This quotation shows Antonio as being a self-centred, horrible, and vengeful character. However, when Antonio is trying to persuade Sebastian, he doesn’t say everything that is on his mind, and obscure and not very direct. Gradually, he becomes more open about the subject of murder. He appeals to Sebastian’s sense of ambition, and in the end Antonio wins his way. Antonio even says that he won’t feel guilty about murdering the king: SEBASTIAN: But for your conscience?
ANTONIO: Ay, sir, where lies that?” This shows a lot about both of the characters. It shows that Antonio is a very heartless character, and that Sebastian is a naive character, and that he isn’t using his brain to its full potential. Anyone could see that this was a stupid idea of Antonio’s, but with the good persuasion from Antonio, the murder goes ahead: “SEBASTIAN: Thy case, dear friend, Shall become my precedent.”
How significant has magic been in the scenes we have read? Magic has been quite a big issue in this play, as two of the main characters, which are Prospero and Ariel, base their commands on magic and basically every time that they appear in the play. Magic is a part of their character and what they posses as well. We realise, (not straight from the beginning) that the storm, which is created, that brings the ship to its ruin, is by Prospero’s demand, for Ariel to complete. Ariel is Prospero’s servant, and Prospero commands him to do most things, which involve magic. Ariel does this through his magic powers that he has: ” Prospero: Hast thou, spirit, Performed to point the tempest that I bade thee?”
From Ariel, we are given a description of how he performed his task: “ARIEL: To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride On the curled clouds… I flamed amazement.” Even the words that Shakespeare uses, sounds magical: “to dive into fire,” ” to rise on curled clouds.” Nobody that is mortal could do things like this. Magic plays a very important role in the plot of the play. You wouldn’t have been able to have had the shipwreck if it wasn’t for magic. Prospero knows that Ferdinand has a big interest in his daughter Miranda. Prospero wants to challenge Ferdinand to see how much he really does love Miranda, and to do this he needs Ariel to lead Ferdinand to Prospero by singing gently to him: “ARIEL: The wild waves whist; Foot it featly here and there, And sweet sprites bear The burden.”
This speech is really very calm and gentle, and again the pacific words like “waves whist” and “sprites bear” all make it sound magical. In Act Two, Ariel comes onto the scene, in order to put Gonzalo, Adrian, Alonso and Francisco to sleep, and he comes in playing “solemn music” to achieve this. When Ariel usually plays music, is seems to symbolize drowsiness which is what is happening in this part of the play.
Later on in the scene he decides to wake them up, just before Gonzalo, Antonio and Alonso are about to be killed by Antonio and Sebastian. Ariel does this so that Antonio and Sebastian are to be caught ‘red handed’ with swords in their hands: “ARIEL: Shake off slumber and beware. Awake, awake! ” The word “beware used in this quotation, shows that he is trying to protect Gonzalo, Antonio and Alonso. We also see that the magic used in this play isn’t so bad as might have been thought at the beginning of the play with the shipwreck.
We realise that if magic wasn’t a part of this play, Antonio and Sebastian would have killed half the characters! It is not just Prospero and Ariel who know that magic is being practising, but it is also the mortal characters. Just after Ariel has woken Gonzalo, Antonio and Alonso from sleep, Gonzalo thinks that it is magic that had woken them from their sleep: “GONZALO: I heard a humming, And a strange one too, which did awake me.” We realise that Ariel wants the King to go “safely on to seek thy son.” Magic keeps the characters alive in one aspect of this play, just like Ariel did to save Gonzalo, Antonio and Alonso. Magic is also significant in this play, as otherwise they would have been no shipwreck in the first place, because it was Ariel who caused this.