The Tempest

A2 English Literature notes for the 'The Tempest'.

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The Tempest

Theme of Supernatural:

In The Tempest, magic is a dazzling art form that infuses the play with a sense of wonder and a whole lot of spectacle. (Think "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" in Disney's Fantasia, but better.) This lends itself to a concept developed throughout The Tempest – magic is a craft not unlike that of the playwright. Although Prospero uses magic to control the natural and the supernatural worlds, the play also suggests his art is distinct from the kind of black magic practiced by the witch Sycorax.

Questions about Supernatural:

  1. How did Prospero come to master his "art"? What were the consequences of his intense study of magic?
  2. What difference, if any, is there between Prospero's magic and Sycorax's magic?
  3. When and why does Prospero promise to give up his "rough magic"? Do we actually see him do this?
  4. Are Miranda and Ferdinand under a spell when they fall in love, or is their love genuine? 
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The Tempest

Supernatural Quotes:

Quote #1

PROSPERO
The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'd
The very virtue of compassion in thee,
I have with such provision in mine art
So safely ordered that there is no soul—
No, not so much perdition as an hair 
Betid to any creature in the vessel (1.2.3)

Though Prospero seems to be performing evil with his magic, it's actually not black magic, as he has been careful to make sure that everyone aboard the ship was safe. His intentions are good, even if his magic doesn't always seem to be.

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The Tempest

Supernatural Quotes:

Quote #2

PROSPERO 
It was a torment
To lay upon the damn'd, which Sycorax
Could not again undo: it was mine art,
When I arrived and heard thee, that made gape
The pine and let thee out. (1.2.37)

Prospero's magic is indeed great, as he was able to undo Sycorax' own spell, which she was not able to undo herself. Besides informing us of Prospero's power, this illustrates that he's not above vanity – he's willing to remind Ariel (and the audience) of just how powerful he is.  This passage also reminds us that Prospero is willing to use his magic for his own personal gain--instead of granting Ariel's freedom after rescuing the sprite from the pine tree, he keeps Ariel as his servant until he can find a way off the island.

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The Tempest

Supernatural Quotes:

Quote #3

FERDINAND 
The ditty does remember my drown'd father.
This is no mortal business, nor no sound  
That the earth owes. I hear it now above me. (1.2.2)

Magic is more than mortal, though it tends to impact mortals. Ferdinand draws the connection that magic might also have a bit of the divine in it (otherwise it would be against God, and kind of blasphemous).

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The Tempest

Supernatural Quotes:

Quote #4

PROSPERO 
What? I say,
My foot my tutor? Put thy sword up, traitor;
Who makest a show but darest not strike, thy conscience
Is so possess'd with guilt: come from thy ward,
For I can here disarm thee with this stick
And make thy weapon drop. (1.2.56)

Prospero here uses his magic to protect him in a very simple way, though obviously he is much more powerful than this action implies.  He is willing to use his magic as a dumb-show when necessary, in this case to convince Ferdinand that he's not playing around.

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The Tempest Themes

Supernatural Quotes:

Quote #5

FERDINAND 
This is a most majestic vision, and
Harmoniously charmingly. May I be bold  
To think these spirits? 
PROSPERO 
Spirits, which by mine art
I have from their confines call'd to enact
My present fancies. (4.1.9)

Prospero is not above using his magic to his own fancy. We are asked to think about the limitation of his power here – he can make spirits look like gods, but he has no access to the real gods.  Is the implication that even Prospero's magic hits a glass ceiling when it comes to the divine?

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Supernatural Quotes:

Quote #6

ARIEL 
I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking; So fun of valour that they smote the airFor breathing in their faces; beat the groundFor kissing of their feet; yet always bending Towards their project. Then I beat my tabour;  At which, like unback'd colts, they *****'d their ears, Advanced their eyelids, lifted up their noses
As they smelt music: so I charm'd their earsThat calf-like they my lowing follow'd through. Tooth'd briers, sharp furzes, *****ing goss and thorns, Which entered their frail shins: at last I left them I' the filthy-mantled pool beyond your cell, There dancing up to the chins, that the foul lakeO'erstunk their feet. (4.1.15)

Ariel's actions often emphasize the whimsical parts of magic, like luring bad guys into pools that smell of horse urine. These tricks are perhaps more suited to Ariel's connection to nature than Prospero's austere practicality.

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Supernatural Quotes:

Quote #7

But this rough magic
I here abjure, and, when I have required
Some heavenly music, which even now I do,
To work mine end upon their senses that
This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff,  
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
I'll drown my book. (5.1.5)

Here, Prospero promises to break his staff and give up his magic forever but immediately after delivering this speech, Prospero holds Alonso in a "charm" and later orders Ariel to make sure the seas are calm so the cast can enjoy a peaceful and safe passage back to Italy.  So, is Prospero actually ready to give up his "rough magic"?

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Theme of Art and Culture:

"Now my charms are all o'erthrown, / And what strength I have's mine own" (Epilogue). So says the newly retired magician as he bids adieu to the audience. Since The Tempest is likely the last play Shakespeare wrote by himself, the epilogue has long been cited as Shakespeare's own fond farewell to the stage. Regardless of whether or not we read Prospero the magician as a stand-in for Shakespeare the playwright, the similarities between Prospero's "art" and the "magic" of the theater are undeniable. Like Hamlet, The Tempest not only features a "play within the play" (Prospero's dazzling wedding masque) and blatant shout-outs to the theatre, but it also features a protagonist who manipulates the play's action like a skillful director.

Questions about Art and Culture:

  1. What's the purpose of Prospero's wedding masque? How does it draw our attention to the workings of the theater?
  2. In the epilogue, Prospero says the audience's applause is the only thing that can "set [him] free." Why is that?
  3. Does Prospero share anything in common with master playwrights like Will Shakespeare?
  4. Compare the theme of "Art and Culture" in The Tempest and Hamlet.
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Art and Culture Quotes:

Quote #1

Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate
A contract of true love; be not too late. (4.1.4)

As a gift to the young couple, Prospero puts on a masque (a fancy, courtly performance with music and dancing) to celebrate Miranda and Ferdinand's "contract of true love."  Interestingly enough, in the winter of 1612-1613, The Tempest  (along with thirteen other plays) was performed in honor of the marriage of King James I's daughter Elizabeth to Frederick (the Elector Palatine).  Some scholars think that Prospero's "wedding masque" was added by Shakespeare just for this performance but other critics say there's no evidence that it wasn't an original part of the play. 

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Art and Culture Quotes:

Quote #2

Go bring the rabble,  
O'er whom I give thee power, here to this place:
Incite them to quick motion; for I must
Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple
Some vanity of mine art: it is my promise,
And they expect it from me. (4.1.4)

Prospero doesn't only practice his art for practicality's sake.  Like many artists, he wishes to be admired for his incredible skill.

