Questions and Answers for The Tempest

The Tempest

How Are Caliban And Ariel Different

In The Tempest, Prospero is served by both Ariel and Caliban. But whereas the former serves willingly, Caliban despises—and ultimately betrays—his master. Both seek their freedom, but they do so...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2017 9:14 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

In William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Ariel states, "Hell is empty, and all the devils are here." How does this quote...

In William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Prospero orders his servant-spirit, Ariel, to create the tempest at sea that causes the shipwreck which opens the play. On the ship are the men who usurped...

Latest answer posted January 2, 2021 6:55 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

What happens when Miranda and Ferdinand meet each other for the first time?

It's hard to imagine Shakespeare is not having some fun with the way Miranda and Ferdinand not only fall in love at first sight, but see each other as a god and a goddess. Miranda is directed by...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2020 3:33 am UTC

5 educator answers

The Tempest

In The Tempest, what is the significance of the masque in Act IV scene 1?

I think the significance of the masque that Prospero summons up with his magical powers lies in the way that he sends through it a very clear message to his future son-in-law about the kind of...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2011 8:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

How is Miranda and Ferdinand's relationship important to The Tempest?

As happens to young couples in most of Shakespeare's comedies, and in one notable tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, Ferdinand and Miranda fall deeply in love at first sight in The Tempest. Miranda sees...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2020 2:58 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Tempest

In The Tempest, what plan does Caliban suggest for killing Prospero? 

As Caliban, Trinculo, and Stephano walk through the island drinking, Caliban proposes to Stephano that he can become king of the island if he kills Prospero. In that case, Caliban says, Trinculo...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2017 4:34 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

Discuss the significance of the title of the play The Tempest.

Some Shakespearean scholars and critics, including Hallett Smith and Frank Kermode, suggest that the title of Shakespeare's last fully Shakespeare-written play should be The Island, or Prospero's...

Latest answer posted June 3, 2020 3:17 pm UTC

5 educator answers

The Tempest

How would you describe Prospero's relationship with Miranda based on his use of language and magic in The Tempest?

In act 1, scene 2 of Shakespeare's The Tempest, Prospero assures his daughter, Miranda, that "I have done nothing but in care of thee" (1.2.19). On one hand, this is true. On the other hand,...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2020 9:40 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Tempest

Why does Caliban hate Prospero so much in The Tempest? In his view, what has Prospero done wrong?

Caliban believes that Prospero treats him badly and stole his island from him. When Prospero came to the island, Caliban was already there. Prospero made him into his servant, or slave, and took...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2016 5:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

In The Tempest, what is the relationship between Caliban and Prospero?

The nature of Caliban and Prospero's relationship looks very different according to whose perspective one adopts. From Prospero's point of view, he came to a wild island, which was until recently...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2020 2:43 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Tempest

Describe the relationship between Prospero and Ariel in The Tempest.

Prospero's master-servant relationship with the spirit Ariel begins when Prospero releases Ariel from inside a pine tree where Ariel has been imprisoned by "This damned witch Sycorax" (1.2.314) for...

Latest answer posted December 28, 2020 5:35 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Tempest

Why is The Tempest by Shakespeare considered a tragicomedy?

According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, a play was a tragedy if everyone suffered in the end, even the innocent. A play was a comedy if the innocent triumphed and only the wicked came to a...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2016 8:03 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Tempest

What events cause Prospero to reveal his past to Miranda?

Prospero tells Miranda about his past because Miranda witnesses the shipwreck, from act 1, scene 1, in the storm and realizes it was Prospero's magic that caused it. She begs him to stop. If by...

Latest answer posted April 11, 2018 8:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

Explain what Gonzalo says about the commonwealth and why in act 2, scene 1.

In this scene, Gonzalo notes the loveliness of the island they are shipwrecked on and states that it provides everything they need to live. He says that if he were in charge of it, he would do...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2020 5:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

Why did Prospro give Ferdinand a task to try and prove to him that he can take care off Miranda?

Although Prospero has picked Ferdinand out as a husband for Miranda, he still wants to test whether the young man is worthy of her love. As Ferdinand carries logs—normally Caliban's work—Prospero...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2019 7:20 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

Has Caliban gained freedom at the end of The Tempest?

The ending of the play is unclear in terms of what happens to Caliban. The last we see of him is in Act V scene 1, when he is ushered on stage along with Stefano and Trinculo dressed in the clothes...

Latest answer posted January 4, 2013 7:28 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

How does Miranda react to the wreck?

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...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2018 5:42 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

Give a character sketch of Ariel from The Tempest?

