Prospero, Dr. Faustus and the Search for Power
In William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” and Christopher Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus,” Prospero and Medical professional Faustus both take part in elements of the dark arts, at first to attain aspirational outcomes. In order to show power, Shakespeare successfully plays with the relationships in between master and servant. Lots of characters are also secured a power struggle for the control of the island, ultimately triggering the abuse of power by some characters. Whereas, Marlowe provides the master/servant relationship as a mutually helpful deal out of option, rather than against the will of the servant. However, while Prospero is clearly reformed at the end of The Tempest, Faustus is damned to hell and does not experience the cherished power that Prospero restores. This might be because of the truth that The Tempest is a common love play, ending with a cliched ‘happily ever after’, whereas Marlowe’s Physician Faustus is considered a catastrophe due to the main character dying.
The power held by “The Tempest”(s) main lead character, Prospero, is challenged by the native islander Caliban. Caliban recognizes this, and when attempting to assassinate Prospero, he wants ‘to possess his books; for without them/ He’s however a sot, …’This line provides Caliban as powerful, as he understands the trick to Prospero’s power, and likewise knows how to stop it. Nevertheless, the truth that Caliban has actually not acted upon this, even when enslaved by Prospero, but instead searches for a “god”or “master”demonstrates how he needs someone to assist him.
Prospero is called a “sot” by Caliban; the word “sot” describes a middle ages alcoholic, somebody who is constantly drunk, which provides Prospero as a reckless character. This reveals a clear space in power in between Prospero and Caliban, as the island needs to come from the native Caliban, but has been colonized by Prospero, the reckless white man. What is interesting is that Caliban just insults Prospero behind his back, but in his existence is really scared of him. Bernard Lott states that “Caliban has bad blood in him, and for that reason, in the view of Shakespeare’s time, he can not quickly be educated in any way which will enhance his character.” The critic plainly recognizes the culture in Jacobean England, as the general public would not accept an outsider, specifically of a different race, into their community. Instead, they would make a freak reveal out of Caliban that people would pay to see, as people “will lay out 10 to see a dead Indian.” In contrast, Faustus “Assures his soul to be great Lucifer’s.” Faustus refers to himself in 3rd individual, which produces a mysterious atmosphere and demonstrates how Faustus has actually gotten rid of the human aspect of himself. This would likewise not have been accepted by the 16th century audience, as to offer one’s soul to the devil would be a big sin, and punishable by death in addition to everlasting damnation. Likewise, like Caliban, Faustus wishes to have a God to direct him at the end of the play, however it is too late for him to repent and he should accept his fate.
Ariel bears the best physical power in the play, but is easily frightened by Prospero, the master of the spirit. Caliban states that the spirits “all do dislike him/ As rootedly as I.” This quote successfully allows the audience to feel Caliban’s anguish, but also enlightens them to the sensations of Ariel, and how the spirit wishes to be free, however should first repay its debt to Prospero. This is apparent in Sam Mendes’ production of The Tempest in 1993, when an upset Ariel spits in the face of Prospero after being launched. This interpretation enabled the audience to understand manifest destiny from the servant’s viewpoint, and the power and bitterness that grow due to it. Nevertheless, Ariel does take care of its master as the spirit asks “do you love me, master?” This is immediately followed by “No?”
The recurrence of questions marks depicts a tip of doubt, as Ariel is unsure of the answer, and needs to trigger its master. This question is calmly, however exactly responded to by Prospero who responds “Dearly, my fragile Ariel.” This conveys a sense of shared love between the master and servant. The use of the word “delicate” is juxtaposed with the physical power that Ariel has, providing the spirit to be inferior to Prospero. Yet, Shakespeare’s usage of “my Ariel” shows how Prospero still regards Ariel as his own belongings, and nothing more. The critic Robert Smallwood describes how all other characters are off phase, “leaving Prospero alone with the last of his puppets.” This metaphor plainly represents Prospero as a puppet master, constantly utilizing Ariel for his own advantage. This presents Prospero as a very self-centered individual, but it likewise provides him the power he requires to complete his vengeance plan.