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Art and Culture Quotes:

Quote #3

[Aside] I had forgot that foul conspiracy
Of the beast Caliban and his confederates
Against my life: the minute of their plot
Is almost come. (4.1.5)

In the middle of the dazzling performance of the wedding masque, Prospero is suddenly reminded of the "foul conspiracy" against his life.  This reminds us that the magic of the theater has the capacity to suspend time and make us forget (if only for a short time) the problems of the real world.  

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Art and Culture Quotes:

Quote #4

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. (4.1.12)

This is one of the most famous passages in Shakespeare and reminds us a lot of the big "All the world's a stage" soliloquy in As you like it.  When Prospero announces the wedding masque is over, Shakespeare gives a shout-out to the Globe Theater and makes an astonishing comparison between human life and the theater.  As literary critic Stephen Greenblatt points out, Prospero's remarks draw our attention to "the theatrical insubstantiality of the entire world and the dreamlike nature of human existence."

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Art and Culture Quotes:

Quote #5

[Aside] It goes on, I see,
As my soul prompts it. Spirit, fine spirit! I'll free thee
Within two days for this. (1.2.51)

When Miranda falls in love with Ferdinand at first sight, Prospero congratulates himself for making it all happen. This reminds us that Prospero's magic to manipulate people and situations just like artists do. In other words, Prospero acts like he's directing a play when he orchestrates his daughter's meeting with the prince.

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Art and Culture Quotes:

Quote #6

Here PROSPERO discovers FERDINAND and MIRANDA playing at chess (5.1.Stage Direction).

Wait a minute. At this point, Prospero has already promised to give up his "art," so why is he still running around acting like a magician/playwright by pulling back curtains and making dramatic revelations to his audience?

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Theme of Contrasting Religions:

Although the play takes place entirely on an island, The Tempest dramatizes the divide between the courtly worlds and the wilderness.  As the play opens, Prospero, a former Italian duke now living in exile, has already journeyed from the court to the remote island and is now trying to return.  When Prospero causes his royal enemies to be shipwrecked on his isle, we learn that loyalty to the King is no longer sacred, and court members must abandon their traditions and expectations.  The Tempest'sforay into a kind of "pastoral" world also aligns this play with As You Like It and A Midsummer Night's dream.

Questions about Contrasting Religions:

  1. Does Prospero conform to the ideals of the court or the pastoral world? With which world would he most likely align himself?
  2. Where does Miranda fall in the pastoral/courtly divide? Is she prepared to be Queen of Naples?
  3. It's clear through the actions of the play that courtly laws aren't suited for the pastoral setting. Or can they be? How would the laws of the pastoral world hold up in the environment of court?
  4. Are there principles that differentiate courtly values from pastoral values, or are the norms that govern each just the same rules, interpreted differently?
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Contrasting Religion Quotes:

Quote #1

BOATSWAIN 
When the sea is. Hence! What cares these
roarers for the name of king? To cabin! silence! 
trouble us not. (1.1.5)

In nature, none of the rules apply from the court. Court members must adjust to the fact that nature is the great equalizer.


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Contrasting Religion Quotes:

Quote #2

PROSPERO 
So dry he was for sway wi' th' King of Naples
To give him annual tribute, do him homage,  
Subject his coronet to his crown and bend
The dukedom yet unbow'd (alas, poor Milan!)
To most ignoble stooping. (1.2.13)

Even when he was within the bounds of the court, Prospero saw there were certain formalities that were below him. It's not that the island alone influences Prospero to embrace a certain amount of natural dignity, but by his nature he was always a powerful and proud man.

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Contrasting Religion Quotes:

Quote #3

CALIBAN:This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother,

Which thou takest from me. When thou camest first,
Thou strokedst me and madest much of me, wouldst give me
Water with berries in't, and teach me how  
To name the bigger light, and how the less,
That burn by day and night: and then I loved thee
And show'd thee all the qualities o' the isle,
The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile:
Cursed be I that did so! All the charms  
Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you!
For I am all the subjects that you have,
Which first was mine own king: and here you sty me
In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me
The rest o' the island. (1.2.3)

In the rules of the court, Prospero would never have taken in Caliban this way – nor would Caliban do him service out of love (instead of duty). Initially, the rules of the courtly world were suspended on the island.

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Contrasting Religion Quotes:

Quote #4

MIRANDA 
I might call him
A thing divine, for nothing natural
I ever saw so noble. (1.2.24)

Miranda suggests that only the world of the court can breed nobility. She denies that nature has its own nobility and grace, and likens the world she doesn't know (that of the court) to the divine world, perhaps because they're both alien to her and might as well be the same thing.

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Contrasting Religion Quotes:

GONZALO 

I' the commonwealth I would by contraries
Execute all things; for no kind of traffic
Would I admit; no name of magistrate;
Letters should not be known; riches, poverty,
And use of service, none; contract, succession, 
Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none;
No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil;
No occupation; all men idle, all;
And women too, but innocent and pure;
No sovereignty—  
SEBASTIAN 
Yet he would be king on't. 
ANTONIO
The latter end of his commonwealth forgets the 
beginning. (2.1.23)

Gonzalo has hit upon the primary problem with egalitarian rule: If it is based on egalitarian standards and rules that originate by nature, not law, then there can be no ruler who sets such laws.

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Contrasting Religion Quotes:

Quote #6

ANTONIO
We all were sea-swallow'd, though some cast again,
And by that destiny to perform an act 
Whereof what's past is prologue, what to come
In yours and my discharge. (2.1.34)

Being sea-swallowed and removed from the court gives the traitors the freedom to do what would otherwise be an unthinkable act. The island has no rules.

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The Tempest Themes

Contrasting Religion Quotes:

Quote #7

STEFANO 
Trinculo, keep a good tongue in your head: if you
prove a mutineer,—the next tree! The poor monster's
my subject and he shall not suffer indignity. (3.2.6)

Stefano's leadership is a parody of the real court.  Though he is rooted in the spirit of the pastoral (bawdy, drunk, and quick to fight), Stefano puts on the airs of the court and reveals how silly these formalities are against such a backdrop (while also casting some doubt as to how serious they are in any context).

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The Tempest Themes

Contrasting Religion Quotes:

Quote #8

PROSPERO
Behold, sir king,
The wronged Duke of Milan, Prospero:
For more assurance that a living prince 
Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body;
And to thee and thy company I bid
A hearty welcome. (5.1.7)

The visitors to the island didn't recognize Prospero at first, so he changes into courtly garb, but he also changes his mannerisms from the mystical to the courtly. He doesn't have anything to bid them welcome to but his cell, highlighting the absurdity of these misplaced gestures.