For an airy spirit, Ariel is a complex character. He is a loyal servant to Prospero and yet he wants wants his freedom. He loves nature. He misleads and plays jokes on characters in the play, but...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2018 9:53 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

What is the comical element in The Tempest?

In broadest terms, literature falls into two categories: comedy or tragedy. Comedy has a happy ending, whereas tragedy has a sad ending, usually through the deaths of one or more main characters....

Latest answer posted December 14, 2018 1:55 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

Why was Prospero interested in listening to Ferdinand and Miranda talk in The Tempest?

Prospero listens to Miranda and Ferdinand so he can tell if they are falling in love. Prospero was betrayed by his brother, Antonio, and Ferdinand’s father, Alonso. They took his kingdom from him...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2016 3:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

Discuss the theme of freedom and forgiveness in The Tempest.

The themes of freedom and forgiveness are linked in The Tempest primarily by Prospero. It is his brother's treachery, which he has not forgiven, that leads Prospero to colonize the island and...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2020 11:09 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Tempest

Is there any textual evidence that Caliban previously raped Miranda? Is this why Prospero dislikes him?

In Act 1, Scene 2, Caliban claims to Prospero and Miranda that when they first came to the island, "I loved thee and showed thee all the qualities o' th' isle." But Prospero quickly sets the record...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2016 11:41 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

In The Tempest, what is a character sketch of Prospero as a Father, Duke of Milan and a Magician?  

Your question correctly identifies the somewhat ambiguous position that Prospero fulfils in this excellent play. It is Prospero of course who plays the most significant role in the play - he is on...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2010 9:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

Why does Prospero decide to show mercy to his enemies? Do you think Prospero had planned to forgive them from the...

Prospero appears to experience quite a transformation throughout the play. Initially, he's bent on revenge against those responsible for his enforced exile. The arrival of his foes on the island...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2018 10:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

Give a vivid description of the events that took in the first scene of the play The Tempest.

In the play's opening scene a small ship is being tossed about at sea by a violent storm, the tempest of the title. But this is no ordinary storm; it's been whipped up by the magician Prospero to...

Latest answer posted July 5, 2019 7:18 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

In act 3 of The Tempest, how does Prospero treat Ferdinand? Why? How is this treatment like and unlike the treatment...

Both Ferdinand and Caliban are enslaved by Prospero. Ferdinand, however, performs his tasks cheerfully for the sake of Miranda, who begs him not to work so hard: This,...

Latest answer posted December 18, 2019 2:55 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Tempest

What is the dramatic significance of storm in William Shakespeare's The Tempest? Is the title of the play...

The title of The Tempest encapsulates the themes and action of the play in many dimensions. In fact, it is hard to think of a single character who is in a calm state. The action on the island in...

Latest answer posted October 30, 2018 2:59 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

In The Tempest, how does Prospero use Caliban to romanticize the loss of his dukedom and why?

Prospero uses Caliban as a slave, substituting him for the dukedom he lost. Prospero has no respect for Caliban. He treats him as something otherworldly and less than human, using magic and the...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2015 11:18 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

In what way does Gonzalo stand out from the rest of the characters?

In William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Gonzalo is one of the few passengers on the tempest-tossed ship that hasn't in some way offended Prospero. As the play opens, Gonzalo is an advisor to King...

Latest answer posted November 24, 2019 12:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

In Shakespeare's The Tempest, Miranda says, "How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world / That has such people...

Note the exchange between Prospero and Miranda Act I scene ii l 473f: 'Thou thinkst there is no more such shapes as he [Ferdinand],/Having seen but him and Caliban...'. Earlier in the scene (l...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Tempest

What is the role of the supernatural in William Shakespeare's The Tempest?

Prospero's supernatural powers allow him to carve out his own little kingdom on a remote desert island. Undoubtedly traumatized by the experience of being usurped as the rightful Duke of Milan by...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2020 11:05 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Tempest

In Act 1, Scene 1 of The Tempest, Alonso, Sebastian, Gonzalo, and the boatswain are introduced. What do we learn of...

As The Tempest opens, the ship is in the middle of a fierce storm as the Boatswain and the Mariners seek to keep it from wrecking. Some of the high-born passengers come topsides to see what is...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2019 12:54 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Tempest

In "The Tempest", Act One, Scene One, why does Gonzalo believe the ship will not be wrecked?

What a specific question! Gonzalo first of all is seen arguing with the Boatswain who is definitely trying to cope with the storm. GONZ: Nay, good, be patient. BOATS: When the sea is. Hence!...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2009 5:48 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

Why is Gonzalo confident that the boatswain will not die by drowning in The Tempest?

