I perceived Prospero as amoral, a man living by his own (unstated) standards. While he was harsh, he was not in any way bound by our laws or mores. That was why he was living on the island. He was banished there and accepted his state.
Robbie the Robot would be Caliban, but, again, the parallels are not perfect. Robbie was not enthralled to Dr. Morbius, and did not obey unwillingly to avoid pain. And Robbie was pleasant. He had a benevolent sense of life (for a robot), as opposed to the pinched and nattering Caliban.
Perhaps the best parallel was the way the crewmen got Robbie to deliver Scotch whiskey, as the sailors obtained wine from Caliban.
All in all, I understand that Forbidden Planet has been likened to The Tempest. I think that both are just expressions of the same common myth. I accept that the writers for Forbidden Planet knew The Tempest and drew from it. However, as is common myths that are handed down, elements transmogrify, morph, merge, and cleave. (We could compare Star Wars: the New Hope and The Wizard of Oz.) Brother Where Art Thou? announced up front that it was based on Homer's Odyssey, but even there, parallels failed, though many details were spot on. So, I just take Forbidden Planet on its own terms.
Dr. H: "I'm sure I was not the only kid who said, on first viewing the film, "I want the laboratory! I want to see that 2o mile machine!"
I saw it on TV about five years after it came out in the theaters. By then, I wanted the robot and the girl.
I actually founded my sense of "hopeful dystopia" in Wylie's When Worlds Collide. I had just entered the 9th grade and by the rules of the Cleveland Public Library, was granted (given on their initiative) an adult card. I walked around the stacks of my branch and nothing jumped out at me. So, I asked the librarian. She gave me When Worlds Collide. Part 2: After Worlds Collide is sort of an anti-matter Atlas Shrugged in that the challenges they face are among themselves (fascists, communists, and democrats) but in the context of a society whose technologies are handed over on a silver platter -- they even had an indoor swimming pool... I was sorry that the movie version just portrayed Part I.
(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 6/04, 11:11am)