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The Tempest (a Romance)

Alonso (the King of Naples), his brother Sebastian, his son Ferdinand, Antonio's counselor Gonzalo, and Antonio (brother of Prospero, the usurped Duke of Milan) are on a ship with sailors caught in a tempest at sea. The storm scares all of the nobleman to abandon ship, fearing it split in half. When the storm subsides, the exiled Duke Prospero and his daughter Miranda appear on the island they have inhabited for 12 years. Miranda tells him she saw the ship crack in the storm, but Prospero calms her, explaining it was a magical illusion he created. He explains he was once Duke of Milan, but his brother Antonio took over when he began deeply studying literature, eventually teaming with Alonso to banish Prospero and Miranda and abandon them at sea, where they luckily landed on the island and survived since Gonzalo had given Prospero money, clothes, and his sorcerer books in the boat. Now, he explains, his enemies have sailed by, so he created the tempest to shipwreck them. He causes her to sleep and calls his spirit Ariel to come. Ariel verifies that the nobles are safe on the island, while their ship is deep in a hidden harbor with the crew asleep; further, the remainder of the fleet has returned to Naples believing Alonso is dead. We learn that Prospero rescued Ariel from the "foul witch" Sycorax and will free Ariel himself when his plans for the nobles are complete. Sycorax had imprisoned Ariel in a tree for refusing to do her evil, then, after her death, Prospero freed him. She also had a deformed son, Caliban, whom Prospero commands as his slave (Note that Caliban anagrams from a slightly misspelled canibal). Hidden, Ariel sings a song and scares Alonso's son Ferdinand as he wanders around the island, eventually meeting Prospero and Miranda. Both Miranda and Ferdinand immediately fall in love, but Prospero (although approving) pretends to be gruff and critical toward Ferdinand.

In another part of the island, Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, and the lords Adrian and Francisco are wandering. Alonso fears Ferdinand is dead, but Gonzalo assures him he may be living, since they are living. Ariel causes all to sleep, except Sebastian and Antonio. Then, Antonio convinces Sebastian to kill Alonso, so Sebastian will become heir to Naples' throne. Prospero, though, has Ariel awaken Gonzalo to warn Alonso. Elsewhere, Caliban is gathering wood when the jester Trinculo, then the drunkard Stephano (both from the ship) come upon them. Caliban takes Stephano to be a god (the Man in the Moon), and vows to serve him.

At Prospero's cave, Miranda meets Ferdinand carrying logs for her father. Here they exchange their love for one another and vow to be married. Prospero, watching in secret, approves. Elsewhere, Caliban convinces Stephano to kill Prospero and seize Miranda so they can be king and queen. Ariel, though, overhears and will warn Prospero. Alonso and others are wandering when Ariel and other spirits bring in a table of food. Before they can eat, Ariel appears and takes the food away, then informs Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio that it is their evilness toward Prospero that has caused their current sorrows (shipwreck, loss of Ferdinand, etc.).

At the cave, Prospero presents Miranda to Ferdinand, though instructing him not to "break her virgin-knot" until after they are properly married. He celebrates by presenting them with a show by the spirits Iris, Ceres, and Juno. However, Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo show up to kill Prospero. He, however, creates a distraction with extravagant garments, then sends the fairies after them like hounds hunting foxes.

In the final act, Prospero brings the nobles to his cell and reveals himself to them. He forgives Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian then reveals that Ferdinand is safe with Miranda. Alonso restores Prospero's dukedom and Prospero promises to return all home safely to Italy. As for Caliban, he promises to mend his ways while Stephano and Trinculo repent for plotting to kill Prospero.

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Recent Forum Posts on Tempest

Who is the most lovable character ?

I wonder which character most appeals to readers of The Tempest?

Dogs and/or hounds?

