MODERN THE TEMPEST PLOT SUMMARY
On a ship in the middle of a storm, the crew and the Boatswain try to traverse the waves to prevent their ship from wrecking. Alonso—the King of Naples—Sebastian, Antonio, Ferdinand and Gonzalo enter above deck. They talk with the Boatswain about the storm, and ask where the Master is. The Boatswain is curt and tells them to go back below deck just in case they are killed. Gonzalo asks him to calm down, but the Boatswain is convinced that they are going to sink. The sea doesn't care that there is a King on board. Foolishly, Gonzalo believes they will not drown because the Boatswain looks like someone who is destined to hang. As Sailors cry out that the ship is breaking up, the noblemen retreat under the deck to pray with the King for their safety.
On an island, Prospero—the rightful Duke of Milan—and his daughter, Miranda, talk about the storm. It is revealed that Prospero was the one to conjure the storm, but he did it so well that none of the men died, and the ship is safe and sound. He has done all of this to protect her. He tells her the story about her childhood and how they came to the island. Prospero's brother, Antonio, who was given some control over Milan's affairs when Prospero was the Duke, forced him out of his position and exiled him and Miranda with help from the King. They were thrown onto a wrecked ship and sent away from Milan. Gonzalo, a good and kind Lord, gave them food and clothing so that they could survive the ordeal. Prospero reveals that these same men have arrived at the island, and now is the time for him to get his revenge.
Prospero sends Miranda to sleep and calls for Ariel—his servant and a spirit. Ariel arrives and asks what Prospero needs doing. Prospero asks if Ariel has done everything he has asked him to do: Ariel has. He created the storm and frightened the sailors and noblemen off the ship, which is now waiting in a cove, safe and out of sight with most of the crew in a magical sleep below the deck. The rest of the men believe that they have seen the ship sink. Ariel doesn't actually want to do any more work, but Prospero reminds him of his past Master: Sycorax, the evil witch, who imprisoned Ariel in a tree for twelve years after he refused to do her dark work. Prospero will free Ariel in two days if everything goes to plan. Ariel springs into action immediately. Ariel is told to disguise himself as a Sea Nymph and make himself invisible to everyone but Prospero. He leaves.
Prospero wakes Miranda up: they are going to visit Caliban, Sycorax's son. Miranda doesn't want to, but Prospero doesn't care what she thinks as Caliban is useful to them as their servant. When they call out for Caliban, he tells them they have enough firewood already and refuses to come out of his cave. Prospero orders him out. Ariel returns dressed as the Nymph and Prospero whispers to him. He leaves. Prospero calls for Caliban again, who comes out of his cave insulting and wishing Prospero, and Miranda would drown in poisoned dew. Prospero vows to punish him with cramps for saying that. Caliban tells them the island is his and they should give it back to him. He wishes he had his mother's power to take the island from Prospero, and is sorry that he has to endure Prospero's punishments and torture. Prospero calls him a liar and reminds him he is only mistreated because he tried to rape Miranda. Up until then Prospero treated him like a son, and they had both attempted to teach Caliban how to speak properly. Prospero orders Caliban to collect more firewood.
In another part of the island, Ferdinand—the Prince of Naples—follows Ariel who sings to him and leads him across the island. He can't see where the music is coming from. He thinks his father, Alonso, has died in the shipwreck.
Prospero tells Miranda to look at Ferdinand. She wonders if Ferdinand is a spirit as he is certainly handsome enough to be one, but Prospero points out he is just a human man. Miranda likes him a lot. Prospero compliments Ariel on his work. Ferdinand is amazed to find Miranda and to hear she speaks the same language as him. Prospero is overjoyed that Ferdinand and Miranda have fallen in love on sight, but wants to make them work for it, so they appreciate their love a bit more. Prospero draws Ferdinand away from Miranda, despite her protests, and accuses him of being a spy plotting to take the island from Prospero. Obviously Ferdinand denies this. He draws his sword, but Prospero freezes him into place using his magic. Miranda begs Prospero to release him because she knows he is good. Prospero tells her she thinks Ferdinand is special because she doesn't know any other men, and then unfreezes Ferdinand. He vows to do as Prospero says as anything he will go through will be worth it in the end if he manages to win Miranda's heart. He follows Prospero away.
On the other side of the island, Alonso and his court gather together. Gonzalo tries to cheer Alonso up, but he is convinced that his son, Ferdinand has drowned. Sebastian and Antonio tease Gonzalo throughout, but Gonzalo ignores their insults. Alonso wishes they had not made this journey, and that his daughter Claribel had not been married off to an African King because then Ferdinand would still be alive. Francisco believes he saw Ferdinand swimming through the ocean strongly toward the shore and is convinced he is still alive, but Alonso doesn't believe him. Sebastian, Alonso's brother, continues to rub salt in his wounds: they didn't want Claribel to be married off, and yet Alonso didn't listen to them. The loss of both of his children is his fault.
Gonzalo tries to distract Alonso by discussing his ideal civilization if he were a ruler. Antonio and Sebastian tease him for this, but because Gonzalo thinks he is already a nobody to them, it doesn't matter what they say. Ariel enters, playing solemn music that starts to send everyone to sleep. Alonso, Sebastian and Antonio stay awake. Alonso suddenly feels sleepy and goes to sleep after Sebastian and Antonio promise to take care of them all. Ariel leaves. While the men sleep, Sebastian and Antonio decide to kill Alonso to take the throne for Sebastian. Antonio urges Sebastian to act now before the men wake up. They consider that Ferdinand could have survived, but then decide he couldn't possibly have done. Sebastian, therefore, would be the next person in line with Claribel so far away from Naples. Sebastian asks Antonio if he ever feels guilty for taking Milan from Prospero. He doesn't. Antonio and Sebastian draw their swords, but Ariel arrives and sings in Gonzalo's ear to wake him up and prevent anyone from being killed. Prospero needs them all alive for his plan to work. Gonzalo wakes up, shouting for them all to save the King. Alonso wakes up and asks why Sebastian and Antonio have their swords drawn. They concoct a story about hearing a wild animal, like a lion, roar loudly. Gonzalo doesn't know what he heard, but he knows there was a sound. They all decide to keep a better and more watchful eye out, and maybe even move their camp elsewhere to protect themselves. Alonso wants to continue searching for his son, so they gather to leave.
