The Tempest by William Shakespeare

BACKGROUND

Oh geez, another really exciting play from Bill Shakespeare. This play sucks, just like the rest of them. why the hell do we read this stuff? It doesn’t help us with our MODERN day English, because the plays are in old school English. Bill wrote this towards the end of his big ass career. It is a play. A tempest is a fierce storm.

MAIN CHARACTERS

Prospero: He is the main dude in the story. He is a magician. He was the King of Milan, then his brother Antonio kicked him out. Prospero went to some island. He’s a cool dude, he’s smart and fair.

Ariel: Ariel is like a spirit or a fairy (kinda like Tinkerbell). Ariel is a servant of Prospero. He can change into any shape he wants (like the bad terminator in T2). He is smart and creative. He’s not a deep character...he’s light, has few emotions and stuff.

Caliban: A monster on Prospero’s island. He is a criminal and does bad stuff BUT he’s a nice dude. He is a slave on Prospero’s island. He’s like an animal and can’t be taught manners like a human can.

Alonso: He is the King of Naples. He’s a nice dude but he did dick over Prospero once. He helped Antonio kick Prospero out of Milan. It was nothing personal, Antonio just gave Alonso money to help him.

Sebastian: He’s a prick. He is Alonso’s brother. He wants to kill Alonso so he can be King of Naples.

Gonzalo: He’s Alonso’ councilor and good friend. He's a nice guy and very loyal.

Antonio: He’s a prick. He kicked his brother Prospero out of Milan so he could be king. He wants to kill Alonso so Sebastian can take over as King of Naples and the 2 evil friends can rule.

Ferdinand: The son of Alonso. He’s a nice guy. He falls in love with Prospero’s daughter.

Miranda: She is Prospero’s daughter. She doesn’t have lots of life experience cause her whole life has been on an island with her daddy. She falls in love with Ferdinand.

Stephano and Trinculo: 2 dudes who wash up with the boat. They plan to kill Prospero. They are both stupid. Stephano is a dirty drunk. Trinculo is the jester in Alonso’s court.

PLOT

This ship is caught in a huge storm and crashes on an island. the ship contains Alonso (King of Naples), his son, his brother, some old friend, and Antonio who is a fake king of Milan. This dude named Prospero who is a magician, lives on the island with his daughter Miranda. He used to be the king of Milan until his brother Antonio had him kicked out.

Prospero hates all these people that just crashed on the island, especially Antonio. He wants to take revenge on them. He separates Ferdinand from his dad (Alonso), and Ferdinand and Prospero’s daughter fall in love. Then Alonso is sad because he thinks his son drowned. Then his buddy Gonzalo tells him "everything is gonna be alright". Sebastian wants Ferdinand’s crown (now that he’s supposedly dead), so he and Antonio plan to kill Alonso and Gonzalo. They fail in killing the 2 dudes.

This butler (Stephano) and jester (Trinculo) also survived the boat crash. They meet this monster like creature (Caliban) who is Prospero’s salve. The 3 get drunk and plan to kill Prospero. But they are drunk and start arguing and they fail. One of Prospero’s servants (Ariel) stops them. Then Ariel prepares some big feast for King Alonso and the other dudes. Then Ariel takes it away and tells them that there is no food because they dicked over Prospero in the past and it’s time for payback.

Ferdinand has passed the tests Prospero gave him (for permission to marry Miranda). Then Prospero finds out about the 3 dudes who wanted to kill him. He and Ariel take care of them. Then Prospero gets all the people on the island and removes all his magic spells. He is not mad anymore. They all apologize except for Antonio. Then Alonso is happy because Ferdinand is alive and married to Miranda the hottie. Prospero gives up his magic stuff and goes back to Milan as the King of Milan.

ACT BY ACT/SCENE BY SCENE

ACT I

Scene 1

  • There’s a ship in the middle of the sea being thrown around by a tempest (storm)
  • We find out all the noble dudes who are on the ship.
  • The author describes the characters so you know what they’re like.
  • We find out Antonio took the throne of Milan through dirty tricks.

