‘Renaissance’ means rebirth, which marks a shift from seeing humans as sinners to a focus on their potentials and achievements. Humanism was key part of Renaissance spirit. Quest for knowledge and power, a spirit of adventure, a quest for exploring new territories, presence of evil in the politics and interest in magic are the Renaissance element in The Tempest. The plays major focus is on Prospered quest for perfection, knowledge and power.
He devotes himself to learning even to the extent of neglecting his duties as a ruler. Use of magic is a weapon through which he can attain perfection. He attains to the status of God on the island assigning roles to the people, commanding and punishing them whenever they go wrong. The act of Notation’s usurpation of power gives us insights into the evil that was apart of Renaissance politics. The predominance of magic in the play shows the Renaissance kings interest is in the magical things.
Prosper leaves Milan and happens to land on new island. This incident of traveling through sea, facing shipwreck, coming to a new land reminds us of the spirit of adventure of Renaissance times made possible by the invention of compass. The quest for geographical discovery of the time is vividly referred to. The long process of colonization began during the Renaissance period. Prosper goes to Scallion’s island and gives it culture and rules over it. He seems to have fulfilled the colonizing mission.
He is the representative of western civilization, goes to a wild locale and molds it in the image of his own culture. He takes the land away from Scoria to whom it legally belongs. Notation’s greed for power, Prospered quest for knowledge and perfection as well as his spirit of adventure form the Renaissance elements of the play. The use of magic as a means for gaining perfection and the colonization of the island also makes The Tempest a typical Renaissance drama.