Caliban carries wood as asked by Prospero. A storm rages overhead. He talks to himself, hoping that Prospero would be infected by every kind of disease properly. He is aware that the spirits under Prospero's control may tell on him, but they won't punish him unless Prospero tells them to. Trinculo, Alonso's jester, enters. Caliban thinks he is one of Prospero's spirits, and so hides underneath his cloak on the floor. He hopes the spirit won't see him. Trinculo looks around for shelter from the storm and sees Caliban on the floor. He doesn't know if Caliban is a fish or a man, but decides to crawl underneath the cloak for safety. At the same time, Stephano—Alonso's butler—enters. He is dead drunk and sings a sailor's song. Caliban cries out, thinking Trinculo might hurt him. Stephano wonders if Caliban and Trinculo are a four legged monster, and is excited to capture it and present it for money back in Naples. Stephano thinks Caliban is having a fit and decides to give him some wine to calm down. Trinculo reveals he is the butler and his friend. Stephano pulls him out from under the cloak. Trinculo thought Stephano had been killed, and that Caliban was lying on the floor because he'd been struck by lightning. They are overjoyed to find one another. Stephano reveals he escaped clinging onto a barrel of white wine, which he keeps hidden in a cave. Trinculo asks if there is any more wine left. Caliban, meanwhile, thinks that Stephano and Trinculo are spirits who have come down from Heaven and swears to show Stephano the entire island. He wants Stephano to be his master. Trinculo doesn't trust him. Stephano announces they will take the island for themselves as they are the only people who survived, but Caliban reveals that Prospero really rules the island and is his master. He leads the men away.
Ferdinand carries logs to pile them up. He has thousands more to move before his task is over, but Miranda makes his work seem easier. Prospero watches from a distance, unseen, as Miranda asks Ferdinand to stop working for a while. He can't—he has too much work to do before the sun sets. Miranda offers to do the work for him. He would rather break his back though than have her work. Prospero can see Miranda and Ferdinand are genuinely in love. Ferdinand tells her he is a Prince, and probably a King because of his father's death. She feels unworthy of him, but pledges to marry him or remain a virgin for the rest of her life. They declare their love for one another and decide they will marry. They leave. Prospero is exceedingly happy they are in love.
Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo are still drinking. Stephano keeps ordering Caliban to drink more, but Caliban is so drunk he can't even talk. Caliban will be his lieutenant or flag-bearer. Caliban offers to lick Stephano's boot, but refuses to serve Trinculo. He isn't as valiant as Stephano. Trinculo makes fun of him: he calls him a coward and asks if he tells monstrous lies because he is a monster. Caliban cries to Stephano to make Trinculo stop teasing him. If Trinculo doesn't, Stephano vows to hang him from the nearest tree. Caliban asks if they will listen to his request now. They will.
Ariel enters and listens as Caliban reveals he is the servant to a tyrannical sorcerer who has taken the island from him. There is some confusion as Ariel speaks, calling him a liar, as Caliban thinks it is Trinculo who has spoken. Trinculo doesn't know what he has done. Caliban wishes that Stephano would kill Prospero. Then Stephano would be the ruler of the island, and Caliban would his servant. Stephano wonders how they will do this. Caliban suggests they knock a nail through the sleeping Prospero's head. Again, Ariel calls them a liar and the other two men believe it is Trinculo who has said this. Stephano beats Trinculo up, who doesn't understand what is going on. He didn't say anything!
Caliban tells them Prospero sleeps in the afternoon. They need to steal his books and burn them first so that he can't command his spirits. He also tells them about Miranda, who is truly beautiful to him. Stephano will make her his Queen, and they will have many children together. Trinculo and Caliban will be Governors.
Ariel will tell Prospero of this plan. After Caliban asks Stephano to sing, Ariel interrupts by playing a song on a pipe. They are frightened to hear this music and cry out to God to protect them. Caliban is the only one not unnerved: he tells them that the island is always full of sounds, and these never hurt anyone. Stephano is pleased that this Kingdom will play music for him for free, but Caliban reminds him that it will only be his Kingdom once he has killed Prospero. Trinculo points out that the music is travelling away and that they should follow it and commit the murder afterwards. Stephano asks Caliban to lead them to Prospero.
Alonso and the other men gather. Gonzalo can't move another inch as his bones ache, and wants to rest. The other men agree. Alonso is losing hope: he believes that Ferdinand is truly dead and that maybe they should give up. Antonio is pleased that Alonso is so upset and that the rest of the men are so tired as this will make them easier to defeat. They will murder Alonso as soon as they get the chance. Suddenly, music starts to play. Prospero enters above them but is invisible to the men. They listen to the music as strange shapes appear and carry a banquet table in. They dance around it and invite the men to eat the feast. Alonso doesn't know what to make of it. The men think at least they will have a story to tell if they return home. Sebastian is pleased that they left behind the food for them to eat, but Alonso is wary of it. In the end, they decide to eat. A storm starts up and Ariel enters, dressed as a harpy. He claps his wings on the table, which disappears suddenly. He tells Antonio, Alonso and Sebastian that they are sinners, and it was destiny that brought them to the island. None of them deserve to live because they stole Prospero's Dukedom and exiled him and his daughter to the island. The only way to save themselves from a slow death is to be sorry for what they did and try to live innocently from here on in. The shapes bring the banquet table back in. Prospero compliments Ariel on his work, and then leaves to go and talk to Ferdinand. Gonzalo asks why Alonso is standing still and staring. Alonso thought that the thunder spoke to him about Prospero, and told him about his crimes. For these crimes, Ferdinand is dead. He will go and join Ferdinand at the bottom of the sea. Sebastian and Antonio vow to fight every fiend that comes their way. They also leave. Gonzalo wonders what has happened to them to act so strangely and asks the other men to follow and make sure they don't do anything silly.
