Complete Summary Of The Tempest Essay

Complete Summary Of The Tempest Essay

Length: 2288 words (6.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Act 1 Scene 1
On a ship heading back from his daughters wedding, the king of Naples and his men are swept up in a huge storm. The crew does everything they can, but the ship crashes on an apparently deserted island.
Act 1 Scene 2
Stranded on the same deserted island for twelve years, the former duke of Milan tries to explain the situation to his daughter, Miranda. He tells her the story of his brother and the king, who arranged for he and Miranda to be lost at sea, so his brother can have his title. He explains also that he conjured up the storm by magic and ensured that no one was harmed. Prospero then charms Miranda and to sleep, and summons his spirit servant, Ariel, to hear about the results of the storm. Prospero awakens Miranda and decides to visit another of his slaves, Caliban. The slave tries to get out of his enslavement, but because of previous crimes he’s committed, Prospero threatens him into labor. Ariel makes sure that Ferdinand, the prince of Naples, runs into Prospero and Miranda. The young ones fall instantly in love, and in order to keep them so, Prospero enslaves Ferdinand.
Act 2 Scene 1
The King and his men have reached the island safely but they are saddened by the loss of Ferdinand. The men try to encourage the king telling him that they will find his son and heir, but he won’t be easily cheered. Trying to delay their search, Ariel places a spell on everyone but Sebastien and Antonio. The spell makes the men go to sleep, and while their comrades are asleep, Antonio convinces Sebastian to kill Alanso. Sebastian is Alonso’s brother, and since the heir to the throne is missing, if the king was killed Sebastian would inherit the throne. After some deliberation, Sebastian agrees and they start to attack the sleeping men. Ariel, seeing their plan, suddenly wakes the king and his men thwarting their plan. The men decide to continue the search for the missing Prince.
Act 2 scene 2
A servant of Alsono’s named Trinculo has also washed up from the boat, but separate from the other entourage. A storm comes up and Trinculo tries to find shelter from the storm. He runs into Prospero’s servant Caliban and joins him under a cape to escape from the storm. While under there he hears the voice of Alsono’s drunken butler, Stephano. The gentlemen meet up and Caliban tells them about the island in return for some of Stephano’s alcohol. Wanting to leave Pr...


... middle of paper ...


...s revenge, Caliban also tries to plan his own. His revenge for being a servant is, at first, trying to take Miranda. After that, when he enlists the help of the drunkards, is to win the island for himself and kill Prospero.
Greed, however, is the most powerful motive in the play. Antonio and Sebastian are shown to be the greediest characters because they are willing to kill their own brothers to inherit the power they seek. Caliban, as well, seeks to rule the island, and uses that as another incentive to attempt to kill Prospero. His cohorts, taken with the thought of being leaders and not servants, go along with him and are willing to commit heinous crimes for it. The only two characters in the play who are not greedy are the ones who fall in love. Since love is often associated with innocence, this is not surprising. Even Prospero, though often thought of as a righteous character, creates the plot in order to gain things for himself. Ariel too, helps Prospero in hopes of buying his freedom from his servitude.
The tempest was one of Shakespeare’s last plays and even though it has a different style and themes than some of his other plays, it still remains a great classic today.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

An Overview of The Tempest Essays

- The Tempest was originally performed in late 1611, and was published in its current form in the First Folio of 1623. It is the one play by Shakespeare not derived from one or more of the many sources commonly utilized by all playwrights of the Elizabethan era, although a contemporary German play possesses an analogous exile theme. The story of the shipwreck was probably taken from Sir George Somers' narrative of a Bermuda shipwreck of 1609. The play itself is a masque-like comedy; it far surpasses the majority of those traditional pieces with similar themes which were continuously being updated by other writers of Shakespeare's day....   [tags: The Tempest Essays]

Powerful Essays
1542 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on Importance of Language in Shakespeare's The Tempest

-    There are many different interpretations and differences of opinion regarding the genre of The Tempest, a play by William Shakespeare. In the essays "The Backward Voice": Puns and the Comic Subplot of The Tempest, by Maurice Hunt, and The Tempest as Romance and Anti-Romance, by Richard Hillman, the genre of the play is discussed in depth. Using elements such as setting, lines of the characters, and the action that occurs in the play, the authors evaluate Shakespeare's play The Tempest to be a romance with a "comic subplot", and thereby show how important the interpretation of the language and interaction is in finding meaning in the play....   [tags: The Tempest Essays]

