The Tempest - Quotes

Quotes by theme of Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

HideShow resource information

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


1 of 14

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"

2 of 14

Freedom and Confinement 2

- 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.

3 of 14

Freedom and Confinement 2

- "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"


4 of 14


- 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.

5 of 14


- "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"

6 of 14

Compassion/Forgiveness 2

- 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.

7 of 14

Compassion/Forgiveness 2

- "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"

8 of 14


- 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.

9 of 14


- " 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"

10 of 14

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

11 of 14

Versions of Reality

- "'Tis far off And rather like a dream than an assurance"

- "Do you put tricks upon's with savages and men of Ind, ha?"

- "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"

12 of 14

Relationships (Love)

- 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.

13 of 14

Relationships (Love)

- "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!"

14 of 14


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all The Tempest resources »