Prospero apologizes to Ferdinand for punishing him, but is ready to make it up to him now. He is, after all, giving him Miranda's hand in marriage. He has a few conditions though: they must not sleep together before they get married or the heavens will curse them. Ferdinand vows to be honourable. While Ferdinand and Miranda sit and talk, Prospero calls for Ariel. He asks all of the spirits to come so they can put on a play for the lovers. Once they have arrived, Prospero starts the play. Ceres, Juno and Iris gather and discuss the failed plot by Venus and Cupid to undo their vows not to sleep with one another before they are married. They bless the couple with a long, happy life. Ferdinand is tremendously impressed and wants to live on this island forever. Various nymphs arrive and start to dance with one another for the couple. Prospero compliments the spirits and sends them away suddenly. He has forgotten Caliban's plot to kill him! Ferdinand and Miranda are concerned that he is so upset and asks what is wrong. Prospero assures them nothing is wrong and tells them to go and sleep for a while in his home. They leave.
Prospero summons Ariel and asks where Caliban is. Ariel has led them through shrubs and bushes and left them in a filthy pond with water up to their chins. Prospero compliments Ariel and asks him to collect clothes from his house to use as bait. Prospero vows to punish Caliban and the others until they cry out with pain. Ariel returns with expensive clothes and hangs them on the line.
Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo enter and see the clothes. They are wet, and sad because they dropped the wine bottle, and, so the clothes cheer them up. Caliban tells them not to take the clothing and to get on with killing Prospero before they are caught, but he is ignored. Spirits suddenly appear and chase the trio around and away from Prospero's home. They will chase the men until they are sore and bruised. Prospero reminds Ariel that there is only a bit more work for him to do, and then Ariel will be free.
Later, Prospero asks Ariel how the King and his men are. Ariel tells them they are imprisoned and are tormented by it. Prospero is reminded by Ariel that he should feel pity for the men and decides to free them. It is better to be virtuous, he thinks, than to be vengeful. Prospero sends Ariel to release them, break the spells and make them feel like themselves again. Ariel leaves. Prospero draws a large circle on the ground. He will surrender his magic after he has freed the prisoners, break his staff and bury it in the ground.
Ariel enters followed by Alonso and his followers. They stand in the circle. Prospero calls for solemn music to calm their minds. Prospero calls Gonzalo an honourable man and thanks him for his help. He will be rewarded for his help. Prospero condemns Alonso for helping his brother, Antonio, take the throne from him. Ferdinand is paying the price for that now. He turns to Antonio and forgives him, even if he is a monstrous thing. The men are starting to understand, but don't recognize him just yet. Prospero asks Ariel to bring him his hat and sword from his home so that he will look more like he did in Milan. Ariel helps him change his clothes as well and sings about the things he will do once he has been freed. Prospero will miss Ariel. For now, he must return to the King's ship and bring the Master and Boatswain back.
Prospero introduces himself properly to the men, and assures them that he is real and not a spirit. Alonso is sorry for what he did and will give Prospero back his Dukedom. Prospero embraces Gonzalo and welcomes everyone but Sebastian and Antonio as friends. Sebastian thinks the devil speaks through him. Alonso wants to know how Prospero has managed to survive on the island, but then remembers the loss of his son. Prospero reveals he has also recently lost a daughter. Alonso wishes their children were alive and well and the King and Queen of Naples. He would give his own life to see his son alive again. Prospero reveals Miranda and Ferdinand playing chess together. The couple do not see the men just yet, and playfully talk about the game of chess they are playing. Alonso is overjoyed to see these two, but doesn't believe it is real. Once Ferdinand kneels in front of him, Alonso believes his son is alive and is overjoyed. Miranda thinks mankind is uncommonly beautiful.
Ferdinand reveals Miranda is to be his wife. Alonso is happy that they will be married, but is sad he will have to ask for his son's forgiveness for what he did. Prospero tells him off for looking at their sad past. He doesn't want to ruin their happier times. Gonzalo thinks that everything has happened for a reason, otherwise Miranda and Ferdinand would not have met and fallen in love. Alonso vows that anyone who does not wish the couple happy should be struck with sadness.
Ariel enters with the Master and Boatswain. He reveals the ship is intact and stocked with enough supplies as when they left port. Prospero calls Ariel a clever spirit. Ariel disappears and returns with Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo, still dressed in their stolen clothing. Caliban is afraid his master will punish him, but the others are pleased to see their friends still alive. Prospero asks if Stephano wanted to be the King of the island. He did, but he thinks he would be a pretty lousy King. Prospero calls Caliban an idiot for worshipping the drunken men like Gods. He tells Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo to go and tidy up his home if they want Prospero's forgiveness. They leave to do just that.
Prospero invites them to sleep in his home after he has told them the story of his life. After that, they will leave for Naples where Ferdinand and Miranda will be married. He will make sure that the seas will be calm and the winds strong enough for them to catch up with the rest of the fleet before they reach Naples. Prospero tells Ariel this is his job to perform, and then he will be free. They all leave.
Prospero tells the audience that he has no more magic to perform and that they must help him escape the island by clapping.
MODERN THE TEMPEST CHARACTER ANALYSIS
Prospero, once the Duke of Milan, is a man of considerable supernatural power and intelligence. He is Miranda's father and is highly protective of her. He tells Miranda he was so obsessed with his studies that he did not realize Antonio was planning on taking his Dukedom from him. Later on, both Miranda and Caliban refer to Prospero at his studies, and Miranda has reportedly had an outstanding education from him, enough that she could teach Caliban how to speak. Prospero is singularly obsessed with getting his revenge, which has kept him going all this time, but is capable of forgiveness. He does not kill a single man when it could have been easier to let the storm take all of the men's lives, and this can be seen as a sign of his inherent goodness. He also frees Ariel, even though he could have quite easily kept control over him, which is another example of his ability to do the right thing in the end.