Powerful Essays
1862 words (5.3 pages)

temptopia Theme of Utopianism in The Tempest Essay

- Theme of Utopianism in The Tempest      One traditional theme of The Tempest is Utopianism. Whether it be of physical significance, as Walter Cohen suggests in his essay "Shakespeare and Calderon in an Age of Transition," or of literary significance, as Judith Boss suggests in her essay "The Golden Age, Cockaigne, and Utopia in the The Faerie Queene and The Tempest," it is an important piece of literature in contribution to Utopianism. Judith Boss does an excellent job in breaking down Utopianism within The Tempest into three different categories, the Golden Age, Cockaigne, and Utopia....   [tags: The Tempest Essays]

Powerful Essays
2239 words (6.4 pages)

The Theme of Loss in Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay

- The Theme of Loss in The Tempest       Shakespeare's play, The Tempest tells the story of a father, Prospero, who must let go of his daughter; who brings his enemies under his power only to release them; and who in turn finally relinquishes his sway over his world - including his power over nature itself. The Tempest contains elements ripe for tragedy: Prospero is a controlling figure bent on taking revenge for the wrongs done to him, and in his fury he has the potential to destroy not only his enemies, but his own humanity and his daughter's future....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Powerful Essays
1985 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on The Character of Caliban in Shakespeare's The Tempest

- The Character of Caliban in The Tempest     'This thing of darkness, I must acknowledge mine' It is impossible to understand The Tempest without first understanding the character of Caliban. Despite numerous novels and poems praising the virtuous, the pure and the good, everyone has within them a darker side of depravity and evil thoughts. This makes us human. What distinguishes between good and bad people, though, is the way in which this 'alter ego' manifests itself to both the rest of mankind and to oneself....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Powerful Essays
1777 words (5.1 pages)

The Dictatorial Prospero of Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay

- The Dictatorial Prospero of The Tempest        Motivation often propels people to achieve high goals. Sometimes, however, motivation is too strong a tool and can manifest into selfish desires. The exploitation of the weak invariably results from the strong abusing their power, especially in a political setting. In William Shakespeare's ‘The Tempest’, Prospero is displayed as a tyrannical character who spawns a disastrous storm as part of a grand scheme to regain his title of Duke of Milan. His subsequent treatment of each character in the play, even his beloved daughter are purely based on his self-centered motives....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Powerful Essays
1507 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Quest for Power In The Tempest

- Quest for Power In The Tempest      I suggest that engraved into humanity's essence is the intense desire for power. William Shakespeare's play, The Tempest not only depicts this concept, but breaks it down for the reader; enabling effective analysis of this concept. Through notable characterization, Shakespeare is able to convey key concepts regarding the idea of power versus ambition. Specifically, the role that ambition and the moderation of one's ambition play in the effectiveness of control....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Powerful Essays
1205 words (3.4 pages)

The Oppression of Miranda in The Tempest Essay

- The Oppression of Miranda  in The Tempest                    Miranda's schooling in The Tempest shows the audience the conflicting arrangement white women in the Shakespearean drama as well as Shakespearean times are forced to act within.  Paul Brown points out that "the discourse of sexuality…offers the crucial nexus for the various domains of colonialist discourse" (208) and the conduct in Prospero manipulates his followers' sexuality is the mainstay of his power.  The Miranda-Prospero relationship servers to represent a sort of patriarchy, which is unarguably the system many Renaissance women and women of Shakespeare's time found themselves in.  It is thus unsurprising that Prospero co...   [tags: Tempest essays]

Powerful Essays
1994 words (5.7 pages)

Defending Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay

- Defending Prospero in The Tempest      In William Shakespeare's The Tempest, the character of Prospero brings about a great deal of debate. Modern literary critics are quick to use him as a poster child for English colonial practice in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Many see him as person who desires complete control of everything around him from the fish-like monster Caliban to his spirit servant Ariel, even his own daughter Miranda. Others believe that Prospero's sole motive is revenge on his brother Antonio and those associated with the established power in Naples and Milan....   [tags: Tempest essays]

Powerful Essays
1772 words (5.1 pages)

Christianity in Shakespeare's Tempest Essay

- The fact that Shakespeare was enveloped by a society steeped in Christian ideals cannot be disputed.  Plays such as the Tempest make this fact known.  The main plot and the subplots of the Tempest  can be extracted directly from the Bible. Prospero's character is largely the same as the god found in  Christianity.  Shakespeare wrote the Tempest  with the portrayal of a  Christian god and Christian motifs in mind.  Consider the following facts as evidence.  Both works begin with gods who possess power in the forms of words or books, and both gods use the written power to create....   [tags: Tempest Essays]

Powerful Essays
1280 words (3.7 pages)