SCENE I. Before PROSPERO'S cell. A noise of hunters heard. Enter divers Spirits, in shape of dogs and hounds, and hunt them about, PROSPERO and ARIEL setting them on PROSPERO Hey, Mountain, hey! * dog 1? ARIEL Silver I there it goes, Silver! * dog 2? PROSPERO Fury, Fury! there, Tyrant, there! hark! hark! * hounds 1 and 2? Anyone got any idea if there are two dogs and two hounds or what???

The meaning of pinched

Hi Prospero is speaking in the last part of The Tempest: ...... Most cruelly Did thou Alonso, vse me, and my daughter: Thy brother was a furtherer in the Act, Thou art pinch'd for't now Sebastian. Flesh, and bloud, * You, brother mine, that entertaine ambition, Expelld remorse, and nature, whom, with Sebastian (Whose inward pinches therefore are most strong) ** Would heere haue kill'd your King: I do forgiue thee, Vnnaturall though thou art: Their vnderstanding Begins to swell, and the approching tide...... I am perplexed: what on earth does * "pinched" mean here? And ** "Inward pinches"? Have tried different sources, but there seems to be some confusion over the meaning in the above passage. Does anyone know of other examples in Shakespeare? Thanks in advance for any kind assistance, and have a good one this coming seasonal holiday time.

Caliban bearrs the brunt

Trin. Monster, I do smell all horse-pisse, at which My nose is in great indignation Ste. So is mine. Do you heare Monster: If I should Take a displeasure against you: Looke you The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1 Although Stephano is angry with Caliban, it's not Caliban that smells of horse-piss, it's actually Trinculo and Stephano who pong. Ariell had caused them to dance in a stinking bog: "at last I left them I' the filthy-mantled pool beyond your cell, There dancing up to the chins, that the foul lake O'erstunk their feet". Question: Would a boggy lake smell of horse urine? If not, where is the horse? cheers

Gonzalo's last speech

What is the significance of Gonzalo's last speech in The Tempest GONZALO Was Milan thrust from Milan, that his issue Should become kings of Naples? O, rejoice Beyond a common joy, and set it down With gold on lasting pillars: In one voyage Did Claribel her husband find at Tunis, And Ferdinand, her brother, found a wife Where he himself was lost, Prospero his dukedom In a poor isle and all of us ourselves When no man was his own.

Tempest and memory

How is memory presented in The Tempest? What bearing does the idea or problem of memory have on the model of personal identity that is presented in the play?

the tempest: caliban's age

hi gang, I was wondering if anyone had any idea how old Caliban is likely to be in (Shakespeare's) The Tempest? I know Miranda was ~3 when she came to the island with Prosp. 12 years ago making her ~15 during the events of the play. I also know Sycorax, (Cali's mother) was booted from Algiers to the island while she was pregnant with Cali, but I cannot find any kind of reference for a timeline on when that supposedly occurred. I know Ariel was locked in the tree by Sycorax for 12 years by the time Prosp. freed him upon coming to the island, which puts Sycorax on the island at least 12 years before Prosp, making Cali at least 12 years when Ariel was locked in the tree + 12 more years that Prosp. and Miranda have been on the island = 24 years at least. Since Sycorax incarcerated Ariel in the tree for not being able to stomache carrying out her evil bidding, it makes sense to assume that Ariel was likely imprisoned shortly after Sycorax's arrival on the island...does that sound logical enough (except we all know what results from assuming)? I am just not sure how well that reasoning will hold up in my paper, so any more concrete ideas, sugestions, or opinions on how to more accurately guesstimate Caliban's age during the events of the play are welcome and appreciated. thanks, nap


Please help i need to write a diary entry by miranda after she meets ferdinand. Ramie

theme of magic in the tempest= help PLZ!!!

hi my teacher set me an essay on the theme of magic in the tempest and i've got writers block. HELP PLZ!!!! any ideas???:confused::idea:


I am playing Stephono in my high schools production of "the tempest" but im really nervous and i need to figure out how i should go about getting into charater...:crash: Grrr

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