In this essay, I argue that Psalm 23 serves as a thematic rubric through which to understand how Prospero’s machinations affect the progress of the redemption of King Alonso throughout the play. At the same time, however, recognizing Prospero’s moral complexities and deficiencies, I also argue that Prospero’s mercy toward and reconciliation with Alonso ultimately demonstrates the sovereign influence of a Providence beyond Prospero’s control—a Providence that works through charity and grace beyond Prospero’s initial intentions. This higher providential power, therefore, ought rightly to be seen as the ultimate shepherd of the play—one who works to affect not only Alonso’s but also Prospero’s spiritual restoration.
Urban, David V., "Prospero, the divine shepherd, and providence" (2019). University Faculty Publications. 182.