Miranda is Prospero's daughter. She is remarkably naive and sheltered and has only seen a few human beings in her life on the island. She does remember some of her female servants who tended to her before she and Prospero had to flee Milan for their lives. Miranda is quite generous as she teaches Caliban how to read even though it is quite a tedious job to her, but she is extremely loyal to her father. She tends to follow his every word and not question anything he has done or designed for her life.
Ferdinand is Alonso's son, and the Prince of Naples. He immediately falls in love with Miranda and pledges his heart to her even up against the terrifying Prospero. We get the sense that Ferdinand is a man who is well loved, especially by the ladies of Naples as he refers to many who have caught his eye before Miranda. Against his father and the other men of the King's court, Ferdinand is a pure and innocent man who has no designs to kill Prospero or take the island from him. He simply endures the tasks Prospero sets him with the hope that it will win him Miranda's hand.
Ariel is a supernatural spirit who was once imprisoned and ruled by Sycorax, the witch. Upon Prospero's rescue of Ariel from a tree which he was trapped in for twelve years, Ariel became his servant. Prospero has since then dictated what tasks Ariel will carry out; in fact, Ariel does most of the work for Prospero towards his plan to draw Miranda and Ferdinand together. Ariel can change shapes, travel considerable distances in small amounts of time and is generally quite mischievous and playful.
Caliban is the son of the now-dead Sycorax, a witch who once ruled over the island. Caliban became a kind of surrogate son for Prospero, and was treated kindly until he tried to rape Miranda. Instead of killing him, Prospero set him to work as another one of his servants, and has been forced to live in a cave. They refer to him as a monster; the rest of the men on the island also see him as a monstrous figure, often calling him a kind of fish, which is probably in reference to the island setting. Caliban believes that the island belongs to him and that the only way to get it back from Prospero is to kill him. Caliban is a bit of a strange character: he is capable of kindness and brutality at the same time, and changes his speech between the expected language of a “monster” and a well educated man.
Stephano is a drunken butler and one of Alonso's servants. He foolishly believes he is the only one left alive after the shipwreck and decides to get exceedingly drunk. He is taken in by Caliban's belief that he is a God and agrees to kill Prospero so he can rule over the island himself. Once he has sobered up, he discards his idea of becoming King.
Trinculo is a jester who joins Stephano and gets exceedingly drunk with him. He also agrees to help kill Prospero, but is occasionally the voice of reason and worries when things aren't going exactly as Caliban promised. He, like Stephano, is a complete fool.
Alonso is the King of Naples, and Ferdinand's father. He assisted Antonio in his plot to remove Prospero from his Dukedom. Alonso is a sorrowful man over the loss of his son, and wishes repeatedly that he could lie on the bottom of the ocean with Ferdinand, or swap places with him. His family are deeply relevant to him, and the loss of them makes him want to lose his own life. He and Prospero do manage to come to an understanding by the end of the play, which is certainly helped by the engagement of his son to Miranda and Alonso's apology.
Antonio is a wicked man. He removed his brother, Prospero, from his Dukedom so that he could take it for himself, and does not regret it one bit. He even illustrates his unhealthy ambition when he persuades Sebastian to help him to kill Alonso. Even though Prospero forgives him, Antonio never apologizes for what he did or shows any remorse.
Sebastian is Alonso's brother, a member of Alonso's court and a friend of Antonio's. He is drawn into the murderous plot against Alonso, and it does not take much to persuade him! Like Antonio, Sebastian refuses to apologize or show remorse for his assassination plot. Sebastian tries to depress the King even more by insisting he is to blame for Ferdinand's supposed death.
Gonzalo, like Ferdinand, is an honest and good man. He helped Prospero and Miranda by giving them clothes, books and food, and making sure that they were able to survive being thrown out of Milan. He is also fiercely loyal to Alonso and tries to cheer him up at every chance. Although many of the characters tease him, especially Antonio and Sebastian, he still manages to maintain his positive outlook throughout most of the play.
The Boatswain angers many of the crew and Alonso's court for ordering them to go back below deck while he tries to save them from a possible shipwreck. His rude manners are consistently picked on, but he is the only one with any common sense during the opening scene. Gonzalo insists that the Boatswain is destined to die by hanging, not by drowning, reasoning which the Boatswain rejects immediately for lacking any sense.
Ceres/Juno/Iris – the Spirits (Sear-rees/Jew-no/Eye-ris)
These spirits appear to celebrate the engagement of Miranda and Ferdinand, and to reinforce the notion of a chaste and sexless relationship before marriage. These spirits represent the Roman Gods Ceres, the Goddess of Agriculture and Earth, Iris, the Goddess of the Rainbow, and Juno, the Goddess of Marriage and Women. They bless the couple with a long and happy marriage.
Adrian is another member of Alonso's court and a lord. He, like Gonzalo, attempts to cheer Alonso up when they are shipwrecked on the island. Adrian is made fun of by Sebastian and Antonio in the process, but he shows them little attention. He is an opposing character to Sebastian and Antonio, but beside this, not much more is known about his character.
Francisco is a minor character and another member of Alonso's court. He tries to tell Alonso that he saw Ferdinand swimming towards the shore to give him hope that his son is still alive after the shipwreck. Beyond this not much more is known about his character.
EXCERPT OF THE TEMPEST IN PLAIN AND SIMPLE ENGLISH
On a ship at sea: a tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard.
Enter a Master and a Boatswain
Right here, master: how goes it?
Good man, speak to the sailers: get on it, quickly,
Or we will run ourselves into the shore: get busy, get busy.
Come on, comrades! With energy, with energy, comrades!
At once, at once! Take in the topsail. Listen for the
Master’s whistles. Wind you can blow all you want,
If there’s enough room between ship and shore!
Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND, GONZALO, and others
Good boatswain, take care. Where’s the master?
Get the men to work.
Please, stay below.
Where’s the master, boatswain?
