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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