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Contrasting Religion Quotes:

Quote #9

STEFANO 
Every man shift for all the rest, and
let no man take care for himself; for all is
but fortune. Coragio, bully-monster, coragio! (5.1.1)

Stefano, rather drunk, mistakes the saying "every man for himself."  What he comes up with, though it's supposed to be funny, is actually a pretty apt description of court rules, which place the nobles' welfare before all others. Stefano unintentionally outlines the underlying difference between the pastoral and courtly world.

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Theme of Freedom and Confinement:

The Tempest is obsessed with the concept of imprisonment – both literal and figurative.  Prospero and Miranda are forced to live in exile on a remote island, where Prospero enslaves the island's only native inhabitant (Caliban) and forces Ariel to do all of his bidding. The theme continues into the epilogue where Shakespeare suggests that, during the performance of a play, actors and playwrights are held captive by powerful audiences who may or may not approve of the artists' work.

Questions about  Freedom and Confinement:

  1. How did Ariel come to serve Prospero?
  2. Why has Prospero enslaved Caliban?  Is Prospero justified in his treatment of Caliban?
  3. What is the nature of Prospero's relationship with Ariel?  How does Prospero view the spirit? How is this different from how Prospero views Caliban?
  4. Analyze the play's epilogue and explain why Prospero insists the audience must "release [him] from [his] bonds."
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Freedom and Confinement Quotes:

Quote #1

ARIEL 
I prithee,
Remember I have done thee worthy service;
Told thee no lies, made thee no mistakings, served
Without or grudge or grumblings: thou didst promise  
To bate me a full year. 
PROSPERO
Dost thou forget
From what a torment I did free thee? (1.2.10)

Servitude in Prospero's vision is a necessary gratitude for the kindness he has done. Does Prospero do anything in the play without expecting something in return?

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Freedom and Confinement Quotes:

Quote #2

PROSPERO 
This blue-eyed hag was hither brought with child  
And here was left by the sailors. Thou, my slave,
As thou report'st thyself, wast then her servant;
And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate
To act her earthy and abhorr'd commands,
Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee. (1.2.36)

Ariel was initially in the witch's service, but refused to do her awful commands, which landed the sprite in a pine tree prison.

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Freedom and Confinement Quotes:

Abhorred slave,
Which any print of goodness wilt not take,
Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee,
Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour
One thing or other: when thou didst not, savage,
Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like
A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy purposes
With words that made them known. But thy vile race,
Though thou didst learn, had that in't which
good natures
Could not abide to be with; therefore wast thou
Deservedly confined into this rock,
Who hadst deserved more than a prison. (1.2.46)

Some editions of the play attribute this rant against Caliban to Prospero. Others assign the speech to Miranda. Either way, the point is pretty clear. Here, the speaker suggests that because Caliban had no language of his own when Prospero and Miranda arrived on the island, he somehow deserves to be a slave "confined into this rock."  Scholars often point out that this is the same kind of rationale European colonizers used to enslave new world inhabitants.  

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Freedom and Confinement Quotes:

Quote #4

CALIBAN 
You taught me language; and my profit on't
Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language! (1.2.5)

There's a lot to dislike about Caliban but his provocative retort to the above passage is pretty admirable.  Here, he talks back and insists that one good thing came from learning his master's language – the ability to curse.  

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Freedom and Confinement Quotes:

Quote #5

CALIBAN 
No, pray thee.
[Aside]
I must obey: his art is of such power,
It would control my dam's god, Setebos,  
and make a vassal of him.  (1.2.6)

Caliban doesn't think he deserves to be in servitude for his attempt to **** Miranda, nor does he have any remorse. His servitude is simply the result of power politics – Prospero's magic makes it impossible for Caliban to be free.

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Freedom and Confinement Quotes:

Quote #6

PROSPERO 
Follow me.
Speak not you for him; he's a traitor. Come;
I'll manacle thy neck and feet together:
Sea-water shalt thou drink; thy food shall be
The fresh-brook muscles, wither'd roots and husks  
Wherein the acorn cradled. Follow. (1.2.55)

Prospero does have a knack for thinking up really nasty enslavements. When he enslaves Ferdinand, one wonders if he was always like this, or if this can be attributed to his getting comfortable as "king of the sandcastle" over the last twelve years.

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Freedom and Confinement Quotes:

Quote #7

FERDINAND
Might I but through my prison once a day
Behold this maid: all corners else o' the earth
Let liberty make use of; space enough
Have I in such a prison. (1.2.10)

Although Prospero has made a big show of bullying Ferdinand, the prince insists that as long as he can see Miranda, he's free enough.  That's kind of sweet but also a little scary, don't you think?

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Freedom and Confinement Quotes:

Quote #8

CALIBAN 
I'll swear upon that bottle to be thy true subject;
or the liquor is not earthly. (2.2.7)

Caliban, thinking that Stefano must be a god, misjudges Stefano's power. As Caliban is stuck in Prospero's service, because he knows no one more powerful, Caliban sees Stefano as an advocate and something of a savior. This isn't Caliban being malicious; rather he is naïve and hopeful about freedom.

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Freedom and Confinement Quotes:

Quote #9

CALIBAN 
No more dams I'll make for fish
Nor fetch in firing
At requiring;
Nor scrape trencher, nor wash dish 
'Ban, 'Ban, Cacaliban
Has a new master: get a new man.
Freedom, high-day! high-day, freedom! freedom, high-day, freedom! (2.2.16)

Caliban has been a slave for so long that freedom to him is simply defined as being free from Prospero's tyranny. 

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Freedom and Confinement Quotes:

Quote #10

STEFANO 
Flout 'em and scout 'em
And scout 'em and flout 'em 
Thought is free. (3.2.21)

This is a clever song to sing at this point of plotting treachery. To "flout" is to deride, and "scout" is to jeer. Stefano and Trinculo know they are fools who can have free thoughts against their betters, jeering and taunting, so long as their thoughts don't become action. This is the crucial bit that Caliban misses about his co-conspirators.

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Freedom and Confinement Quotes:

Quote #11

ARIEL 
Before you can say 'come' and 'go,'
And breathe twice and cry 'so, so,'
Each one, tripping on his toe, 
Will be here with mop and mow.
Do you love me, master? no? 
PROSPERO 
Dearly my delicate Ariel. (4.1.3)

Ariel's relationship with Prospero is greater than master and servant – Ariel takes care of the details that would otherwise worry Prospero. In turn, Ariel is sensitive enough that he cherishes the loving affection the sorcerer gives him in return. They have a Pat Sajack and Vanna White kind of relationship, without all the sequins and vowels.

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Theme of Man and Natural world:

Is man more "noble" in a natural state than in a state of civilization?  The Tempest returns to this question over and over again – in its portrayal of the ambiguous "monster" Caliban and in Gonzalo's utopian speech about the ideal state of the island.  Throughout the play (which paraphrases a key passage from Montaigne's famous essay "Of Canibals"), Shakespeare also asks whether man can be at one with nature, or whether (perhaps by virtue of the biblical Fall in Eden) he is destined to make unnatural whatever he touches.

