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Shakespeare's The Tempest

Prospero's command of "the natural world" is evident in what Robert Ornstein says of the way Prospero pushes the two lovers together, noting that Prospero has spent much time protecting his daughter from the lust of Caliban and now "instinctively hectors Ferdinand on the need to respect Miranda's virginity" because "he is unable to think of Miranda except as a vulnerable defenseless child even though he knows that she has grown into womanhood" (Ornstein 240). Prospero is the master who is able to manipulate the other characters with his magic. He prevents the love affair between Ferdinand and Miranda from developing too rapidly because that would not suit his plans, but when it is evident that the love will grow and that he himself approves of it, he facilitates rather than obstructs. Much of what he does in the latter half of the play is designed to get Alonso as well to approve of the liaison between the two young people, and he will use illusion to teach his enemies the error of their ways. Clearly, Shakespeare sees a healing power in drama itself and expresses that belief in this play, and again magic is identified with drama. The love between Ferdinand and Miranda reaches a turning point in Act III when they become betrothed. Prospero has been antagonistic to this union through most of the play because it does not suit his purpose. In Act IV Scene 1, however, he shows a different face as he helps celebrate the betroth


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