Even though I usually do not enjoy reading fiction, the addition of magical elements to the story as well as as the overall conciseness of The Tempest kept me entertained. Prospero received awful treatment from his brother and others, and in the end did not release his fury on the people that wronged him. He simply forgave them and then said nothing after that about them making him flee his own country and give up his Dukedom. Prospero comes off as an extremely intelligent and mild-tempered man, which is why it seems even more so unfortunate that his brother conspired against him.
Caliban and Ariel, Prospero’s two servants feel very differently about their situations as servants. Caliban is extremely angry about being stuck as Prospero’s servant and even went as far as attempting to rape his daughter in order to make his disapproval more clear. While on the other hand, Ariel after being saved by Prospero, feels indebted to him, and willfully carries out Prospero’s wishes. Interestingly, even though I pictured Ariel as a man, I’m pretty sure that his gender is ambiguous throughout the story.
I found the possible connection between Prospero denouncing his magical powers and Shakespeare ending his solo play-writing career pretty interesting. Prospero has a monologue in which he explains that he is going to get rid of his books which held his magical powers, and at the same time, The Temptest is Shakespeare’s last play that he solely wrote.
This class is great because I am finally getting a chance to read the “classics” that I have always heard about. I may not love every book that we’ve been assigned to read, but at least I can say that I know what these so-called classics are all about. I’m even finding that I have begun to enjoy writing the assigned essays because I have enjoyed having to deeply engage with all of the readings. Didn’t think I would ever say something like that.