His books are his chief power, and these he buries deeper "than did over plummet sound".
His robe represents his dominion over mortals, his wand the instrument of power, and the books of his supernatural knowledge.
Magic was a matter of importance in the sixteenth century involving life and death to practitioners and victims.
The burning of witches and the publication of many books on the subject, including one even by James I, bears witness to its place in public thought.
Water spirits appear in the Naiads and elves of the brooks and streams who are in attendance in the masque of Act IV to "bestow upon the eyes of this young couple some vanity of mine art", said by Prospero to Ariel, Act IV, Sc. The spirits of the air are of the highest type and include Ariel and the divinities he summons, Ceres, Iris, Juno, and the nymphs.
They thunder, Music, Noises, sounds, and sweet airs with which the island abounds, says Caliban.However, that is exactly what Barbara Mowat, the director of research at the Folger Shakespeare library does. The essay opens with the assumption that Prospero does indeed have a magic book, which is essential to his magic.She does an adamant job in her essay providing evidence for the existence of the book, but as with most things Shakespeare, it is not indisputable.His studies on historic grimoires raise a multitude of questions, like if Prospero’s book exists, what is in it.To answer that question, Mowat proposes the exploration of “real… These books, or grimoires, as she refers to them, are fluid in content and anonymously authored, but have many similarities.Before he was sufficiently learned his lack of wisdom indirectly led to banishment, but afterwards he had full control over the air and greater prowess.He used them only for good, his own restoration to the throne, the welfare of his daughter, the repentance of Alonso, and punishment for the disobedient.She then transitions to the next part of her paper, which addresses why there is so little criticism on the topic of Prospero’s wizardly items (his robes, his staff and his book).Her belief is that, as civilization started approaching what it is today, people had more and more difficulty taking magic seriously. She then quotes Kieth Thomas, who wrote a book on the decline of magic, and credits him, and scholars like him, with the renewed interest in Prospero’s book.The other was beneficent, derived from studies in the occult and used generally for discovery of new forces and investigation the occult and used generally for discovery of new forces and investigation into the laws of physics and other scientific research.Examples of both types are in the play, where they form a contrast, that of the witch Sycorax, very sketchily developed, and that of Prospero, very fully developed.