chapter  4
20 Pages

Prospero's Island

WithDennis Austin

Prospero's dilemma—resolved only through magic—is to rule over both men in a coherent fashion. The dilemma is ultimately resolved only when Prospero returns to Milan, Ariel goes free, and Caliban once again rules his small island, his own king and his only subject. But within the tormented pattern of relationships among twentieth-century governments there is no such easy end to the problem of dependency between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the vulnerable. Prospero's island has become the world. And the myths, too, have been enlarged. As the colonial world dissolved in the 1950s, a dualistic view of the new international order reappeared in the United States and the Soviet Union. Between Prospero and the Calibans and Ariels, it is assumed, there lies not only power, but the wealth on which power is based and from which the comfortable life of the industrialized nations is derived.