Questions about  Man and Natural world:

  1. Is the natural state morally superior to the state of civilization (at court)? 
  2. Can the island be considered a natural or pristine place, untouched by man, when there is so much of Prospero's magic and enchantment all around it?
  3. Caliban is constantly referred to as evil or deformed by nature. How can nature produce things that are unfit to exist?
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Man and Natural world Quotes:

Quote #1

GONZALO: I' the commonwealth I would by contraries Execute all things; for no kind of traffic Would I admit; no name of magistrate; Letters should not be known; riches, poverty, And use of service, none; contract, succession, Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none; No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil; No occupation; all men idle, all; And women too, but innocent and pure; No sovereignty;—   SEBASTIAN:  Yet he would be king on't. ANTONIO:  The latter end of his commonwealth forgets the beginning.  GONZALO:  All things in common nature should produce Without sweat or endeavour: treason, felony,   Would I not have; but nature should bring forth, Of its own kind, all foison, all abundance, To feed my innocent people. (2.1.23)

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Man and Natural world Quotes:

Gonzalo's speech about how he'd rule the island is taken from Montaigne's famous essay "Of Cannibals" (1580), where the Brazilian Indians are described as living at one with nature. Montaigne writes they have "no kind of traffic, no knowledge of letters, no intelligence of numbers, no name of magistrate or politic superiority, no use of service, of riches or of poverty, no contracts, no successions...no occupation but idle, no respect of kindred but common, no apparel but natural, no manuring of lands, no use of wine, corn, or metal" (from John Florio's 1603 English translation). This liberal concept is a pretty big deal, especially since at a time when Europeans were running around calling natives in the Americas "savages," Montaigne suggests that the Brazilian Indians live a utopian lifestyle while European colonizers are the real barbarians. (This essay, by the way, is where the concept of the "noble savage" comes from.)

What's interesting is that Shakespeare puts this speech in the mouth of one of his characters. Is Shakespeare endorsing Montaigne's ideas? Maybe. Gonzalo, after all, is the play's ultimate good guy. On the other hand, Caliban, who is a kind of exotic "other," is portrayed as a complete savage in this play.

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Man and Natural world Quotes:

Quote #2

PROSPERO  

To cry to the sea that roar'd to us,

to sigh To the winds whose pity,

sighing back again,

Did us but loving wrong. (1.2.17)

Nature has always interacted in Prospero's affairs. Here, he highlights that nature is not one big capital "N" Nature, but a mix of different elements, each with moods and tendencies. At the time of their exile, Prospero remembers the sea like an enemy, and the wind like a lover.

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Man and Natural world Quotes:

Quote #3

PROSPERO  

Thou most lying slave,

Whom stripes may move,

not kindness! I have used thee,

Filth as thou art, with human care,

and lodged thee In mine own cell,

till thou didst seek to violate The honour of my child. (1.2.46)  

Was it in Caliban's nature to ignore Prospero's nurturing? When Caliban tried to violate Miranda, was he compelled by his own natural forces, greater than his moral reasoning?

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Man and Natural world Quotes:

Quote #4

PROSPERO/MIRANDA:  

Abhorred slave, Which any print of goodness wilt not take,  Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee, Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour One thing or other: when thou didst not, savage, Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy purposes   With words that made them known. But thy vile race, Though thou didst learn, had that in't which good natures Could not abide to be with; therefore wast thou Deservedly confined into this rock,   Who hadst deserved more than a prison. (1.2.46)

 Can we ever unlearn what is natural within us? Is there a certain "civilized" kind of learning that is incompatible with man in the state of nature?

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Man and Natural world Quotes:

Quote #5

ARIEL:

Full fathom five thy father lies;  Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange.   Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell [Burthen Ding-dong] Hark! now I hear them,—Ding-dong, bell.(1.2.20)

Ariel isn't just being callous with his song, but pointing out that death is part of the natural process. Ferdinand is perhaps drawn away from his grief because the natural calls out to him, just as it now influences his father (were his father under the ocean).

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Man and Natural world Quotes:

Quote #6

MIRANDA:

I might call him

A thing divine,

for nothing natural I ever saw so noble. (1.2.25)

Is Miranda here disputing the idea of the "noble savage"?  Is there anything that we might consider "noble" in the natural world?

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Man and Natural world Quotes:

Quote #7

CALIBAN:

 Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments   Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices That, if I then had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming, The clouds methought would open and show riches Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,   I cried to dream again. (3.2.18)

Nature is beautiful enough to bring out the very best in even its most unnatural creatures.

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Man and Natural world Quotes:

Quote #8

PROSPERO:

Then, as my gift and thine own acquisition Worthily purchased take my daughter: but If thou dost break her virgin-knot before   All sanctimonious ceremonies may With full and holy rite be minister'd, No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall To make this contract grow: but barren hate, Sour-eyed disdain and discord shall bestrew   The union of your bed with weeds so loathly That you shall hate it both: therefore take heed, As Hymen's lamps shall light you. (4.1.2)

Miranda's virginity, outside of its socio-cultural implications, is really also a simple mark that she is just as she was created: Being a virgin, she is still in her natural state. If we think about virginity as a mark of childhood and naturalness, not as some deep moral and religious issue, we can take the edge off. What is Miranda's state of nature, and is anything natural being lost in her union to Ferdinand?

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Man and Natural world Quotes:

Quote #9

PROSPERO 
A devil, a born devil, on whose nature
Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains,
Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost;
And as with age his body uglier grows,  
So his mind cankers. (4.1.17)

Is Caliban a victim of his nature, or is Prospero foolish for thinking it could ever be otherwise?  Can both of these things be true at the same time?  (It's a mental Venn diagram!)

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Man and Natural world Quotes:

Quote #10

ARIEL 
Where the bee ****s. there **** I:
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.  
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough. (5.1.5)

Ariel sings of the natural world as he dresses Prospero in his hat and sword so Prospero can be recognized by the courtly folks. This is Ariel's last direct act for Prospero – he embraces the natural world while he dresses Prospero for the world of the court. This seems to be Ariel's delicate way of saying goodbye, which is kind of beautiful.

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Theme of Betrayal:

Loyalty and betrayal are linked to The Tempest's larger themes of servitude and freedom; either feeling is motivated by how each individual perceives his position relative to others. Antonio's betrayal of his brother and theft of the dukedom of Milan are the source of conflict in the play, but the action contemporary to the play follows a series of attempted betrayals. Alonso and Prospero would both be murdered by traitors, but this is thwarted by the actions of loyal characters like Ariel and Gonzalo. Loyalty and treachery also serve as the two main personality traits of the players. You can separate the loyal out, and divide the bad into those who were misguided and now repentant, and those who are just plain evil. 

