The Tempest is one of my favourites by Shakespeare. The fact that it is set in such an enclosed, isolated, and exotic place makes for not only a nicely different visual aesthetic from many Shakespeare plays, but it also initiates an interesting social experiment between the characters. For it was intriguing to watch the behaviours of people with such controlling, ambitious personalities in a place too desolate for there to be much to control at all. There was a sense of juvenile futility and desperation in seeing such a mass of (literally) washed up noblemen with obstinately determined personalities conspiring for control of whatever they could get their hands on. The characters in the Tempest are so seized by their ambitions of gaining status, that they continuously overlook the logistics of the situation. Very rarely is their a discussion surrounding actually getting back to the country they all so wish to rule. Furthermore, the plot Caliban leads (all while drunk) to help usurp Prospero on an island with little to rule anyways emphasizes the potential pettiness which ambition can lead to. This is especially true when put into the context of people who are unable to reap the benefits of their potential successes, as are the likes of Sebastien and Antonio, as they’re trapped on an island.
On another note, the idea that Platonic themes were incorporated into the play confused me a bit. How exactly is Prospero a philosopher king? It was also mentioned in lecture that some characters in the play have “soul-types” which can be categorized into those outlined in The Republic (that of appetite, spirit, and reason). This seems accurate, but not like complete proof of the connection.