Scene 2

  • This scene starts on an island where Prospero is talking to his daughter
  • We find out Prospero used his magic to make the storm. Miranda tells him to stop.
  • We find out she’s around 15 yrs old.
  • He tells her how he was the King of Milan and that he was driven out by some evil dudes. Gonzalo was nice to them and gave them food and clothes for the trip.
  • We find out that when Prospero was king, he loved studying. He let his brother do most of the ruling. Then his brother (Antonio) made a deal with Alonso (King of Naples) and Prospero was shipped off.
  • Prospero tells Miranda the bad men who screwed him earlier in life are now shipwrecked on the island.
  • Prospero talks with Ariel about the ship and what they’re gonna do with the guys. Ariel tells Prospero he needs a break. Prospero remind shim how he saved him from some witch so Ariel is now his servant.
  • Prospero is ready for revenge.
  • then Prospero gets the monster Caliban to help. We find out Prospero was nice to him then Caliban tried to rape Miranda. Now Prospero makes Caliban do crappy chores and treats him like shit.
  • Ariel goes and sees the noble shipwrecked dudes. He plays some music and Ferdinand (son of Alonso) follows him. Ariel leads him back to Prospero.
  • Ferdinand meets Miranda and they have the hots for each other.
  • Prospero "says" he doesn’t approve. He does this so Ferdinand has to work hard to hook up with Miranda. It’s like he will want something he can’t have and value her higher.
  • Prospero and Ferdinand almost duke it out.

ACT II

Scene 1

  • This scene starts out with the noble dudes. Alonso is sad and Gonzalo is trying to cheer him up
  • Antonio and Sebastian (2 pricks) make sarcastic comments and are dicks.
  • Alonso thinks Ferdinand is dead (he’s really with Miranda)
  • Sebastian makes Alonso feel guilty by telling him it’s his fault Ferdinand is dead.
  • Gonzalo gets kinda pissed that Antonio and Sebastian are making jerky comments.
  • Ariel makes himself invisible. He plays some music that puts everyone to sleep except Antonio and Sebastian.
  • Antonio convinces Sebastian to kill the king so Sebastian can become king. so they agree to do it.
  • Just as they’re about to kill the king and Gonzalo, Ariel wakes them up with some song.
  • The king and Gonzalo find Antonio and Sebastian about to kill them. Sebastian and Antonio make up some BS story about how they had their swords out to fight some animal they heard.

Scene 2

  • This scene starts out with Caliban. He is doing menial chores. He sees Trinculo.
  • Caliban thinks Trinculo is one of Prospero’s spirits (fairies) there to torture him. He is scared of Trinculo.
  • Then Stephano shows up and sees Caliban the monster. He offers him some booze.
  • Then Stephano and Trinculo see each other and are happy they are both alive.
  • Caliban thinks they are gods. He thinks they can help him get free of Prospero.
  • The 3 get drunk and go to get more booze.

ACT III

Scene 1

  • This scene starts off with Prospero and Ferdinand. Ferdinand is doing slave labor for Prospero, all for the chance to marry Miranda.
  • Ferdinand doesn’t mind doing the chores because he is head over heels for Miranda.
  • Prospero makes Ferdinand carry 1,000 logs. Miranda then shows up and tells Ferdinand to rest. They think Prospero is off studying so they can take a break. Prospero secretly watches and sees how much Ferdinand loves Miranda.
  • Prospero and Miranda talk. they exchange "I love you’s". Then they agree to get married. They are a couple of lovebirds.

Scene 2

  • The scene starts out with Caliban, Trinculo and Stephano. They are drunk as hell.
  • Caliban starts talking with Stephano about killing Prospero. Then Ariel shows up and is invisible. Whenever Caliban would say something bad about Prospero, Ariel would say "you liar". Since Ariel is invisible they think Trinculo is saying it. then they get in a drunk argument.
  • Ariel continues to do this cool trick.
  • They argue and start kicking the shit out of Trinculo.
  • Then Caliban tells Stephano about Prospero’s hottie daughter Miranda. Now Stephano has a reason to kill Prospero.
  • Ariel overhears them and starts playing music. Trinculo and Stephano are scared but Caliban tells them there’s music all over the island. so they follow the music (invisible Ariel).

Scene 3

  • This scene starts with Alonso and his crew. They are ass tired from searching for Ferdinand.
  • Sebastian and Antonio talk about their plans to kill Alonso and that the plan is still a go.
  • Then a magical fairy appears bringing a big feast for the men.
  • The dudes are a little hesitant at first, cause the food is being served by magical fairies. They finally give in and sit down to eat.
  • Just before they eat, Ariel flies down and steals their food from the table.
  • Ariel gives this big speech to Alonso, Sebastian and Antonio (3 dudes who screwed over Prospero). Ariel tells them they are very very bad men.
  • Ariel tells them this is their punishment.
  • The other people (Gonzalo, etc) can’t hear the speech and they are wondering why the 3 evil dudes are staring into thin air.
  • Alonso feels bad. Sebastian and Antonio don’t feel guilty at all. What jerks.

