Master and Slave in The Tempest

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The relationship between master and slave is embraced by Shakespeare in his play The Tempest. Conflicts and complexities of authority are portrayed by the characters Prospero and Caliban. As one gains power, the other loses it. In the play, Prospero rises to power, while Caliban loses it. The legitimacy of Prospero’s authority over Caliban is, however, questionable. What gives Prospero the power over Caliban? What are the reasons that Caliban should obey his masters’ …

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…Caliban attempts to rape his daughter and that he should pay penance for it; however, his punishment is not legitimate because it is for selfish reasons not for justice. And the only reason that Prospero has any control over Caliban is through his supernatural powers which he abuses. Prospero the master enslaves the helpless Caliban and deprives him of his freedom and according to the Jesuit Father, Anotonio Vieira, Prospero should be “condemned to hell.”