Miranda is heartbroken when she sees the wrecked ship. She begs her father to put an end to the terrible storm, rightly deducing that her father had been responsible for it.
In her interaction with Prospero (her father), Miranda insists that she heard the dying cries of the ship's passengers. For his part, Prospero tries to reassure Miranda that no harm was done to anyone on board the ship and that the storm was precipitated for her sake. Prospero then reveals that he has something important to share with Miranda about herself and her background.
He tells her that he was once the Duke of Milan and a "prince of power." At the time of his reign, he chose to turn the running of the government over to Antonio (his beloved brother), while he concentrated on his study of the secret arts (occult). As Prospero was thus engaged, Antonio seized the occasion to remake the government in his image. Antonio turned previously loyal courtiers against Prospero and allied himself with the king of Naples. Antonio's purpose was to overthrow Prospero and to cast him out of Milan.
Prospero voices his anger against Antonio, who put the dukedom of Milan under the king's control. Antonio also robbed Milan's treasury to pay a tribute to his ally. Prospero reveals that Antonio amassed a great army against him. He also gave the order for Prospero and Miranda to be taken out to sea one terrible night. However, the pair survived because Gonzalo (the kind nobleman entrusted with putting Prospero and Miranda out to sea) left the beleaguered father and daughter provisions.
Prospero ends his story by telling Miranda that the storm he conjured up has brought his enemies to their island. Despite Miranda's obvious distress about the storm, it is the catalyst that drives the plot forward.