Sudden End of the Masque : Act 4 Scene 1 The Tempest Question Answers

 Sudden End of The Masque : Act 4 Scene 1

Question : Why does the masque come to a sudden end ? What does it reveal about Prospero ?
Answer:   When the masque is at its peak, Ferdinand and Miranda feel so happy and blessed. Prospero suddenly looks agitated. Something seems to have perturbed his mind. He remembers the conspiracy of Caliban against his life. He compliments the spirits on their performance and dismisses them.
    He explains to Ferdinand that the entertainment which he had been providing to him and Miranda has now come to an end. He comments on the show remarking that the whole show is a mere illusion, and the actors who took part in the performance were all spirits.
     Prospero says – 
 “As I  foretold you, were all spirits and 
Are melted into air, into thin air, “
    In a philosophical tone, Prospero says that all these spirits melt into the thin air, everything in this world evaporates.
     He says –
“The cloud – capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself “
          All the cloud touching and high towers, all the magnificent places, all the sacred temples, this huge earth itself and all who dwell on it, shall one day disappear like the shadowy vision, seen by us just now, and shall leave not even floating vapour behind as this false show has now disappeared. 
        He further adds – 
“………We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep….. “
          Prospero explains that we human beings are as unreal as our dreams are and our brief existence is followed by  death which puts an end to that existence.
      Prospero then tells Ferdinand that he is feeling somewhat mentally disturbed and that he would like to be alone in order to calm himself.
   After that Ferdinand and Miranda leave Prospero – but he is not alone for long. The benign father who produced magical shows for his children’s delight, and the old man who mused on the realities of existence are both lost in the embittered revenger who is determined  to chastise the clumsy  ‘verlets’Stephano and Trinculo who have involved themselves with Caliban in this latest attempt on his life. 
     Prospero is a normal human being who cannot remain happy for long. He gets disturbed by the thought of  Caliban’s vicious plan to kill him. He wants to deal with the conspirators so that they may not harm him in any way.
       Prospero is not afraid of death. Their conspiracy seems to have taken Prospero by surprise. But the real object of his wrath is, of course, Caliban – who has repaid all Prospero’s teaching and training with ingratitude ; who has attempted to rape Miranda ;  and who is now leading others to murder his benefactor. 
    Prospero wants to punish the evil doers before he meets his end finally. 

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