Throughout the play, Prospero is accepted as the all-powerful magician, who has the power to control the spirits of the island. However, Prospero is a mere mortal man, causing the reader to question what the origins of his powers are. His books serve as symbol of his power in the novel. When Caliban planned the murder of Prospero, he told Stephano and Trinculo that they must burn his books in order to be successful in the endeavor (III. ii. 86-88). This suggests that without his books, Prospero is no more powerful than any other individual. I also find it interesting that the books that give Prospero his great powers on the island and allow him to control the workings of the island, were actually his downfall in the civilized world. Prospero's preoccupation with his books allowed Antonio the opportunity to overthrow his brother and actually take his power. This symbolizes the juxtaposition in Prospero's powers depending on the environment in which he is in.