The Tempest is a Shakespearean tragicomedy that deals with several complex issues like colonialism, power-politics, the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized and most importantly, the impact that language has on social relationships. This paper argues that all of these issues have as their kernel the issue of kingship or more precisely, the model of kingship practised by Prospero on the island. His manner of kingship oscillates between the ideal of the philosophical king (the Platonic political ideal) and the Machiavellian Prince (Proposed by Niccolo Machiavelli). The manner in which Prospero exercises authority dictates the actions of people on the island as well as the existence of physical forces (If one can think of Ariel as a physical force). However, the question of whether it is a sense of political idealism that guides his actions or a magnification of his own personality in order to govern, remains the subject of this paper. It is established at the end that the model of kingship practised by Prospero has less to do with consequences and more to do with intentions. His ideals are personal and his motives are political.
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