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Summary Act V

Scene I

Again in front of Prospero’s cell, Prospero in his magic robes enters with Ariel. Prospero tell Ariel all his plans have finally come together. Prospero has Ariel fetch Alonso with frantic gestures, Gonzalo Sebastian and Antonio in a similar manner, attended by Adrian and Francisco. They all enter the circle which Prospero has made and stand there charmed, which Prospero observes them speak.

Prospero removes his spell and thanks Gonzalo for his help in saving himself and his daughter. He then forgives Antonio for usurping his position, and brings to light Sebastian and Antonio’s plan to kill the King of Naples and give the crown to Sebastian, which is also forgiven.

Prospero gives Ariel one last chore, to fetch the mariners and bring them to Prospero’s cell, which Ariel takes to quickly and exits.

Alonso and the others can hardly believe the former duke of Milan is there, wondering how he came upon the island. Prospero lets them wonder for a while. Whispering to Sebastian and Antonio, Prospero says he forgives his brother for what he has done, and only requires his dukedom of him.

Speaking with the others, Prospero acts as if he has lost his daughter just as Alonso has lost his son. Both lost in the tempest. Alonso wishes that the two of the could be married in Naples, so that they would never have died and so Prospero invites the group into his cell.

Prospero and the others discover Ferdinand and Miranda playing chess and quarrelling as lovers do over the outcome of the game. Stunned Alonso embraces his son and asks how he came to be there and before Ferdinand can answer Alonso asks who the woman is. Ferdinand explains that it is Prospero’s daughter and they are to be wed. The two are blessed both by Alonso and Gonzalo.

Ariel comes back with Master and Boatswain in amazement. The two men explain how the crew slept and the boat was in perfect condition as if it had never left port, though they could not explain any of it. Alonso is amazed by the strangeness of the situation, but Prospero calms him, telling him it does not matter.

Ariel comes back again, this time with Stephano Trinculo and Caliban who are all chided by the group, and lament the pain they are in (caused by Prospero’s spirit hounds and dogs). The men of Italy are all wondering what matte of thing Caliban is, and Prospero points out he is his servant and is as wretched as he appears to be. Prospero tells them to put what they had tried to steal back where it came from and asks his new guests to accompany him for the evening in his cell, where he will explain what had happened to him.

William Shakespeare