In Marjorie Garber's book "Shakespeare After All" she states that The Tempest is address by the modern critics in two important perspectives. They are: the fable of art and creation and a colonialist allegory. "The Tempest is a story of mankind at the center of the universe "man as created and authority".
In the play Prospero is seen as the "man-the artist" or "man-the-scholar". while Ariel and Caliban represent Prospero's ethereal and matierial selves. One is airy,imaginative, and swift. The other is earthy, gross, and appetitive. Through the play Prospero's magic is seen as good/white or benevolent.
The Play was first performed in 1611 with King James present. The Tempest was performed as a part of the marriage celebration for King James's daughter Princess Elizabeth whom he was going to "lose" to Frederick, the Elector Palatine, just like Prospero "loses" his daughter Miranda To Ferdinand.
Garber, Marjorie. Shakespeare After All. New York: Anchor Books, 2004. Print.