Pre-u English Literature: Tempest Themes and Quotes

The Tempest by William Shakespeare: Themes and Quotes

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Parent/Child Relationships

  • 1.2 'my dearest father'
  • 'I have done nothing but in care of thee' 
  • "Thy no greater father"
  • Respects him, calls Propsero 'sir'
  • She is obedient and respectful, demonstrated when she helps to remove the magic garment from him.
  • "O, a cherubin / Thou wast that did preserve me" They rely on each other.
  • Alonso destroyed when he thinks Ferdinand has drowned " So is the dear'st o'th'loss"
  • 4.1 Prospero to Ferdinand " I / Have given you a third of mine own life."
  • 5.1 "One dear son / Shall I twice lose."
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Colonialism

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Supernatural

  • 1.2 "your art" - Prospero's magic is described as something beautiful
  • Ariel is the fire and storm etc. that ruins the ship. This personification makes Prospero seem more powerful. "all afire with me"
  • "This is no mortal business, nor no sound / That the earth owes" Ferdinand immediately understands the supernatural quality of the isle. 
  • 2.1 His magic often described as strange "What a strange drowsiness possesses them!"
  • 3.2 Caliban is giving Stephano instructions on how best to kill Prospero. "First to possess his books, for without them / He's but a sot as I am"
  • Caliban "Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, / Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not."
  • 4.1 Throughout the play, Shakespeare makes no implication that any of the other characters but himself can perceive Ariel, "Thy shape invisible"
  • 5.1 Alonso: "These are not natural events; they strengthen / From stange to stranger."
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Love

  • 1.2 Love at first sight between Ferdinand and Miranda. "O, if a virgin, And your affection not gone forth, I'll make you the Queen of Naples."
  • Miranda: "I have no ambition / To see a goodlier man."
  • They had "changed eyes"
  • "Might I but through my prison once a day/ Behold this maid. All corners o'th'earth / Let liberty make use of; space enough  / Have i in such a prison."
  • 3.1 Miranda makes Ferdinand's "labours pleasures"
  • Ferdinand calls Miranda his "most dear mistress" and other terms of endearment such as "precious creature"
  • Prospero finds love an infection
  • "'Tis fresh morning with me / When you are by at night"
  • He does "love, prize, honour Miranda". Due to her ignorance of social behaviour, she practically proposes to Ferdinand.
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Vengeance

  • 3.2 Caliban challenges Stephano in order to get his revenge on Prospero. "If thy greatness will / Revenge it on him"
  • 4.1 "that foul conspiracy / Of the beast Caliban and his confederates / Against my life."
  • 5.1  "The rarest action is / In virtue than in vengeance"
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Nature and Nurture

  • 1.2 Caliban is "a villain"
  • "thou poisonous slave, got by the devil himself" is also Caliban. Maybe he is the way he is by the work of Propsero?
  • "in my false brother / Awaked an evil nature"
  • Ariel has done Prospero "worthy service ... Without or grudge or grumblings" Which is the total opposite of Caliban who constantly curses Prospero.
  • Caliban is constantly referred to as a monster, and perhaps that is why he acts like one. In contrast Ariel is always described as 'delicate' or 'dainty'
  • 3.2 Because Caliban offered for Stephano to be lord of the island, he calls him things such as his 'valiant master' in order to flatter him. "Thou shalt be lord of it, and I'll serve thee"
  • At one point Ariel doesn't interject with the usual 'thou liest' when Caliban states that without Prospero's books he'd "hath not / One spirit to command: they all do hate him / as rootedly as I" If this is true, Caliban is not too unlike the other spirits of the isle.
  • 4.1 Prospero refers to Caliban as "A devil, a born devil, on whose nature / Nurture can never stick"
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Slavery

  • 1.2: Ariel doesn't appear to be bitter as he exclaims "All hail, great master!"
  • Above anything, Ariel desires his "liberty"
  • "thou poisonous slave, got by the devil himself" is Caliban.
  • (Caliban) "I must obey. His art is of such power, / It would control my dam's god Stebos, and make a vassal of him" Perhaps this is how Ariel feels?
  • Prospero promises Ariel that he shall be "as free / As mountain winds"
  • 3.2 Caliban: "I am subject to a tyrant, a / sorcerer, that by his cunning hath cheated me of the island"
  • 5.1 "thou shalt be free" (Ariel) and once they leave the isle, Caliban will also be inadvertently freed. "Set Caliban and his companions free"
  • "Then to the elements / Be free" To Ariel
  • Epilogue: Prospero is a slave to the mind as he longs for vengeance yet at the same time, redemption. " Let your indulgence set me free"
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Power

