Prospero's Illusion of Justice

1238 words 5 pages
Prospero’s Illusion of Justice Justice means conformity to moral rightness in action or attitude; righteousness and in the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare tells a fairly straight forward story involving an unjust act; he was banished by his brother Antonio, he is on a quest to re-establish justice by restoring himself to power. However, Prospero’s idea of justice seems extremely one-sided and mainly involves what is good for him; the idea represents the view of one character that controls the fate of all the other characters. Nevertheless he presents himself as a victim of injustice working to right the wrongs that have been done to him. His idea of justice and injustice is somewhat hypocritical, despite the fact that he is …show more content…

Of course the ceremony has to happen right away and other spirits and nymphs appear. Furthermore, Prospero’s plan to gain justice still was not accomplished; he has to gather up the King of Naples, Alonso, the King’s brother Sebastian, his brother Antonio, and his good friend Gonzalo and Ariel works her magic to achieve the gathering. Once he is united with everyone he is able to charm The King with his knowledge. He lets him know that his friend Gonzalo has been a great help and has provided him with shelter. Also he says aside to Sebastian and Antonio But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded, I here could pluck his Higness’ frown upon you And justify you traitors. At this time I will tell no tales. (5.1.142-146)
Does this give evidence that justice was only an illusion Prospero set himself to believe was true? The quote states that he has no intention in telling the King what Sebastian and Antonio yet, but he does forgive Antonio for what he has done, but told his brother “My dukedom of thee, which perforce I know Thou must restore” (5.1.153-154). Prospero used magic to his advantage to persuade everyone that he was right, but his magic was intended for dreadful uses. He wanted to punish those who did him immorally and reward those who did the punishing. So Prospero spoke to the King and surely enough Prospero received what he wanted, his dukedom, but is punishing the correct way in gaining justice? Although it might not be the correct way, no one