Determinson and Dispero: a comparison of Robinson Crusoe and Prospero

Daniel Defoe constructs in “Robinson Crusoe” a character that shows great determination to live. This can be observed through the fact that he runs away from home. He runs away from his father who had in mind to make him into a mediocre middle class lawyer who would not be bothered by any extreme poverty or any extreme pride caused by luxury or riches. At sea he goes through several serious storms both internally and on the actual sea. Despite his religiousness and his suing conscience he still proceeds with his adventures. Also when he strands on the island without anything he refuses to despair but starts building up his life in order to survive both physically and mentally. When he reflects on his life, he writes down all the good and the evil that he observes. However he writes that, “from the most miserable conditions in this world, [there is] always [to be found] something to comfort from” (48). In all of this a Hands-on approach to life can be observed in the Character Robinson Crusoe. He is determined to live life as he wants it and is willing to bear the consequences and to work hard for it.

When reading The Tempest , Shakespeare presents a character to his audience who is also very determined. This character, Prospero, pursues knowledge, power and revenge to his brother. However, it is hard to find any sympathy in how he achieves this. He uses is knowledge of magic to cast spells and to command evil spirits to establish his power. It seems that there’s nothing that can withhold him from getting what he wants.



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3 responses to “Determinson and Dispero: a comparison of Robinson Crusoe and Prospero

  1. stperry1

    There is a clear comparison between Prospero and Robinson Crusoe, however, it is definitely important to draw attention to their differences as you did. Robinson Crusoe, although he definitely has his faults, does not spend his time in seclusion growing bitter and attempting to hatch a plan to hurt others. He spends his time in reflection and grows as a person, even if he does not become a completely changed and perfect person. It is clear that Crusoe benefits from his seclusion whereas Prospero may comfort himself through bad feelings and his dream and getting back at those who hurt him, however, this ultimately doesn’t change him.

    • Robinson Crusoe is by all means a determined individual. As Thomas mentioned during discussion Tuesday, he was stranded on an island for 28 years, something probably most of us would not be able to come to terms with. This act alone shows dtermination and power. Also, to mention the fact he ignored his father’s request to just become a lawyer, as previously stated. Robinson Crusoe’s journey as a castaway throughout the novel shows his dtermination. To become enslavd, make your own survial tips and plans to stay alive and his strong belief in his well being shows how much power he had. The Tempest’s, Prospero, also shows a great amount of power, but in a different way. He uses things to gain his, whereas Crusoe’s power is somewhat of a “natural” thing.

  2. vrosengrant20

    If I may add, Crusoe created his sustenance and life upon the island manually with the text documenting each struggle and obstacle he overcame thus allowing the audience to see his determination and evolution. However, The Tempest only shows Prospero in a place of power with his trials upon the island already overcome. Furthermore, Prospero had the help of Caliban and Ariel, so that he had no need to do physical labor, along with Miranda for company. These are considered luxuries when contrasted with Crusoe who lived alone for more than twenty years. These differences highlight Crusoe’s determination and strength simply through length of the medium in which the story is told.

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