His dukedom had been usurped by his own brother, Antonio, whom Prospero had entrusted to manage the affairs of government while he was concentrating on his study of the liberal arts.
A ship carrying King Alonso of Naples and his entourage, who are returning home from the wedding of the King's daughter in Tunis, is tossed about by the powerful waves.
As the Boatswain tries to keep the boat afloat, the King and two of his hot-headed men, Antonio and Sebastian, come on deck to bark orders at the crew. The Boatswain does not have time to pander to the arrogant King and his courtiers, so he is short with them.
The men become enraged, verbally assaulting the boatswain as he tries to regain control of the steering. Only the King's counsellor, Gonzalo, remains calm and collected as the ferocious wind splits the ship in half. Act 1, Scene 2 On an island close by, Prospero, the right Duke of Milan, and his fifteen year-old daughter, Miranda, watch the wreck of the ship.
The compassionate Miranda is horrified by what she sees, but Prospero assures her that all the men on the ship will be safe. He reveals his role in the shipwreck and his relationship to the men on board. He tells his daughter that he was once the Duke of Milan, and, as Duke, he spent most of his time learning the art of magic.
But, in Prospero's ambitious brother, Antonio, "awak'd an evil nature" 1. Antonio received help from King Alonso, and together they removed Prospero from power and placed him and Miranda, who was two at the time, in a boat and abandoned them at sea.
Fortunately, the kind-hearted Gonzalo had given them water, clothes, and other supplies, including Prospero's cherished books.
Thus they were able to float for some time at sea, and eventually they landed on the island that has become their permanent home. Now Fate has brought Prospero's enemies near him once again, and, through magic, he admits to Miranda that he was responsible for the storm that brought his brother and the King to the island.
With matters now more pressing than Miranda's many questions, Prospero casts a spell to put her to sleep while he summons his servant, an airy spirit named Ariel. Ariel tells his master that he has magically put the passengers in a trance and dispersed them about the island, ensuring that the King's son, Ferdinand, is by himself, as instructed by Prospero.
Ferdinand sits alone in mourning, believing that he is the sole survivor of the crash. Tired from all the tasks Prospero has made him perform, Ariel complains "Is there more toil? Prospero ensures Ariel that, if his current plans are successful, he will release him from his obligations.
He next instructs Ariel to make himself invisible to everyone but his master. Ariel flies away and Prospero awakens Miranda, telling her that they are about to visit his other slave, Caliban, a disfigured and savage offspring of the dead witch, Sycorax.
Despite Prospero's attempts to tame him, Caliban has remained wide and barbaric, and has even attempted to rape Miranda. Prospero calls out to Caliban and, reluctantly, he comes, complaining about his captivity.
Prospero replies that he has every right to enslave Caliban, in payment for all the education and kindness Prospero has given him.
Caliban strikes back, proclaiming that he did not want to be educated by Prospero: 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! Miranda sees Ferdinand and immediately is captivated by his ravishing good looks. The feeling is mutual and Ferdinand falls in love with Miranda. Prospero, who has hoped all along that his daughter would love Ferdinand is delighted.
However, to ensure that Ferdinand is the right man for Miranda, he tests Ferdinand's resolve and pretends to distrust the young man. Much to the dismay of Miranda, Prospero imprisons Ferdinand. Act 2, Scene 1 On another part of the island, Gonzalo tries to comfort King Alonso, who believes that he has lost his only son, Ferdinand.
The King's brother, Sebastian, is not as comforting and he mocks Gonzalo's attempts to cheer up the King.
Sebastian reminds the King that he had been advised not to take the journey to Tunis in the first place, and thus he is directly responsible for all of their problems.
Ariel arrives and magically puts everyone to sleep except Antonio and Sebastian. Antonio suggests that they should kill the King as he sleeps and make Sebastian the new King of Naples. Sebastian agrees, but just as they are about to draw their swords, Ariel awakens King Alonso and Gonzalo.
Gonzalo sees the men with their swords drawn and asks what they are doing. Sebastian makes up a lie that they heard "a hollow burst of bellowing"that sounded like a wild animal, and they were merely trying to protect their sleeping king. Believing their intentions were good, King Alonso thinks no more about it and asks them to help in the search of Ferdinand.
They agree and the scene comes to a close.
Act 2, Scene 2 Caliban has just finished chopping wood when he hears loud claps of thunder.The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in –11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone.
It is set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skilful manipulation. The Tempest Summary provides a quick review of the play's plot including every important action in the play.
The Tempest Summary is divided by the five acts of the play and makes an ideal introduction before reading the original text.
“Great job, Anthony!” The preceding photo depicts an audience member expressing her appreciation for tenor Anthony Martin’s rendition of The Midnight Cry, the capstone of a March 24, performance of Faces Around the Cross presented by TAPESTRY Christian Storytelling Alliance.
Shakespeare's Sources for The Tempest From The schwenkreis.com William Allan Neilson. New York: Scott, Foresman and company. Whence Shakespeare derived the story which forms the basis of the simple plot of The Tempest we do not yet know. Since in all but one or two cases definite sources for his plots have been found, the likelihood is that he did not invent this one.
Plot summary of Shakespeare's Tempest. King Alonso, who sanctioned Antonio's takeover of Prospero's dukedom, says, "Thy dukedom I resign, and do entreat / Thou pardon me my wrongs. Professor William Leahy, is Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Brunel University London.
He is the author of Shakespeare and His Authors: Critical Perspectives on the Authorship Question (Continuum, ).