In contrast, Faustus believes himself to be Mephistopheles’ master, and “that Mephistopheles shall be his servant and at his command” Nevertheless, he is rather the puppet of Lucifer; Faustus guarantees “Never to name God or to pray to him,/ To burn his scriptures …”, which shows Faustus to be quickly controlled. There is a semantic field of violence and hatred in Faustus’ words when he agrees to “Kill his ministers,/ And make my spirits pull his churches down.” This conveys the level of power that he believes he possesses, however he does not actually believe what he is pledging, he just tells Lucifer what he wants to hear. Likewise, the truth that “Faustus vows never ever to want to heaven,” depicts Faustus’ battle to decide and how he frequently considers repentance, which shows how he does not have control over his own thoughts, let alone spirits.
Prospero concerns his daughter as helpless compared to himself. The ex-duke of Milan informs Miranda to “Comply with, and listen.”
This shows a really controlling side to Prospero; making use of the word “comply with” is really powerful, and offers the illusion that Prospero is Miranda’s master. Nevertheless, Prospero is Miranda’s daddy, and has actually solitarily brought her up. This shows how Miranda has actually never ever experienced the business of any other people other than Caliban, who is improperly mistreated by her dad, so she may concern the method she is dealt with by Prospero as being normal. Martin Butler claims “Prospero’s authority is deteriorated by his lack of a male heir.”
Although Butler’s views would have been extensively accepted throughout the Jacobean age, as males were of a higher status in society, I do not agree that Prospero is deteriorated due to having a daughter. Miranda plays a necessary role in Prospero’s plan; when Miranda and Ferdinand fall in love, Prospero uses them to his benefit to regain his former power. In this sense, Prospero gains power through the manipulation of his child, and her feelings. Faustus also attempts to buy Mephostophilis to obey him. Faustus tells Mephostophilis to “wait upon me whilst I live”in a very strong tone, expecting the devil to become his servant. What is fascinating is the alliteration of the ‘w’ noise in “wait” and “whilst” adds a spiteful tone to the words in order to frighten the devil. However, Mephistopheles calmly responds “I am servant to great Lucifer”This demonstrates how Faustus is extremely big-headed, and thinks he is a lot more effective than he actually is.
Prospero’s power is assisted by his knowledge of necromancy, and his wonderful capability. The critic Matt Simpson believes “the laying aside of bathrobe and staff suggest that his magic can be, as it were, shut down”This shows how Prospero is greatly reliant on his ‘wonderful tools’ that assist him to attain terrific power. Nevertheless, I disagree that the magic is being “deactivated”, as without the equipment, the magic of Prospero is lost, and just available through these things. Prospero understands this, and when he picks to stop dabbling magic, vows to “break my staff.” The truth that the personnel has to be broken conveys that anybody might use it, and he does not desire it getting into the incorrect hands. He also guarantees to “drown my book” to prevent others from finding it, and to stop the temptation for him to relearn his magic.
Using the word “drown” personifies the book, providing it human attributes as if it had the ability to breathe. This book might represent Ariel, who Prospero soon after release, as it is a tool being utilized by Prospero to get power without authorization. Faustus likewise loses Mephostophilis and for that reason his ability to gain power through necromancy. When Faustus lastly realises that he is damned, he snaps out of the impression of being powerful, and becomes heavily desperate, advocating more time. We see Faustus descend into madness when he cries “O, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn into air.” The repetition of “it strikes” mirrors the chime of a bell, this allows the audience to experience the value of time to Faustus, and how his power is gone.
In conclusion, Prospero possesses the greatest overall power in the play, but without his servants and books, he is helpless. However, he picks to rid himself of his books in order to create a more serene life. This is the ideal ending to a common love play since the majority of the characters towards completion all get their cliched ‘gladly ever after’ ending. Ariel has vast magical capability, however stays loyal to Prospero as he saved the spirit. When freed at the end of the play, a sense of love is conveyed between Prospero and Ariel, which might show how Ariel was not really being required to remain, but wanted to help its master. Making use of Caliban represents the change that is imminent to occur in society, however would not have actually been accepted by a Jacobean audience, as they would not be comfortable with someone who is ‘various’ in their community.
Physician Faustus clearly provides power in a similar method to The Tempest. Faustus does not have a lot of natural magical power and needs Mephostophilis to complete jobs. He likewise knocks his source of wonderful power, like Prospero, when he understands the cost. Both plays represent power as an essential requirement at their start. However, they both slowly, however certainly expose that power is not of the greatest value and show that life can be as fulfilling with the lack of power.