THE TEMPEST Explore the theme of Freedom versus Control in the Tempest.
The Tempest is a play that explores many themes, one of which is the theme of freedom versus control. We can explore this theme by examining the characters in the play. Throughout the play there are countless examples of power and authority through control, and the desire for freedom echoing strongly along with this is emphasised in many of the characters. All the characters in the play suffer some sort of incarceration before they are free.
For a start, the characters in The Tempest are all on an island of which they have no control over. Prospero and Miranda are exiled there after Antonio usurps his position of Duke of Milan; thus they both suffer a lack of control in their lives. Prospero, in fact, although yearning for control himself, reigns superior over many of the characters. One of these characters is his servant, Ariel, who he freed from Sycorax after she was imprisoned in a tree for twelve years.
Ariel has to suffer harsh punishment when she so much as complains of her unfair treatment to Prospero (Act 1, Scene 2): If thou more murmur'st, I will rent an oak And peg thee in his knotty entrails till Thou hast howled away twelve winters.
Prospero here is informing Ariel that if she dares to question is authority again, he will imprison her in an oak tree for twelve years. Ariel, longing for her freedom, agrees to run errands for Prospero in order for him to gain control and be free, through his plans of uniting Miranda and Ferdinand. Throughout the play, references are made by Prospero that Ariel shall soon be free as long as she carries out his instructions. (Act 4 Scene 1): Shortly...