  • 1.2: Prospero can, by his "art" create the Tempest.
  • "Thy father was the Duke of Milan and/ A prince of power."
  • Ariel: "All hail, great master!"
  • "The fire and cracks / Of sulphurous roaring and the most mighty Neptune / Seem to besiege, and make his bold waves tremble"
  • (Caliban) "I must obey. His art is of such power, / It would control my dam's god Stebos, and make a vassal of him"
  • 2.1 Sebastian is greedy for the crown "I have no hope / That he's (Ferdinand) undrowned."
  • 3.2 Caliban: "I am subject to a tyrant, a / sorcerer, that by his cunning hath cheated me of the island"
  • Caliban is giving Stephano instructions on how best to kill Prospero. "First to possess his books, for without them / He's but a sot as I am"
  • 4.1 Ariel refers to Prospero as his "potent master"
  • 5.1 "They cannot budge till your release"
  • Prospero has "rifted Jove's stout oak / With his own bolt"
  • Prospero acknowledges that he has a "so potent art"
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Religious

  • 1.2: "good wombs have borne bad sons" Along with the effective plosive alliteration, the audience infers that this not only link to Antonio but also Cain from the Bible, and that Prospero was therefore the favorite.
  • They made it to the island "By providence divine"
  • "What foul play had we, that we came from thence? / Or blessèd was't we did?"
  • (Caliban) "I must obey. His art is of such power, / It would control my dam's god Stebos, and make a vassal of him" Almost blasphemous.
  • Prospero does come across as a figure similar to God at times, "My master through his art forsees the danger" This implies that Prospero is omniscient.
  • "Good angels, preserve the King!" Could be the spirits.
  • "I prithee, be my god"
  • 3.3 "Faith sir, you need not fear."
  • "You are three men of sin" Ariel says to Alonso, Sebastien and Antonio.
  • 4.1 Prospero respects the commandment of no sex before marriage. 
  • Ariel refers to Prospero as his "potent master" alike God.
  • 5.1 "The rarest action is / In virtue than in vengeance"
  • "Holy Gonzalo, honourable man"
  • "I do forgive / thy rankest fault - all of them" God is forgiving if we are truly sorry.
  • "She (Miranda) is mortal, / But by immortal providence, she's mine"
  • The Trinity : Prospero, Caliban and Ariel?
  • Caliban is a "demi-devil" and Prospero says "this thing of darkness I / Acknowledge mine" Similar to when Jesus washed away the sins of men.
  • Epilogue: "my ending is despair / Unless I be relieved by prayer,/ Which pierces so, that it assaults / Mercy itself, and frees all faults"
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Good and Evil

  • 1.2  "in my false brother / Awaked an evil nature"
  • 2.1 "Ay, sir, Where lies that? "(Antonio's conscience)
  • "Draw thy sword. One stroke / Shall free thee from the tribute which thou payest"
  • "Good angels, preserve the King!" 
  • Shakespeare puts everyone but Antonio, Alonso and Sebastian to sleep. Shakespeare may have had the belief that after a person has committed a terrible deed, they can no longer sleep. This is seen in MacBeth and Hamlet also. Alonso soon sleeps however and soon Antonio and Sebastian begin their scheming which puts the audience on edge as the nobles are left completely defenseless, it is only Ariel who saves them.
  • 3.2 Caliban: "I am subject to a tyrant, a / sorcerer, that by his cunning hath cheated me of the island"
  • 3.3 Ariel takes the form of a harpy which is considered a bad angel
  • Gonzalo oblivious to the vision of the harpy people saw as he is a good man. "All three of them are desperate. Their great guilt, / like poison to work a great time after, / Now 'gins to bite the spirits"
  • 5.1 Prospero's morality is tested by Ariel
  • "The rarest action is / In virtue than in vengeance"
  • "Holy Gonzalo, honourable man", "Good Gonzalo" who is the solely scrupulous character within the play.
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Prejudice

  • 1.2 "the son (Caliban) that she did litter here, / A freckled whelp, hag- born - not honoured with/ A human shape"
  • Throughout the play, Caliban is referred to as the monster.
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Classical

  • 1.2 "Jove's lightning"
  • "The fire and cracks / Of sulphurous roaring and the most mighty Neptune / Seem to besiege, and make his bold waves tremble"
  • 2.1 "Widow Dido"
  • 4.1 "Phoebus' steeds"
  • 5.1 "ebbing Neptune"
  • Prospero has "rifted Jove's stout oak / With his own bolt"
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Comments

Tarah

Life. Saver.

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