Questions about Betrayal:

  1. Gonzalo is arguably the most loyal character in the play, though he doesn't stop anyone from exiling Prospero. He's also doggedly loyal to Alonso, who aided in Prospero's betrayal. Does Gonzalo's sympathy mean anything?
  2. What is the turning point for Sebastian, after which he is willing to murder Alonso? Is it Antonio's persuasion, or some seed that must just be part of Sebastian's character? (Think of Macbeth and the "influence" of the three witches.)
  3. Was it disloyal of Antonio to take over a dukedom that he effectively ran anyway, especially if Prospero was never doing his duke-y duties? How much of this betrayal is Prospero's own perspective and convenient forgetting that Antonio was doing all the hard work?
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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #1

ANTONIO
Let's all sink with the king. 
SEBASTIAN 
Let's take leave of him. (1.1.4)

From the first sign that things might not be rosy, Sebastian shows he has no loyalty to his brother or his king (Alonso is both).  He has a partner in callousness in Antonio – this foreshadows their later treachery on the island.

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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #2

PROSPERO
Both, both, my girl:
By foul play, as thou say'st, were we heaved thence,  
But blessedly holp hither. (1.2.9)

Prospero has the distance and perspective of wisdom when thinking about how they ended up on the island. Antonio's treachery put them there, but the help of the natural elements, and Gonzalo's loyalty, allowed them to survive and prosper.

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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #3

PROSPERO
Being once perfected how to grant suits,
How to deny them, who to advance and who 
To trash for over-topping, new created
The creatures that were mine, I say, or changed 'em,
Or else new form'd 'em; having both the key
Of officer and office, set all hearts i' the state
To what tune pleased his ear; that now he was  
The ivy which had hid my princely trunk,
And ****'d my verdure out on't. (1.2.11)

Prospero values the brotherly bond more than Antonio; Prospero assumed his brother would be loyal to him.  Instead, Antonio learned all the tricks of political treachery while serving in the place of Prospero, and used them to betray his brother.

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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #4

PROSPERO 
I pray thee, mark me.
I, thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated  
To closeness and the bettering of my mind
With that which, but by being so retired,
O'er-prized all popular rate, in my false brother
Awaked an evil nature; and my trust,
Like a good parent, did beget of him  
A falsehood in its contrary as great
As my trust was; which had indeed no limit,
A confidence sans bound. (1.2.12)

Prospero suggests that Antonio's taste of power awakened in him an even bigger desire for power. Prospero's loyalty to his brother was so great, and his trust so complete, that he really didn't see this coming.  That, of course, allowed Antonio to take it farther.

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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #5

ARIEL
All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I come
To answer thy best pleasure; be't to fly,
To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride
On the curl'd clouds, to thy strong bidding task  
Ariel and all his quality. (1.2.1)

Ariel is loyal to Prospero, but he is also loyal to nature – his source of power and home. Ariel serves two masters, but seems to delight in the natural more than the community service aspect of his job.


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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #6

ANTONIO
Nor I; my spirits are nimble.
They fell together all, as by consent;
They dropp'd, as by a thunder-stroke. What might,
Worthy Sebastian? O, what might? – No more: –
And yet me thinks I see it in thy face,  
What thou shouldst be: the occasion speaks thee, and
My strong imagination sees a crown
Dropping upon thy head. 
SEBASTIAN
What, art thou waking? 
ANTONIO
Do you not hear me speak?  
SEBASTIAN 
I do; and surely
It is a sleepy language and thou speak'st
Out of thy sleep. (2.1.30)


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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #6

The betrayal Antonio suggests is so heinous as to be unfathomable to Sebastian at first. It seems that once you gain something by betrayal, you're willing to do it over and over again, because it works so well…until it doesn't. (Think of Macbeth's gains and downfall here.) 

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The Tempest

Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #7

SEBASTIAN 
I remember
You did supplant your brother Prospero. 
ANTONIO 
True: And look how well my garments sit upon me;  
Much feater than before: my brother's servants
Were then my fellows; now they are my men. 
SEBASTIAN
But, for your conscience? 
ANTONIO 
Ay, sir; where lies that? (2.1.29)

Antonio comes easily to his acts of betrayal because he has no conscience, or at the least he represses it well.  (Actually, we think he doesn't have one.)  Antonio is an example of how one's conscience can get worn out; evil acts become easier and easier with practice.

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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #8

GONZALO 
Now, good angels
Preserve the king. (2.1.27)

Gonzalo is loyal to a fault. On hearing that big monsters are running around the island, he calls upon the angels to protect not all of them, or just him, but the king. Is this a hint that Gonzalo suspects Sebastian and Antonio are plotting to betray Alonso?

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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #9

CALIBAN 
I say, by sorcery he got this isle;  
From me he got it. if thy greatness will
Revenge it on him,—for I know thou darest,
But this thing dare not,— (3.2.7)

If we can believe what Caliban says, then Prospero won the isle from him through betrayal. Why then does Caliban not dare to betray Prospero? Is it anything more than the pinches and cramps he knows he'll get as punishment?

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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #10

ANTONIO 
[Aside to Sebastian] I am right glad that he's so  
out of hope.
Do not, for one repulse, forego the purpose
That you resolved to effect. (3.3.1)

Antonio rejoices at the fact that Alonso has given up hope that his son might still live. This is pretty awful, but has Sebastian changed so much that he can see the King's misfortune (over his own nephew) as his opportunity? Is Sebastian also immoral by nature, and was he just waiting for the right person to set him off on his path of treachery and evil?


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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #11

STEFANO
Give me thy hand. I do begin to have bloody thoughts. 
TRINCULO 
O king Stefano! O peer! O worthy Stefano! look
what a wardrobe here is for thee! (4.1.5)

Again, Stefano and Trinculo provide a foil to the actual ill-intentioned treachery of Sebastian and Antonio. They are distracted by shiny things, and don't necessarily mean harm, whereas Sebastian and Antonio are not shaken from their purpose, even by the King's grief over his lost son. Where Stefano and Trinculo are just foolish, Sebastian and Antonio are honest-to-goodness evil.

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Betrayal Quotes:

Quote #12

PROSPERO 
The rarer action is
In virtue than in vengeance: they being penitent,
The sole drift of my purpose doth extend
Not a frown further. (5.1.2)

Prospero is honest here, as he forgives everyone that's wronged him as soon as they're in front of him. It is pretty clear, though, that neither Antonio nor Sebastian is penitent about their awful behavior.  Does it make sense that Prospero entirely ignores this?

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Theme of Compassion and Forgiveness:

"The rarer action is / In virtue than in vengeance" (5.1.2).  This is Prospero's startling revelation after years of living in exile and plotting his return to Italy.  The Tempest's emphasis on mercy and forgiveness are hallmarks of Shakespeare's "romances," four plays (The Tempest, Pericles, The Winter's Tale, andCymbeline) written late in the playwright's career.  Prospero's capacity to forgive those who have betrayed him, Miranda's empathy, Ariel's mercy, and Gonzalo's thoughtfulness dramatize the triumph of the human spirit.