Can’t you hear him? You’re hampering our work: stay in your
Cabins: you’re really helping the storm.
No, good man, be patient.
I’ll be patient when the sea is. Go away! What do these roaring waves care
About the name of a king? Go into your cabin: be silent! Don’t trouble us.
Good man, you must remember whom you have aboard.
No one that I love more than myself. You are an
Advisor; if you can command the winds and water to
Silence, and put this present affair to rest, we won’t
Handle a rope again; use your power: if you
Can’t, then be thankful you have lived so long, and prepare
Yourself in your cabin incase disaster strikes
At this moment. Energetically, good comrades! Get out
Of our way, I say.
I have a good feeling about this fellow: it seems to me that he
Doesn’t look like a man who will drown; his look is of one
Who will die of hanging instead. Good Fate, remain set on his
Hanging: make it so that the rope of his hanging is an anchor line,
For our own line is going us very little good. If he wasn’t
Born to be hanged, our situation is dire.
Bring the topmast down! Now! Lower, lower! Separate
It from the mailsail.
A cry within
Curse this crying! These people are louder than
The weather or our work.
Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO
Yet again! What are you doing here? Should we give in
And drown? Do you want to sink?
Curse your yelling, you hollering, offensive,
Get to work then.
Blast you, dog! Blast you, you son of a whore, disrespectful bellower!
We are less afraid of drowning than you are.
I’ll make sure he doesn’t drown; even if this ship was
No stronger than a nutshell, and was as wet as an
Bring the ship into the wind, into the wind! Set her compass out to
Sea again; bring her away from land.
Enter Mariners wet
All is lost! Pray, everyone pray! All is lost!
What, must we die?
The king and prince get to praying! Let’s help them,
For our fate is the same as theirs.
I’m out of patience.
We’ve just been cheated out of our lives by drunks:
And this big-mouthed scoundrel—I wish you would lie drowning
And washed over by ten tides!
He’ll still be hanged eventually,
Even though every drop of water indicates otherwise
And open up widest to take him.
[A confused noise within: ‘Mercy on us’—‘We’re sinking, we’re sinking!’—‘Good bye, my wife and children!’—‘Goodbye, brother!’—‘We’re sinking, we’re sinking, we’re sinking!’]
Let’s all sink with the kind.
Let’s say good bye to him.
Exeunt ANTONIO and SEBASTIAN
Right now I would trade a hundred and twenty-five miles of sea for an
Acre of dry ground, with tall heather, brown evergreen shrubs, any
Thing. The lord’s wish will be done! But I would desire
To die a dry death.
The island. Before PROSPERO'S cell.
Enter PROSPERO and MIRANDA
If with your skills, my dearest father, you have
Made the wild waters into this storm, call it off.
The sky, it seems, would like to pour down black tar,
Except for the sea, rising up to heaven,
Puts the fire out. Oh, I have suffered
Along side those that I saw suffering: a well-crafted vessel
Who had, no doubt, some great person on board,
Crashed into pieces. Oh, the cry hit me
To my very core. Poor souls, they died.
If I were any god of power, I would
Have buried the sea within the earth before
It could have swallowed up that good ship and
The people carried on board.
Don’t be distracted by it: tell your upset heart
That no harm has been done.
Oh, no harm you call it!
I have nothing except to care for you,
For you, my dear one, you, my daughter, who
Don’t know who you are, don’t know
Where I am from, or that I am much better
Than Prospero, in control of an entire small cell,
And a position no more powerful than simply your father.
Knowing more than that
Never concerned my thoughts.
it’s timet that
I told you more. Give me your hand,
And take my magic cloak from me. So:
Lays down his mantle (cloak)
Lie there, my magic. Wipe your eyes; and take comfort in this.
The terrible scene of the wreck, which touched
That most compassionate heart of yours,
I have with careful thinking ahead in my magic
Safely arranged so that there is no soul--
No, not even the loss of an hair
Happened to any creature aboard that ship
Which you heard cry out, which you saw sink. Sit down;
For you must now learn more.
You have often
Begun to tell me who I am, but stopped
And left me with useless questions,
Concluding ‘Wait: not yet.’
The hour has come;
The very minute askes you to open you ears;
Listen and be attentive. Can you remember
A time before we came to this cell?
I don’t think you cant, for you were not
Yet three years old then.
Certainly, sir, I can.
By what means? Was it any other house or person?
Tell me about the image of any thing that
Has stayed in your memory.
It’s far off
And more like a dream than a certainty
That my memory sustains. Didn’t I have
Four or five women who once took care of me?
You had that, and more, Miranda. But how is it
That you remember this? What else do you see
In the dark past and deep chasm of time?
If you remember anything before you came here,
Then you may remember how you came here.
But I do not remember that.
Twelve years ago, Miranda, twelve years ago,
Your father was the Duke of Milan and
A prince of power.
Sir, aren’t you my father?
Your mother was a model of virtue, and
She said you were my daughter; and your father
Was Duke of Milan; and you were his only heir
And princess of no lower position.
Oh, good heavens!
What evil conspiracy was there against us that we came from there?
Or was it a good thing that we did?
Both, it was both, my girl:
It was an evil conspiracy, as you said, that we were cast out of there,
But fortunately helped to get here.
Oh my heart aches
To think of the grief that I have brought up again,
From my memories! Please, continue.
My brother, your uncle, named Antonio--
Please. Pay attention—how could a brother
Be so deceitful!—he, who, next to you
Out of everyone in the world, I love and to him I gave
The task of managing of my government; since at the time
Out of all the provinces it was the highest
And I, Prospoer, the chief duke, had a reputation
Of honor, and for the arts and sciences
That was without parallel; those took up all my studying,
And the governing I threw on to my brother
And I became a foreigner to my province, being captivated
And absorbed in my magical studies. Your deceitful uncle--
Are you listening to me?
Sir, most attentively.
