“Thou shalt be free As mountain winds: but then exactly do All points of my command.” The Tempest by his Shakiness.
The basic outline of the play is that Prospero was shipwrecked with his daughter, Miranda, after his brother stole his title- the Dukedom of Milan. During their time in isolation Prospero has not only learned to control the sea but others on the island, including: an imprisoned sprite named Ariel and a Caliban an island native. When he finds out that a ship approaching has his brothers and other enemies on board he hatches a plan for his own revenge.
This particular line was delivered by Prospero after subduing his nephew after Miranda fell in love with him. Initially, Ferdinand after learning of Prospero’s attitude towards him was preparing to defend himself. Wouldn’t you? Especially if someone told you:
I’ll manacle thy neck and feet together:
Sea-water shalt thou drink; thy food shall be
The fresh-brook mussels, wither’d roots, and husks
Wherein the acorn cradled
But this is the kind of threat I hear when people say they’re free. Like that, I’m free right now. But I’m not really. I’m free but I have consequences, which people rarely seem to link up these days.
For example, I’m free to leave my job tomorrow- but then I’ll not have an income. I’m free rob a bank – but I’ll go to jail.
People often associate freedom like the Shakespeare quote, being free to roam and do as you please, but actually, it’s the opposite. The freedom that we’re given is under a multiple of different restrictions. To suppose otherwise would be rather short-sighted.