Questions about Compassion and Forgiveness:

  1. Does forgiveness come naturally to Prospero? If it does, why was it so important to orchestrate the whole tempest? So he could publicly forgive everyone for stuff they weren't even sorry about? What's the real motivation here?
  2. Ariel says he would feel tenderness towards the enchanted men if he were "human." Can we take it for granted that mercy is a natural human sentiment?
  3. What is it that prompts Prospero to forgive his enemies?
  4. How do we reconcile Prospero's constant petty harassments of Caliban with the wonderfully forgiving Prospero later in the play? Has Prospero changed, or is he merciful and magnanimous only on a human-to-human basis? Is this a colonial thing again, where everyone's equal but some are more equal than others?
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Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes:

Quote #1

MIRANDA 
O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel,  
Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her,
Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth or ere 
It should the good ship so have swallow'd and
The fraughting souls within her. (1.2.1)

Miranda has a naturally merciful temperament. She wishes her father to be merciful, regardless of his aim.

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Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes:

Quote #2

PROSPERO 
If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak
And peg thee in his knotty entrails till
Thou hast howl'd away twelve winters. (1.2.37)

Prospero may not be forgiving or compassionate by nature, as he's accustomed to being unquestioned and a little tyrannical. It's interesting that Ariel is actually the one who inspires Prospero to be merciful to his enemies in the end.

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Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes:

Quote #3

CALIBAN 
As wicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd
With raven's feather from unwholesome fen
Drop on you both! a south-west blow on ye
And blister you all o'er! 
PROSPERO 
For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps,  
Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins
Shall, for that vast of night that they may work,
All exercise on thee; thou shalt be pinch'd
As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging
Than bees that made 'em. (1.2.45)

Anger only begets more anger – both Caliban and Prospero expect the other to be awful, and they only get what they expect. Neither Caliban nor Prospero forgives the other's past wrongs, and this keeps their relationship at a complete standstill.

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Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes:

Quote #4

PROSPERO 
Thou most lying slave,
Whom stripes may move, not kindness! I have used thee,
Filth as thou art, with human care, and lodged thee
In mine own cell, till thou didst seek to violate
The honour of my child. (1.2.46)

For Prospero, some things are beyond forgiveness.  This is one of them.

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Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes:

Quote #5

SEBASTIAN
Sir, you may thank yourself for this great loss,  
That would not bless our Europe with your daughter,
But rather lose her to an African;
Where she at least is banish'd from your eye,
Who hath cause to wet the grief on't. (2.1.22)

Sebastian has no pity, really. It's no wonder he could move so easily from mercilessness to treachery.

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Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes:

Quote #6

CALIBAN 
Beat him enough: after a little time
I'll beat him too. (3.2.17)

Caliban, having been shown very little mercy, has no capacity to show mercy to others, and in fact takes delight in others' suffering. Is this a defect of his character, or the result of a vicious circle of mercilessness?

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Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes:

Quote #7

PROSPERO
At this hour
Lie at my mercy all mine enemies:  
Shortly shall all my labours end, and thou
Shalt have the air at freedom: for a little
Follow, and do me service. (4.1.20)

Prospero definitely delights at having his enemies at his mercy, but again, is it OK to enjoy their suffering in the meantime? Would it be too much to ask, or too unrealistic, for Prospero simply be wholeheartedly forgiving? Is this kind of total forgiveness within the realm of human possibility?

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Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes:

Quote #8

PROSPERO 
But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded,
I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you
And justify you traitors: at this time  
I will tell no tales. 
SEBASTIAN 
[Aside] The devil speaks in him. (5.1.8)

Sebastian must be deluded. He speaks in an aside, we're not sure to whom, but he's definitely not denying his attempted betrayal of the King. Can Sebastian really think that Prospero is the one in the wrong? Does he recognize the mercy that Prospero is showing him?

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The Tempest

Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes:

Quote #9

PROSPERO 
No.
For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother
Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive  
Thy rankest fault; all of them; and require
My dukedom of thee, which perforce, I know,
Thou must restore. (5.1.10)

It's shocking, but important to note that Antonio doesn't speak to Prospero. We doubt he's cowed into silence by shame, especially because he's back to jesting and taunting once Stefano and Trinculo enter.  Is Antonio beyond hope? Is it even meaningful to forgive him?  On the other hand, it's the King who has the power to return Antonio's dukedom to Prospero.  Is this really Prospero being gracious and forgiving of his terrible brother, or is it Prospero rubbing it in his brother's face that he triumphed after all?


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Theme of Divine:

The divine is a parallel to Prospero's magic in The Tempest. Like nature, the divine is often given credit for Prospero's work, yet it has a special meaning for Prospero in particular. He is the only one that grasps the limitation of his power, and he knows that it stops shy of making him a god.  To celebrate Miranda and Ferdinand's union, Prospero brings spirits in the shape of gods before them, hoping to impress the young lovers.  Prospero admits, perhaps with some sadness, that these are not the real deal. Prospero, as everyone else, is subject to the divine. His magic is only a tinkering tool in the face of the larger project designed for him by powers higher than his own.

Questions about the Divine:

  1. Prospero seems a bit sad that he can only show the children fanciful mockups of the real gods as he celebrates Ferdinand and Miranda's union. Does Prospero envy the gods' power?
  2. What is Prospero's relation to the gods? Does he answer to any higher power?
  3. How much of what happens in the play is the direct result of Prospero's magic, and how much seems to be the coincidentally convenient outcome of divine providence? 
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The Divine Quotes:

Quote #1

MARINERS 
All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost! (1.1.1)

This is a particularly interesting moment. It makes sense that the mariners would call everyone to prayers, either to save the ship or their souls, but the very storm they suffer through is Prospero's doing.  It seems the stage is set for Prospero's magic to be at odds with divine forces.

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The Divine Quotes:

Quote #2

PROSPERO
O, a cherubim
Thou wast that did preserve me. Thou didst smile.
Infused with a fortitude from heaven,  
When I have deck'd the sea with drops full salt,
Under my burthen groan'd; which raised in me
An undergoing stomach, to bear up
Against what should ensue. (1.2.18)

Prospero, who at the time of his exile no doubt had some grasp of his art, found strength in Miranda, who seemed "infused with the fortitude of heaven." This is Prospero's own rejoinder – he doesn't work against the divine, but is subject to and inspired by it.

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The Divine Quotes:

Quote #3

MIRANDA
How came we ashore?  
PROSPERO 
By Providence divine. (1.2.18)

Even if you know magic, some things are just dumb luck – or divine intervention.