Having been instructed on how to grant formal petitions,
How to deny them, who to promote and who
To hold back for getting ahead of themselves, having newly appointed
The officials that were mine, or, I say, having replaced them,
Or else retrained them, having both the power
Of officials and the role of office, he set all the minds in the government
To whatever message he desired; now he was
The ivy that had grown over the tree trunk of my own right to rule,
And sucked my liveliness out with it. You aren’t listening.
Oh, good sir, I am.
Please, listen to me.
I, having neglected endeavors in this world, completely dedicated
To solitude and the bettering of my mind
With things which, except that they were so secluded,
Would be overvalued by the common consensus, in my deceitful brother
This awakened an evil nature; and my trust,
Like a good parent, did create in him
A disloyalty that was the complete opposite but as great
As my trust had been; which in fact had no limit,
A confidence without boundaries. In that was, he was made a lord,
Not only through what my income produced,
But also what my authority might obtain, like one
Who having said something against the truth, because he told it,
Made such an impostor of his memory
That it gave credit to his own lie, he did believe
He was actually the duke; because he substituted in my place of authority
And fulfilled the outward face of royalty,
With all its privileges: from here his ambition grew--
Do you hear what I’m saying?
Your story, sir, would cure deafness.
In order to have no separation between this role he was performing
And the one who he was performing it for—that is myself—he desired to become
The absolute ruler of Milan. For me, poor man, my library
Was a large enough dukedom: of wordly power
He thought I was now incapable; he was allies--
He was so thirty for power—with the King of Naples
And had to give him annual taxes, to pay him homage,
And subject his lesser crown to the greater ruler and lowered
The province that hadn’t yet been overcome—sadly, poor Milan!--
To a very shameful position.
Oh, good heavens±
Notice his agreement and the outcome; then tell me
If you think a brother could do this.
It would be a sin
To think badly of my grandmother:
But good women have given birth to bad sons.
Now the agreement.
The King of Naples, being an enemy
Of mine for a long time, paid attention to my brothers proposition;
Which was, that he, in place of the pledges
Of homage and I’m not sure how much taxes,
Would instead immediately eliminate me and my family
From the province and give over the beautiul Milan
With all the it’s powers to my brother: After this,
A treacherous army was enlisted, and one midnight,
Destined for this task, Antonio opened
The gates of Milan and in the dead of night,
The agents of this plan hurried to
Me and your crying self.
What a shame, what a pity!
I now, since I don’t remember how I cried then,
Will cry over it again: it is a situation
That forces my eyes to weep.
Listen a little more
And then I’ll get to the current business
That is now upon us; without which this story
Would be beside the point.
Why did they not
Destroy us then?
Good question, girl:
My story invites that question. My dear, they didn’t dare,
So dear was the love my people had for me, nor did they dare to place
Such a bloody mark on their business, but
Painted a prettier picture of their evil plan.
In short, they hurried us aboard a ship,
And carried us some miles out into the sea; where they prepared
The rotting remains of a boat, without ropes,
Without gear, sail, and mast; even the rats
Instinctively had left it: there they left us,
To cry to the sea that roared back at us, to sigh
To the winds whose pity, sighing back again,
Did us only affectionate wrong.
What a shame, what trouble
I was then for you!
Oh, little angel
You were what saved me. You made me smile.
Empowered with a strength from heaven,
When I crossed the salty sea,
And groaned under my burden; it was that strength which raised in me
A continuous courage, to withstand
What was to come.
How did we come ashore?
By Divine Providence.
We had some food and some fresh water that
A noble man from Naples, named Gonzalo,
Out of his kindness, having been put
In charge of this plan, gave to us, with
Nice clothes, linens, equipment and necessary things,
Which have since been very helpful; so, because of his nobility,
And knowing that I loved my books, he provided me
With books from my own library that
I prized more than my dukedom.
I wish that I might
Someday see that man!
Now I will stand up:
Resumes his mantle (cloak)
Sit still, and listen to the last of our sad times at sea.
We arrived here on this island; and here
I have, as your school teacher, made you more capable
Than other princesses who have more time
To be foolishly spent and tutors who are not so careful.
And the heavens thank you for it! And now, I ask you, sir,
Because it’s still heavy on my mind, what was your reason
For raising this sea-storm?
Know this much.
By a strange accident, from generous Fortune,
Now my dear lady, my enemies have been
Brought to this shore; and because of my knowledge beforehand
I found my high point depends on
A very favorable star, which
If I don’t follow its influence now, but instead disregard it, my fortune
Will fade forever after. Now stop more questionsL
You are wishing to sleep; it’s a good sleepiness,
And give in to it: I know you cannot do otherwise.
Come here, servant, come. I am ready now.
Approach, my Ariel come.
Greetings, great master! Wise sir, greetings! I have come
To satisfy your dearest desire; whether it be to fly,
To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride
On the spiraling clouds, with your powerful commands, order
Ariel and all of his companions.
Have you, spirit,
Performed the tempest exactly as I commanded you?
To the letter.
I boarded the king’s ship; first at the bow,
Then in the middle, the desk, in every cabin,
I excited wonder and fear: sometimes I would separate,
And burn in many places; on the topmast,
The yards and bowsprit, I would excite them separately,
Then meet and rejoin. The thunder god’s lightning-bolts, the precursors
Of the terrible thunder-claps, more fleeting
And faster than the eye could follow weren’t there; with fire and the booming
Of thunderous roaring the most mighty sea god
Seemed to over take them and make his daring waves tremble,
Oh yes, he shook his frightening trident.
My excellent spirit!
Was there anyone who was so steadfast, so constant, that this tumult
Would not spoil his good sense?
Not a soul
Instead they felt a fever like the mad and showed
Some characteristics of despair. All but the sailors
Jumped into the frothy sea water and left the ship.
Then all on fire from me: the king’s son, Ferdinand,
With his hair standing on end,--more like reeds than hair,--
Was the first man to leap overboard; he cried, ‘Hell is empty
Because all the devils are here.’
Well, that’s my good servant!
But wasn’t this near shore?
Close by, my master.
