William Shakespeare's The Tempest, tells the tale of an exiled Duke and his daughter marooned on a  sandy island paradise.
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The Tempest

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The Tempest Play

The Tempest begins with a huge storm battering a ship carrying Alonso, the King of Naples, Sebastian, (Alonso's brother), Ferdinand (Alonso's son), Antonio, Gonzalo and others. On an island near the storm, Prospero and his daughter Miranda are introduced. We learn that Prospero has created the storm... Miranda asks Prospero to stop the storm. Prospero, once the Duke of Milan, was banished to this island with Miranda by Antonio, Prospero's brother who usurped him. Ariel, Prospero's magic fairy tells us that the men aboard the ship have all made it ashore unharmed as planned. Caliban, a misformed beast is introduced.

Ariel leads Ferdinand to the very beautiful Miranda and the two immediately fall in love... Prospero decides to be rude to Ferdinand, fearful of too rapid a courtship between Ferdinand and his daughter. The rest of the shipwreck survivors wake up, being surprised to discover their clothes smelling and feeling as fresh as if they had just been bought at a market... Ariel's song puts them all to sleep again except for Sebastian and Antonio. Antonio who replaced his brother Prospero as Duke of Milan manipulates Sebastian, King Alonso's brother into doing the same thing by killing King Alonso. The two are about to kill Alonso in his sleep but Ariel awakens everyone and the two men quickly make excuses for drawing their swords out. Trinculo, a jester, discovers Caliban, quickly realising that the beast would earn a fortune for him as a novelty in England. Stephano, Trinculo's friend, gives Caliban alcohol, causing Caliban to think Stephano is more powerful than Prospero whom Caliban hates. The three men set off together to kill Prospero...

Prospero, now invisible, watches Ferdinand and Miranda expressing their deep love for one another in words that rival Romeo and Juliet in their tenderness. Ferdinand, realising he is witnessing a truly rare meeting of hearts, approves of Ferdinand for his daughter. Ferdinand decides to marry Miranda. Bottle in hand, Stephano, Trinculo and Caliban continue on their merry way, Stephano getting delusions of grandeur from Caliban blindly following him. Caliban suggests several gruesome ways of killing Prospero. Ariel lures the group away with music... Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, Adrian and Francisco and others witness a banquet on the island but it is an illusion... Ariel returns and scolds Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian for their roles in exiling Prospero... Prospero tells Ferdinand that he will no longer punish him, instead offering his daughter's hand in marriage to him. Prospero conjures up a mythical, illusory party to celebrate, complete with goddesses and nymphs. Prospero instructs Ariel to bring the shipwrecked men before him.

Remembering Stephano, Caliban and Trinculo, Prospero has Ariel distract them with clothes, Caliban failing to keep his friends focused on killing Prospero. Prospero brings everyone except Stephano, Caliban and Trinculo before him in a circle. Spellbound, he scolds the men who exiled him. Prospero tells Ariel that he will soon be free and that he will miss him. Prospero also intends to destroy his ability to use magic. Making his presence known, Prospero forgives King Alonso and tells Sebastian and Antonio he will keep secret their plan to kill Alonso, forgiving both. The famously sweet scene of Ferdinand playing chess with Miranda occurs. King Alonso is overjoyed to see Ferdinand and soon learns of Ferdinand's imminent marriage to Miranda. Prospero forgives Stephano and Trinculo. Caliban is embarrassed that he followed a fool (Trinculo), Caliban being given his freedom. Prospero announces that in the morning they will all set sail for Naples. Ariel is set free. Finally, Prospero asks the audience to free him to travel back to Naples reclaiming his life as the Duke of Milan.


Dramatis Personæ

Act I
Scene I, Scene II

Act II
Scene I, Scene II

Scene I, Scene II, Scene III

Act IV
Scene I

Act V
Scene I


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