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The Tempest is remarkable for various themes. Among many themes, the theme of usurpation is very remarkable. In this play, William Shakespeare expressed the theme of usurpation which is more agreeable and more conspicuous. Now let us discuss the theme of usurpation concerning the play.

The theme of usurpation is one of the main issues in Tempest. In the play, we can see that Prospero, the Duke of Milan,  has suffered heavily at the hands of his enemies. His chief enemy was his own brother Antonio who conspired against him with the active help and cooperation of Alonso and Sebastian. As a result of this intrigue, Prospero was not only driven out of his dukedom but along with his infant daughter Miranda. Thus the play gives the impression that perhaps man is by nature a usurper, although he justifies his actions in various ways.

After coming to this island, Prospero found Caliban who is most beastly in appearance and who represents raw nature. Prospero made him his slave and forced him to do work for him. On the other hand, Caliban thinks of himself as the native inhabitant of the island. He tends to think that Prospero is a colonizing figure who has usurped his land. He has developed a rebellious spirit.

The characters of Antonio and Sebastian always go together and are hardly differentiated. The theme of usurpation we find in their attempts. There is a curious parallelism in the situation of the two. Antonio and Sebastian plan to kill Alonso and Gonzalo so that Sebastian may be the King of Naples. Thus Sebastian already begins to imagine himself as the King of Naples, although all of them are now in the dangerous zone of the strange island.

In conclusion, we can say that the theme of usurpation is a significant theme of the play, The Tempest.  From the beginning of the play, Prospero was usurped by his own brother. The theme of usurpation is well expressed in this play very successfully.


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