But are they safe, Ariel?
Not a single one died;
Not even a stain on the clothes that saved them,
But instead cleaner than before: and, as you asked me,
I have dispersed them in groups around the island.
The king’s son I have brought to land by himself;
I left him blowing in the air with his sighs
In an odd corner of the island and sitting,
His arms in a dejected knot.
Of the king’s ship and its
Sailor, tell me how you managed them
And all the rest of the fleet.
Safely in the harbor
Is the king’s ship; in a deep nook, where you once
Called me up at midnight to fetch dew
From the always stormy Bermuda, it’s there that the ship is hidden:
The sailors are all stowed under the decks;
Who, with a spell combined with their hard work,
I have left asleep; and for the rest of the fleet
Which I dispersed, they all have met up again
And are floating on the Mediterranean,
Sadly heading home for Naples,
Thinking that they saw the king’s whip wreckd
And his royalty perish.
Ariel, you task
Has been performed exactly: but there’s more work.
What time of day is it?
At least two hourglasses. The time between now and six
Must be spent most usefully for the both of us.
Is there more work? Since you are giving me more tasks,
Let me remind you what you have promised,
Which has not yet been given to me.
What’s this? Are you angry?
What is it you can ask for?
Before the time is up? Certainly not!
I ask you to
Remember that I have done excellent work for you;
I have told you no lies, made you no mistakes, served you
Without complaining or grumbling: you did promise
To lessen my term by a whole year.
Did you forget
What a torment I freed you from?
You have, and think that it’s too much to walk the bottom
Of the sea,
To run on the sharp north wind,
To do my tasks in the depths of the earth
When it is hardened with frost.
I do not, sir.
You are lying, you wicked thing! Have you forgotten
The terrible witch Sycorax, who this age and malice
Had grown into a hunchback? Have you forgotten her?
You have. Where was she born? Speak up; tell me.
Sir, in Algiers.
Oh, was she? I must
Once a month tell you what you have been,
Which you forget. That damned witch Sycorax,
For many wicked deeds and terrible magic
That came into human hearing,
You know, was banished from Algiers; for one thing she did, becoming pregnant,
They would not take her life. Isn’t that true?
That pregnant hag was brought here with child
And was left here by the sailors. You, my servant,
As you had said yourself, were her servant then;
And, because you were a spirit too superb in nature
To act out her mundane and horrifying commands,
For refusing her grand orders, she did imprison you,
With the help go her more powerful helpers
And in a very ruthless rage,
In a pine tree that was split apart; trapped with that split
You painfully remained
A dozen years; within that time she died
And left you there; where you did express your groans
As fast as a mill’s water wheel turns. At that time, this island--
Except for the son that she birthed here,
A freckled pup born from a witch—was not graced with
A human being.
Yes, Caliban her son.
A sullen boy, if I say so; he, that Caliban
Who I now keep as a slave. You had best remember
The torment that I found you in; your groans
Made wolves howl and pieced the hearts
Of always angry bears: it was the kind of torment
To sentence on the damned, which Sycorax
Couldn’t again undo: it was my magic,
When I arrived here and heard you, that opened
The pine and let you out.
Thank you, master.
If you complain more, I will split open an oak
And fasten you into it’s knotted insides until
You have howled for twelve years.
Forgive me, master;
I will comply to your command
And to my spirit activities tamely.
Do that, and after two days
I will free you.
That’s my noble master!
What will I do? Tell me; what will I do?
Go make yourself like a nymph of the sea; be visible
To no sight but yours and mine, invisible
To every other eyeball. Go take this shape
And come here in it: go, away with care!
Awake, dear heart, awake! You have slept well; awake!
The strangeness of your story made
Shake it of. Come on;
We’ll visit Caliban, my slave, who never
Gives us a friendly answer.
He’s a scoundrel, sir,
That I don’t like to look at.
But, as it is,
We cannot do without him: he makes our fire,
Brings in our wood, and serves in tasks
That helps us. Hello! Slave! Caliban!
You piece of dirt, you! Speak up.
[Inside] There’s enough wood inside.
Come out, I say! There’s other work for you:
Come out, you tortoise! When will you come out?
Re-enter ARIEL like a water-nymph
An excellent illusion! My clever Ariel,
Listen with your ears.
My lord it will be done.
You poisonous slave, father by the devil himself
From your wicked mother, come out!
May a dew as wicked as any my mother ever brushed
With a raven’s feather from a poisonous swamp
Drop on both of you! May a south-west wind blow on you
And burn you all over!
Of this be sure, tonight you will have cramps,
Side-stitches that will hold in your breath; goblins
Will, during that empty time of the night when they work,
All practice on you; you will be pinched
As densely as the densest honeycomb, each pinch stinging more
Than the bees that made them.
I must eat my dinner.
This island is mine, from Sycorax my mother,
That you take from me. When you first came here,
You stroked me and made a fuss over me, you would give me
Water with berries in it, and teach me how
To name the big light of sun, and how smaller lights of the moon and stars,
That burn by day and night: and then I loved you
And showed you all the features of the island,
The fresh springs, the salt-pits, the barren places and fertile places:
It’s a cursed thing that I did so! May all the spells
Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, land on you!
Because I am the only subject you have,
I, who was first my own king: and here you coop me up
In this hard rock, while you keep me away from
The rest of the island.
You terrible lyring slave,
A whipping may move you but not kindness! I have used you,
Filth that you are, with human care, and housed you
In my own cell, until you tried to violate
My daughter’s virginity.
Oh-ho, oh-ho! It would have been done!
You stopped me; I would have populated the whole
Island with Calibans.
Who will not take any impression of goodness,
Being only open to evil! I pitied you,
Worked hard to make you speak, taught you every hour
One thing or another: when you did not, savage,
Know what you were saying, but would instead babble like
A brutish creature, I enriched your goals
With words that made them understandable. But you ugly creature,
Although you did learn, you had in you that which good natures
Could not stand to be with; thus you were
Justifiably confined to this rock,
You who deserved more than a prison.