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The Divine Quotes:

Quote #4

GONZALO 
Beseech you, sir, be merry; you have cause,
So have we all, of joy; for our escape
Is much beyond our loss. Our hint of woe
Is common; every day some sailor's wife,
The masters of some merchant and the merchant  
Have just our theme of woe; but for the miracle,
I mean our preservation, few in millions
Can speak like us: then wisely, good sir, weigh
Our sorrow with our comfort. (2.1.1)

Gonzalo speaks of their preservation as a miracle, which would be the realm of the divine. Again, the divide between divinity and magic is highlighted, as it was not a miracle, but Prospero's magical instruction that preserved those aboard the ship.

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The Divine Quotes:

Quote #5

CALIBAN 
[Aside] These be fine things, an if they be
not sprites.
That's a brave god and bears celestial liquor.  
I will kneel to him. (2.2.6)

Caliban thinks the liquor divine because it is unknown to him. Is Shakespeare commenting that much of our own sense of what is divine simply springs from what we don't know?

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The Divine Quotes:

Quote #6

STEFANO
If thou beest a man, show thyself in thy likeness:
if thou beest a devil, take't as thou list. 
TRINCULO
O, forgive me my sins! (3.2.23)

Stefano and Trinculo are influenced by the magic of the island to think they are beyond the realm of their own morality. Stefano agreed to murder Prospero, but a sign that seemed divine was enough to shake him out of his foolishness. This illustrates the fact that divinity can't be forgotten just because there's magic afoot.

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The Divine Quotes:

Quote #7

FERDINAND 
Let me live here ever;  
So rare a wonder'd father and a wife
Makes this place Paradise. (4.1.5)

Man, Wife, and Father in Paradise, eh? Miranda and Ferdinand seem to stand in for the first pair of true lovers, and they do bring a new hope to all those on the island we thought were lost. Maybe this is an Adam-and-Eve thing?

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The Divine Quotes:

Quote #8

FERDINAND 
Sir, she is mortal;
But by immortal Providence she's mine:
I chose her when I could not ask my father
For his advice, nor thought I had one. She  
Is daughter to this famous Duke of Milan,
Of whom so often I have heard renown,
But never saw before; of whom I have
Received a second life; and second father
This lady makes him to me. (5.1.3)

Ferdinand seems to say the two were fated to be together, but of course they wouldn't have found each other at all had it not been for Prospero's magic. Here's a chicken and egg question – does Prospero bring the pair together to satisfy Providence, or is Ferdinand mistaking Prospero's magic for a divine plan?

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The Tempest

The Divine Quotes:

Quote #9

GONZALO
I have inly wept,
Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you god,
And on this couple drop a blessed crown!
For it is you that have chalk'd forth the way  
Which brought us hither. (5.1.2)

Gonzalo credits God for paving the way for the two lovers to be together. Does this mean divine providence is ultimately guiding Prospero's magic, or does Gonzalo just not understand the full depth of the magic being worked here?

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The Tempest

Theme of Versions of Reality:

Perspective plays a large role in The Tempest. The island is dominated by magic, and it clouds the ability of all the new arrivals to tell the difference between reality and the magical illusions they see.  Reality is also tempered by the outlook of the individuals – Gonzalo is relentlessly positive, and so sees the island as beautiful.  Ariel revels in the island's naturalness, while Sebastian and Antonio see it as an inhospitable place because of their negative outlooks.  Reality is clouded by magic, and this duality is only furthered by the influence of personal perspective over each individual's perceptions.

Questions about  Versions of Reality:

  1. How do you account for the difference between Gonzalo's vision of the island, as opposed to Antonio and Sebastian's vision? 
  2. Why does Alonso move back and forth so much on the issue of whether Ferdinand is dead? What does he really believe to be true?
  3. How does Ariel's appearance as a harpy at the banquet table impact the traitors Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian? Do they view themselves as traitors?
  4. Is it safe to trust your senses, or your own sense of reality, when in a magical place? Can the strange occurrences and behaviors in the play be explained by personal quirks, or by the island's enchantment?
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Version of Reality Quotes:

Quote #1

MIRANDA 
'Tis far off
And rather like a dream than an assurance
That my remembrance warrants. (1.2.6)

What is the relationship between dreams and memory? Prospero has a handy habit of putting folks to sleep when he's up to some other sorcery – memories don't seem trustworthy in this environment.

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The Tempest

Version of Reality Quotes:

Quote #2

ADRIAN 
The air breathes upon us here most sweetly.  
SEBASTIAN 
As if it had lungs and rotten ones. 
ANTONIO 
Or as 'twere perfumed by a fen. 
GONZALO 
Here is everything advantageous to life. 
ANTONIO
True; save means to live. 
SEBASTIAN 
Of that there's none, or little.  

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Version of Reality Quotes:

Quote #2

GONZALO 
How lush and lusty the grass looks! how green! 
ANTONIO
The ground indeed is tawny. 
SEBASTIAN 
With an eye of green in't. 
ANTONIO
 He misses not much. 
SEBASTIAN 
No; he doth but mistake the truth totally. (2.1.5)

Reality reflects the nature of the speaker. This is not because reality is false, but because perspective is paramount.

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Version of Reality Quotes:

Quote #3

STEFANO 
What's the matter? Have we devils here? Do you put
tricks upon's with savages and men of Ind, ha? I
have not scaped drowning to be afeard now of your  
four legs; for it hath been said, As proper a man as
ever went on four legs cannot make him give ground;
and it shall be said so again while Stefano
breathes at's nostrils. (2.2.2)

To the Shakespearean audience, the wild tales of the Bermudas and other newly found and colonized places was as good as fantasy, though the places were real.  Kind of like us talking about Mars.


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Version of Reality Quotes:

Quote #4

CALIBAN
As I told thee before, I am subject to a tyrant, 
a sorcerer, that by his cunning hath 
cheated me of the island. (3.2.4)

Is Caliban wrong? He says what he sees to be reality, and his reality is no less credible than Prospero's, a man who is also a victim of usurpation (each had his land and title taken away). 

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The Tempest

Version of Reality Quotes:

Quote #5

ARIEL 
You are three men of sin, whom Destiny,
That hath to instrument this lower world  
And what is in't, the never-surfeited sea
Hath caused to belch up you; and on this island
Where man doth not inhabit; you 'mongst men
Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad;
And even with such-like valour men hang and drown  
Their proper selves. (3.3.1)

Anyone whose conscience yelled at him for being a traitor would see this reality as a punishment for his wrongdoing. Sebastian and Antonio have such warped views of reality that only Alonso actually benefits from the reality check of the harpy. The other men have no consciences worth noting, and feel their reality is beyond moral consequence.

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Freedom and Confinement

- Prospero:- On the boat - An extremely isolated character, left to go adrift alone.

- Ariel:- Reminding Prospero of his promise - Desperate for freedom

- Prospero:- Reply to Ariel's plea for liberty

- Prospero:- On Ariel being Sycorax's servant + What she did to the spirit

- Caliban:- On being forced to learn Prospero's language. Very negative connotations

- Caliban:- Doesn't believe he should be imprisoned for his attempted **** of Miranda - Feels no remorse, only reason he is serving Prospero is because of the power politics.

