relationship, has a sail it can move, or rather, once one has forgiven the other, their ship can sail the sea. Prospero and Caliban’s relationship seems to be at a standstill because of their past and because neither has chosen to forgive the other. Maybe if they would just employ the use of their sails…

photo source: http://img.nauticexpo.com/images_ne/photo-g/sailboats-cruising-sailing-yachts-aluminium-20644-215559.jpg