You taught me language; and what I gained from that
Is that I know how to curse. May the red plague kill you
For teaching me your language!
Witch-child, come here!
Bring us in some fuel; and be quick, you are better
When you’re working on other tasks. Do you shrug, beast?
If you are neglectful or are unwilling to do
What I command, I’ll trouble you with loads of cramps,
Fill all of your bones with ahces, make you roar with pain
So that beasts will tremble at your noise.
[Aside] I must obey him: his magic is of such power that
it could overpower my mother’s god, Setebos,
And turn him into a servant.
So, slave; go to work!
Re-enter ARIEL, invisible, playing and singing; FERDINAND following
Come onto these yellow sands,
And then join hands:
Curtsy when you have and kiss
The silent wild wave,
Dance away nimbly here and there;
And, sweet spirits, bear the burden.
(Chorus from various places, inside)
The watch-dogs bark!
Listen, listen! I hear
The sound of a strutting rooster
Where is this music coming form? In the air or the earth?
I don’t here any more: and I’m sure it accompanies
Some god of the island. Sitting on the shore,
Weeping because of the my father, the king’s, wreck,
This music crept up to me on the waters,
Quelling both the fury of the waves and my passion
With its sweet melody: I have followed it here,
Or rather it has lead me. But it’s gone.
No, it begins again.
Five whole fathoms down your father lies;
His bones are made of coral;
The pearls that were his eyes:
All the parts of him that decay
Endure a change from the sea
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs ring his funeral bell each hour
Listen! Now I hear them,--ding-dong, the bell.
The song remembers my drowned father.
This is not the work of a mortal, nor is it a sound
That the earth possesses. I hear it now above me.
Your eyelids raise
And tell me what you see over there.
What is it? A spirit?
Lord, how it looks around! Believe me, sir,
It carries itself like a brave man. But it’s a spirit.
No, girl: it eats and sleeps and has the same senses
That we have. This gentleman that you see
Was in the wreck; and, except that he’s a little stained
With grief, which is the disease of beauty, you might call him
A good person: he has lost his comrades
And wanders around to find them.
I might call him
A thing of the gods, for nothing mortal
Have I ever see that was so noble.
[Aside] it goes on, I see,
As I suggest it. Sprit, excellent spirit! I’ll free you
Within two days for this.
I’m sure, this is the goddess
That the song is following! Grant my request
To know if you live on this island;
And that you will give me some good instruction
On how I can sustain myself here: my main request,
Which I do ask last, is—oh you beauty!--
Are you a lady or no?
Don’t wonder, sir;
But certainly I am a lady.
My word! Good heavens!
I am the highest ranking person of them all who speak this language,
If I were only where this language was spoken.
How so? The highest ranking?
What would you be if the King of Naples head you say that?
The same thing I am now, that marvels
To hear you speak of Naples. The King of Naples does hear me;
And that his spirit can, causes me to weep: I am now the ruler of Naples,
Who with my own eyes, which haven’t closed since, saw
The my father, the king’s ship, wrecked.
Such shame, such a pity!
Yes, believe me, and all of his lords; the Duke of Milan
And his brave son being two of those.
[Aside] The Duke of Milan
And his much braver daughter could control you,
If now was a good time to do it. At first sight
They have exchanged glances. Delicate Ariel,
I’ll set you free for this.
May I have a word with you, good sir;
I’m afraid you have done yourself some discredit: a word.
What does my father speak so roughly? This
Is the third man that I’ve ever seen, the first
That I ever swooned for: may pity move my father
To think the same as me!
Oh, if you are a virgin,
And do not live someone else, I’ll make you
The queen of Naples.
Not so fast, sir! Another word.
[Aside] They are both in each other’s power; but this quick business
I must make hard, in case an easy win
Makes the prize worthless.
Another word; I ask you
To listen to me: you here took wrongful possession
Of a name you do not possess; and you have put yourself
On this island as a spy, to win it
From me, the lord of the island.
No, as surely as I am a man I swear that’s not true.
There’s nothing bad than can live in such a body:
If a bad spirit had such a beautiful body,
Good things would try and live with it.
Don’t speak for him; he’s a traitor. Come one;
I’ll chain your neck and feet together:
You will drink salt water; your food will be
Muscles from the fresh streams, withered roots, and shells
That once held acorns. Follow me.
I will resist such treatment until
My enemy has more power.
“[He draws his sword, and his magically charmed from moving]”
Oh, dear father.
Don’t make an impulsive judgment of him, because
He’s gentle and not terrifying.
What’s this? I say,
Someone beneath me as my teacher? Put away your sword, traitor;
You who make a show but don’t dare strike, your conscience
Is so overcome with guilt: come out of your defensive stance,
As I can disarm you here with a stick
And make your weapon fall.
I beg you, father.
Stand back! Don’t hang on my clothes.
Sir, have pity;
I’ll assure you of his goodness.
Silence! If you say another word
I will scold you, if I don’t hate you. What!
A defender for this imposter! Hush!
Do you think there is no one else who looks as handsome as him,
Having only seen him and Caliban: foolish girl!
To most men this is an ugly man like Caliban
And they are like angels compared to him.
Then are very modest; I have no desire
To see a better-looking man.
Come on; obey me:
Your muscles are like a baby’s again
And have no power in them.
So they are;
My thoughts are all tied up, like in a dream.
The loss of my father, the weakness that I feel,
The wreck of all my friends, not even this man’s threats,
Who has overpowered me, are just minor things to me.
If I might just through the bars of my prison once a day
See this lady: all other corners of the earth
Freedom can have; I will have enough space
In such a prison.
[Aside] It’s working.
[Aside] You have done well, fine Ariel!
Listen to what else you will do for me.
My father’s a better man, sir,
Than he seems to be from this talk: this is unusual
What just now came from him.
You shall be free
As the mountain wind: but you must exactly do
Ever little thing I command.
I will do it to the letter.
Come on, follow me. Don’t speak for him.