Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Prospero

Prospero isn't particularly likable. He's a cross old man who shouts and threatens. Also he has a god complex. The drama is a drama of old age-  the story of an old man trying to leave all fair before he pops his clogs. I can't think why anyone thinks it's a suitable text for the young to study (I did it for O level.) You have to be preternaturally wise or well into middle-age to give sympathetic ear to a person who proposes to make "every third thought... my grave."

Life goes on and Prospero's attempts to leave everything tidy behind him are only partly successful. It's good news for Ariel I suppose, Ferdinand and Miranda have their fairytale ending, Caliban is back where he started only with an education, Alonso is sorry (like Nick Clegg) and Sebastian and Antonio have eaten up their forgiveness and are back to being heartlessly witty. The book goes into the sea and you wonder what the point of all that art and learning ever was. It lost a man his throne and got it him back again but, then, he never really wanted it in the first place. Prospero asks himself the same question. Or even has the answer. "We are such stuff as dreams are made on." The most you can hope for is that the dream may be a little instructive and amusing.
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