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Summary Act 4

Scene I

In front of Prospero’s cell, Prospero explains to Ferdinand that the reason he had him labor and gave him a difficult time, calling him a spy was so that he did not come to Miranda’s love easily. Prospero also gives his blessing that they be married, but warns against taking Miranda’s virginity before they are wed or a curse will be unleashed upon both of them, making their congress a horrifying experience.

Prospero calls Ariel again, asking him to bring the group which Ariel holds power over, and Ariel then leaves again.

Prospero then bids Ferdinand to be silent and watch as Iris, Ceres and Juno appear and seal the contract between Prospero and Ferdinand then grant a blessing to the union of Ferdinand and Miranda. Iris, Ceres and Juno then call other nymphs to dance with them until Prospero gets up suddenly and speaks, with a strange noise they all vanish.

With that Prospero remembers the attempt on his life from Caliban. Prospero then bids Ferdinand and Miranda to Prospero’s cell and he will soon join them, then the two leave. Prospero then calls Ariel who explains that he lead Caliban’s drunken group through various hazards around the island to a foul lake near Prospero’s cell.

Prospero and Ariel become invisible and Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo all wet from their trek enter the cell. They all complain at Caliban, who was led astray by Ariel, about stinking and losing their drink. Trinculo and Stephano become enamored with Prospero’s wardrobe, and Caliban warns them repeatedly they need to do away with Prospero. Stephano commands Caliban to take the clothes he likes back to where his bottles are. Then enters spirits, in the shapes of dogs and hounds running about, with Prospero and Ariel sitting on them.

Prospero commands the spirit dogs and hounds to chase Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo as they run out of Prospero’s cell. He commands the spirits to hunt Caliban’s group down giving them various kinds of maladies.

Prospero then explains to Ariel that his plans will soon ending, giving the spirit freedom, but to follow him for just a bit longer.

William Shakespeare