The Tempest characters guide studies each  player's role and motivation in this famous play
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The Tempest Characters

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The Tempest Characters guide studies each character's role and motivation in this play.

Prospero: The main character of this play, Prospero used to be the legitimate Duke of Milan. Unfortunately his treacherous brother Antonio stole his title and banished Prospero to a Mediterranean island with his daughter Miranda. A great lover of the arts and in particular books, Prospero has harnessed the powers of magic whilst in exile.

Miranda: Prospero's daughter. Attractive and young at the tender age of fifteen years, Miranda has lived with her father in exile for twelve years. Aside from her father, she has seen few men in her life, and quickly enchants the shipwrecked Ferdinand.

Ariel: An airy spirit, Ariel serves his master Prospero well in his many tasks of magic on Prospero's island. Once enslaved by a witch, Ariel wants his freedom now from Prospero. At the conclusion of this play Ariel is made free.

Caliban: A giant misformed beast, Shakespeare describes Caliban as "a savage and deformed slave." Hating his master Prospero, Caliban works for him out of fear of Prospero's magic.

Iris, Ceres, Juno, Nymphs and Reapers: Spirits that appear by Prospero's will.

Characters who arrive at Prospero's Island by shipwreck:

Alonso: The King of Naples. When Prospero's brother Antonio, usurped (took) Prospero's dukedom, it was Alonso who recognized Prospero's brother, sealing Prospero's fate of living in exile.

Ferdinand: The much-loved son of the King of Naples. Shipwrecked, but alive, Ferdinand falls instantly in live with Miranda, when he first sees her on Prospero's island.

Sebastian: The brother of Alonso, the King of Naples. He plots to kill his king and take his title with the scheming Antonio.

Antonio: The brother of Prospero, he took Prospero's title from him when Prospero trusted him to manage his affairs. Having replaced his brother, he now encourages Sebastian to do the same to his brother, Alonso.

Gonzalo: An honest old counsellor. When Prospero was to have starved to death when exiled by boat, it was Gonzalo who provided food, clothing and books to comfort Prospero and the then three year old Miranda.

Stephano: A drunken butler, he attempts to kill Prospero and take the island for his own. Trinculo and Caliban whom he fools into believing he is a God help him.

Trinculo: A jester, who tries to kill Prospero.

Master of a ship, Boatswains, Mariners: Sailors who fight Prospero's storm but are ultimately shipwrecked on his island.

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