What is the history of Miranda and Prospero? How did Miranda and Prospero end up on the island in The Tempest?

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In act 1, scene 2 of Shakespeare's The Tempest, Prospero recounts to his daughter, Miranda, the story of their early life together, how they arrived at their island, and why Prospero caused the tremendous storm that opens the play.

Prospero first tells Miranda that he caused the storm with...

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In act 1, scene 2 of Shakespeare's The Tempest, Prospero recounts to his daughter, Miranda, the story of their early life together, how they arrived at their island, and why Prospero caused the tremendous storm that opens the play.

Prospero first tells Miranda that he caused the storm with his magic and that no one was actually hurt in the shipwreck. In order to explain why he caused the storm, Prospero decides to tell his daughter the reason that he shipwrecked the passengers and crew on this island.

Twelve years ago, when Miranda was three, Prospero was the Duke of Milan. With the help of one of Prospero's enemies, the King of Naples, Prospero's brother Antonio usurped Prospero's position as Duke.

Antonio couldn't have Prospero killed because Prospero was loved too much by the people of Milan. Instead, Antonio opened the city gates to the King's soldiers, who seized Prospero and Miranda from their home and put them on a ship and took them out to sea.

Once out to sea, Prospero and Miranda were put in a small, leaky boat with no sail and then set adrift. Luckily, a Neapolitan gentlemen, Gonzalo, gave them food and water, some clothes, and books from Prospero's extensive library.

They drifted at sea until they came ashore at this island, where Prospero raised and tutored Miranda for the past twelve years.

Prospero tells Miranda that he raised the storm because his enemies were in the ship which happened to be passing by the island that day, and the shipwreck brought them to shore.

At this point, Prospero tells Miranda not to ask any more questions, but the reasons he brought his enemies ashore on this island become clear as the play continues.

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In act 1, scene 2, Prospero explains to Miranda that he was the former Duke of Milan and elaborates on they came to be on the island for the last twelve years. Prospero proceeds to tell Miranda that while he was Duke of Milan and she was his heir, he became too caught up in studying the liberal arts and his occult books. While he was studying, Prospero allowed his brother, Antonio, to take over control of his political responsibilities. Antonio ended up winning over the people and made a powerful political alliance with the King of Naples, Alonso. Alonso agreed that he would help Antonio become Duke of Milan by getting rid of Prospero in exchange for respect and money. One fateful night, soldiers forced Prospero and Miranda into a small boat and abandoned them a few miles out to sea. Fortunately, Gonzalo was able to give Prospero his books and a sufficient amount of food rations to survive before they were abandoned at sea. Prospero and Miranda miraculously sailed to the present island they inhabit, where Prospero proceeded to save Ariel and make Sycorax his servant. Overall, Prospero's brother, Antonio, usurped his position as Duke of Milan and exiled Prospero and his daughter.

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Prospero was once the Duke of Milan, but became so "rapt in secret studies" (I.ii.77) that he began to neglect his responsibilities as duke. He was becoming so alienated that he turned many of the responsibilities over to his brother, Antonio.
Eventually, Antonio became so powerful that he wanted to become Duke of Milan officially, instead of just acting as such. Antonio then began plotting with the King of Naples, making deals to "...give him annual tribute, do him homage,/Subject his coronet to his crown..." (I.ii.13-14) if he would help Antonio become Duke.
The King of Naples then had men from his army kidnap Prospero and Miranda during the middle of the night. The men put the two in a bare ship and set them out to sea with nothing; however, Gonzalo (Prospero's councellor) did give Prospero items to travel with, including many of the books from Prospero's library. Once Prospero and Miranda landed on the island, Prospero was able to give his daughter a decent education.

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