- Prospero:- Talking about Ferdinand being enslaved, to carry one thousand logs

- Ferdinand:- So long as he can see Miranda he believes that he is free enough

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Freedom and Confinement

- "The very rats instinctively have quit it"

- "Remember I have done thee worthy service;Told thee no lies, made thee no mistakings"

- "Dost thou forget From what a torment I did free thee?"

- "wast then her servant", "she did confine thee"

- "You taught me language; and my profit on't Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you For learning me your language!"

- "I must obey: his art is of such power"

- "I'll manacle thy neck and feet together: Sea-water shalt thou drink."

- "Behold this maid"

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Freedom and Confinement

- Caliban:- Thinks Stephano must be a God, sees him as a saviour, naïve and hopeful about freedom.

- Caliban:- Offers to be Stephano's slave without being asked, begs him. Why?

- Stephano:- People are free to think, but not necessarily to act - Caliban misses this crucial point.

- Ariel:- Relationship with Prospero = stronger than master = servant, Ariel takes care of worrying details while cherishing the love and affection given to him by Prospero.

- Prospero:- From his epilogue - Needs the help of the audience (forgiveness) in order to leave the stage for Naples, much like a master/servant relationship. 

- "I'll swear upon that bottle to be thy true subject; or the liquor is not earthly."

- "I'll show thee every fertile inch o' th' island; And I will kiss thy foot: I prithee, be my god."

- "Thought is free"

- "Do you love me, master? no?", " Dearly my delicate Ariel"

- "But release me from my bands With the help of your good hands"

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Compassion and Forgiveness

- Miranda:- On the tempest and boat at sea, Naturally merciful temperament, feels pity, wishes Prospero would stop.

- Prospero:- Not naturally forgiving, used to being unquestioned + a little tyrannical - Interesting that Ariel is the one who inspires Prospero to forgive in the end.

- Caliban + Prospero:- Anger only begets more anger, expect eachother to be awful, Relationship at a complete standstill, neither will forgive the others past actions.

- Prospero:- Some things are beyond forgiveness in Prospero's eyes

- Ferdinand:- Feels no pity, moves from mercilessness to treachery easily.

- Caliban:- After being shown so little mercy he can't find it within himself to show mercy to others

- Harpy:- Prospero wants Alonso to think that his son is dead - suffering before forgiveness - undermining forgiveness? + Prospero:- Enjoying their suffering, them being at his mercy, is this right?

- Ariel:- Should be in human nature to forgive.

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Compassion and Forgiveness

- "O, I have suffered With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel, Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her, Dash'd all to pieces."

- "I will rend an oak And peg thee in his knotty entrails"

- "a south-west blow on ye And blister you all o'er!" + "For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps"

- "lodged thee In mine own cell, till thou didst seek to violate The honour of my child"

- "Sir, you may thank yourself for this great loss that would not bless our Europe with your daughter"

- "Beat him enough: after a little time I'll beat him too."

- "Thee of thy son, Alonso, They have bereft; and do pronounce by me: Lingering perdition, worse than any death" + "Lie at my mercy all mine enemies"

- "if you now beheld them, your affections Would become tender"

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Compassion and Forgiveness

- Sebastian:- Spoken [Aside], can he really think Prospero's in the wrong after the mercy he is showing to him?

- Prospero:- Describing Antonio, he doesn't converse with Prospero, doubt that he's silent in shame - Jesting and taunting when Stephano and Trinculo enter

- Prospero:- Is this really Prospero being gracious and forgiving of his terrible brother, or is it Prospero rubbing it in his brother's face that he triumphed after all?

- Prospero:- Gives up his powers because all right has been restored despite the great power he holds.

- "The devil speaks in him."

- "most wicked sir, whom to call brother"

- "require My dukedom of thee, which perforce, I know, Thou must restore."

- "Break my staff...and drown my book"

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Loyalty and Betrayal

- Antonio + Sebastian:- Sebastian shows no loyalty to his king/brother - Foreshadows later treachery on the island

- Prospero:- Explaining to Miranda that they were betrayed and sent away from Milan

- Prospero:- values their brotherly relationship more than Antoni, he didn't expect to be usurped

- Ariel:- Loyal to Prospero + Nature

- Antonio:-  convinces Sebastian to betray his king in order to seize his crown.

- Antonio:- Proud of what he has done to his brother

- Gonzalo:- calls upon the angels to protect not all of them, or just him, but the king. Knows of the plots of betrayal?

- Caliban:- Usurped from the island by Prospero, wrongfully took it!

- Prospero:- Becomes honest - Forgives everyone who has done him wrong, acknowledges his faults.

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Loyalty and Betrayal

- " Let's all sink with the king" + "Let's take leave of him"

- "By foul play, as thou say'st, were we heaved thence"

- "set all hearts i' the state To what tune pleased his ear; that now he was The ivy which had hid my princely trunk, And ****'d my verdure out on't" + "in my false brother Awaked an evil nature; and my trust,
Like a good parent"

- "All hail, great master!" + "be't to fly, To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride On the curl'd clouds"

- "My strong imagination sees a crown Dropping upon thy head"

- "look how well my garments sit upon me"

- "Now, good angels Preserve the king"

- "by sorcery he got this isle;  From me he got it"

-"The rarer action is In virtue than in vengeance"

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Versions of Reality

- Miranda:- Relationship between dreams and memory?

- Stephano:- To the Shakespearean audience, the wild tales of the Bermudas and other newly found and colonized places was as good as fantasy, though the places were real.

- Caliban:- Is he wrong to say this? Only sees his version of events, Prospero's is different, no less credible

- Sebastian:- Once one sees one fantasy to be proven true, the seer can no longer be sure what he's seeing is real

- Prospero:- he knows it is his magic, and not the island, that plays with others' views of reality

- Alonso:- His vision of reality has been swayed by Antonio's evil persuasion

- "As I told thee before, I am subject to a tyrant, a sorcerer, that by his cunning hath cheated me of the island."

- "Now I will believe That there are unicorns"

- "You do yet taste Some subtleties o' the isle, that will not let you Believe things certain."

- "If this prove A vision of the Island, one dear son Shall I twice lose"

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Love and Relationships

- Ferdinand:- Miranda sympathises with  Ferdinand's hardship.]

- Miranda:- Overwhelmed by the presence of Ferdinand, never seen other men other than her father.

- Ferdinand:- Unconditional love - Will do anything for her.

- Miranda:- Is overwhelmed by the presence of so many men. 

- "My sweet mistress weeps when she sees me work"

- "I might call him a thing divine"

- "Did my heart fly to your service"

- "O brave new world!"

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Comments

Harry

thank you for uploading this :)

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