Gonzalo shows he is a shrewd judge of character, as he more than once expresses confidence the boatswain won't let them all drown during the violent storm that opens The Tempest. He perceives that...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2019 11:35 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

Who was Ariel, and how did he come to be Prospero's servant?

Ariel is an airy sprite or spirit that Prospero finds on the deserted island. Ariel was too good-hearted to cooperate with the "blue-eyed hag," the sorceress Sycorax. In revenge, she trapped him...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2018 10:15 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

What is a detailed account of Miranda and Ferdinand's meetings? Why does Prospero treat his guest so badly?

Because Miranda has been on the island for as long as she can remember, Prospero is her only knowledge of humans. Caliban and Ariel reflect perhaps the dual nature of humanity: spiritual and...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2019 2:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

Compare the character of Sebastian with that of Gonzalo.

Gonzalo is an older counselor who is faithful to Antonio. He is a person of good character. When Antonio ousted Prospero as Duke of Milan and decreed he and Miranda be set out to sea in a boat,...

Latest answer posted November 23, 2018 10:27 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

How does act 1, scene 1 serve as a dramatically effective opening to The Tempest by William Shakespeare? Explore...

The Tempest opens with a storm at sea and a shipwreck, a dramatic and ambitious beginning for a seventeenth-century play. While the scene is light on stage directions, Shakespeare does call for "a...

Latest answer posted September 9, 2020 12:24 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Tempest

What conflicts take place in The Tempest?

The majority of conflicts in Shakespeare's The Tempest swirl around Prospero, former Duke of Milan, whose brother, Antonio, usurped his dukedom and set Prospero and his daughter, Miranda, adrift on...

Latest answer posted June 14, 2020 1:45 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Tempest

Who was Sycorax? How did she land on the island?

Sycorax is dead when The Tempest begins, and we hear about her from two characters—her son, Caliban, and her successor as ruler of the island, Prospero—both of whom are severely biased. Prospero...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2019 6:39 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Tempest

In The Tempest, what has Miranda seen that makes her suffer?  

Miranda suffers because she empathizes with the suffering of those on board the ship caught in the wild tempest. She thinks they have all drowned and feels deeply for them. She says to Prospero:...

Latest answer posted June 12, 2019 8:37 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

How does Shakespeare highlight Alonso's grief in act 2, scene 1 of The Tempest, lines 107 to 114?

In this scene, King Alonso and other courtiers have just been shipwrecked. They wander alone on an unknown island, separated from others, including Alonso’s son Ferdinand. Several members of the...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2016 4:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

Why is Miranda ignorant of who Prospero was in The Tempest? Which items were necessary for Prospero to practice his...

Prospero has deliberately kept Miranda in a state of ignorance throughout her whole life. He thinks that by doing this he is somehow protecting her. As Miranda has spent her whole life on a remote...

Latest answer posted July 17, 2019 9:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Tempest

What are the main ideas of The Tempest?

One theme of the play is that illusion--which appears in the play as magic--can shape reality. Prospero, on one level, is the great director, staging a carefully choreographed show, with certain...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2018 4:46 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

What is the function of the masque in act 4 of The Tempest by William Shakespeare?

Within the context of the plot, the masque in act 4 of The Tempest occurs because Prospero has Ariel summon spirits to put on a small play to celebrate Miranda and Ferdinand’s engagement. He tells...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2020 12:47 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Tempest

How does Shakespeare explore the theme of betrayal in The Tempest?

Betrayal, loyalty, revenge, and reconciliation are the principal, interconnected themes of The Tempest. Prospero longs for the restoration of his dukedom; because his brother betrayed him, he is...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2019 9:27 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Tempest

How is The Tempest a tragic comedy?

The Tempest is a tragic comedy because there are elements of both tragedy and comedy in the story. Tragedy in literature comes from unfortunate events befalling the characters, either through no...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2018 5:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in act 1, scene 1 of The Tempest?

Tension is caused in the scene in two ways. First, the setting is a source of tension. The scene opens aboard a ship in the midst of a violent storm. It is clear that the ship is in danger of...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2020 11:28 am UTC

5 educator answers

The Tempest

Is Ariel a male, female or a genderless spirit?

Ariel's gender has been the subject of much debate; it is now generally assumed that the spirit's gender is so unimportant to his role in the play that Ariel can be played by either a man or a...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2018 3:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Tempest

In The Tempest, what is the overall impact of the masque?  

The masque highlights one of the themes of the play, that it is important to keep oaths. The Tempest is a play about honor and loyalty. Prospero tries to lead Ferdinand to fall in love with his...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2016 10:59 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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