In The Tempest, how does the apparent fate of the ship at the and of the first sence in Act 1 differ from its actual fate?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When this amazing play opens we are presented with the unforgettable scene of a ship in the midst of a massive storm. The crew and passengers all fear the worst, and indeed are forced to leave the ship to try and escape destruction. However, in Act I scene ii we learn that this is a storm that has been created by Prospero for his own purposes of bringing his former enemies on to the island, and in spite of appearances, that even take in his daughter Miranda, none have perished. In response to her worry and distress at having witnessed the supposed death of the passengers, he consoles her:

Be collected.

No more amazement. Tell your piteous heart

There's no harm done.

Prospero has used his magical arts to separate the various passengers of the boat for his own purpose - to confront them with their pastĀ misdemeanoursĀ and of course to bring Ferdinand and his daughter Miranda together. So although the various individuals believe that others have perished, all are actually safe, protected by the magic of Prospero and brought securely on to the island.

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