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The Tempest

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Essay title: The Tempest

Throughout the play The Tempest there is a relationship that pits master and slave in a harmony that benefits both parties. Though it may sound strange, these slaves sometimes have a goal or expectation that they hope to have fulfilled. Although rarely realized by its by its participants, the Master--Slave, Slave--Master relationship is a balance of expectation and fear by the slaves to the master; and a perceived since of power by that of the master over the slaves.

The relationship between the slave and master is one of expectation and perceived fear. Expectation in a sense that a slave with a perceived future expectation will tend to work harder and more diligently for their master then a slave that does not have these expectations for hope of reaching their ultimate goal. For instance Ariel is more willing to do Prospero's bidding for he believes that are some future date he will be set free, and will not longer have to serve as a slave to prospero. For instance in this passage we are confronted with this expectation of freedom:

Prospero: …What is't thou canst demand

Ariel: My Liberty

Prospero: Before the time be out? No more

Ariel: I prithee, remember I have done thee worthy service, told thee no lies, made no mistakings, served without grudge or grumbling. Thou did promise to bate me a full year (Act I, Scene II, 245-249)

Showing that the slave, Ariel, is willing to do what ever is asked of him in the hope that in due time he will be set free, and to serve no one any longer. However, this expectation is one sided; since, the expectation of freedom I dependent on how prospero perceives the tasks that have been completed and those that are to be done. Thus, Ariel may never be set free if prospero never feels satisfied. On the other hand, if there is no expectation by a slave of future rewards then the future expectation of rewards is removed and the slave feels only oppression from the master, nothing more. For Caliban is a prime example. Caliban is not expecting to be set free or have his land restored to him. So Caliban has an extreme hatred for his master, Prospero, which all he can do is curse the man that made him this way, and hope for his demise. "All the infections that the sun sucks up from bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him by inchmeal a disease…His spirits hear me, and yet I needs must curse"(Act II, Scene II, 1-5). Caliban having no other recourse can only wish bad things onto Prospero. Hoping that he will die for that is the only thing that can set Caliban free. Also, for with no expectation of future gains, Caliban's work is also subpar for he knows that for better or for worse he will always be a slave to Prospero.

Second among the slave-master relationship is a fear factor that links a fear that Prospero's slaves. For that if they are not doing of what is expected by Prospero, they can and will be easily destroyed by his mighty powers. For this fear is real and keeps Ariel and Caliban from coming together and staging a coo to overthrow Prospero and his powers. To reaffirm his power Prospero tells Ariel, "If thou more mumur'st, I will rend an oak and peg thee in his knotty entrails till thou hast howled away twelve winters"(Act I, Scene II, 295-297). Thus Ariel is pressured to do what is asked of him, or face a horrible demise that should not be wished upon no one. This fear also reminds Ariel that though he is powerful Prospero is even more powerful. Making it hard for him to try and escape. Whereas, Caliban fears that Prospero is willing and able to end his llife at any time, since at every meeting he threatens Caliban with the bad things that he can do to him if he is not pleased with his work.

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