This chapter addresses the relationship between intellectual studies and political authority at the state level. In particular, it concerns the dislocation of humanist ideology and practice as mirrored by the conflicted forms and sources of authority united in Shakespeare's character Prospero. Here, the ruler's misappropriation of scholarship and the dismantling of his self-image as arch-schoolmaster are reflected through a dark lens inflecting a version of knowledge as power that is played out in a game or dramatic performance directed by the mage. The discussion contextualizes Prospero's self-subverting pursuit and deployment of the occult and, hence, forfeit of political and pedagogical authority through his use of magic as instrument of absolute power and dominion in his island and pedagogical regimes. Yet, far from moulding the minds of his pupil subjects – Antonio, Caliban, and Miranda – his techniques and humanist curriculum engender rebellious individualities that challenge conventional patterns of dominance and subservience and issue in forms of resistance that Prospero cannot control. However, humanist paradigms survive and Prospero learns to act humanely towards the objects of his vengeance, actions redeeming the human dimension of the humanist model.