ACT IV

Scene 1

  • This scene starts with Prospero talking to Ferdinand. Prospero is a lot nicer to him and gives him his blessing to marry Miranda.
  • Then he tells Ferdinand that if he has sex with Miranda before they’re married, he’ll use his magic to ruin their marriage and make sure they don’t have kids.
  • Ferdinand agrees to keep Miranda a virgin until the wedding day.
  • Prospero then tells Ariel "good job" on the whole banquet thing he did to the evil dudes. Then Prospero prepares the fairies to do something to Miranda and Ferdinand.
  • The fairies prepare to put on a Masque. A "Masque" is when some dancers in fancy costumes show up at your house and dance for you.
  • The fairies put on a masque for Miranda and Ferdinand. They play Greek gods associated with love ( one is the Greek god of marriage, one is the god of children, etc)
  • Ferdinand enjoys the masque.
  • Then Prospero remembers the 3 guys who wanna kill him (Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo)
  • The masque ends and Prospero gives a depressing speech because he’s in a bad mood.
  • Prospero gets Ariel and tells him it’s time to take care of the 3 guys. Ariel brings Prospero up to date on their location. Ariel led the 3 drunk guys through the island and finally led them into a dirty swamp.
  • Prospero feels like a failure for trying to educate Caliban the monster and failing. Instead of blaming himself though he wants to take out his anger on Caliban. (He should be mad....Caliban wants to kill him)
  • Ariel leads the 3 into Prospero’s pad. He leaves out dry clothes as a trap. The drunk fools put on the clothes. Then Prospero turns the fairies into goblins and has them chase the 3 guys and harass them.

ACT V

Scene 1

  • This scene starts off with the 3 evil guys (Alonso, Antonio, Sebastian) scared and half-crazy because of the banquet scene.
  • Ariel goes to get the 3 evil dudes. Then Prospero gives some long speech about all the cool magical stuff he has done and how he won’t be doing anymore magic spells because of the harm he has done.
  • He continues his speech about retiring from magic forever
  • Prospero makes some big magic circle on the ground. Then he brings the evil men inside the circle. they all stand there and Prospero tells them about what they did to him.
  • He tells Alonso he is the ex-Duke of Milan. Alonso is just in a daze because so much has happened so quickly. Before Alonso says anything, Prospero hugs Alonso and says he forgives him.
  • Prospero tells Antonio and Sebastian that he knows about their plan to kill Alonso. He then forgives Antonio for kicking him out of Milan.
  • Alonso is really sorry for what he did. He feels guilty as hell. Antonio on the other hand has no remorse. What a dick.
  • Alonso is still sad about losing his son. But then Prospero shows him that Ferdinand didn’t die after all. He’s happily in love with Miranda.
  • Alonso approves of Miranda. He apologizes for screwing her father over years back. Ferdinand apologizes to Alonso for getting married without his blessing.
  • Everything is cool. Ferdinand is marrying Miranda, and Prospero is King of Milan again.
  • Then Prospero brings in Trinculo, Stephano, and Caliban. He tells everyone they were planning to kill him.
  • Prospero forgives them too. (This dude has a BIG heart)
  • Then Prospero tells all of them he will tell them the story of his life on the island. after that, they will all sail back to Naples, and Ferdinand and Miranda will get married. Then He will become King of Milan again.

THINGS TO MAKE YOU LOOK SMART

  • This was one of Shakespeare’s last plays. Prospero’s speech about how he is retiring from magic kinda represent Shakespeare.
  • Is Prospero really a good man? He freed Ariel from a witch’s jail, but on the condition that Ariel would be his slave. Also, he says he is nice to Caliban and educates him, but Caliban is also his slave, doing slave labor.
  • There are a lot of god and religious references. People are forgiven (like Catholics do), and Prospero says the ship got there by the way of God.
  • The Tempest was actually a blessing. The bad storm caused them to crash and in the end Prospero got back his kingdom and Ferdinand and Miranda were married.
  • Prospero is not a dick in the end. He makes the evil dudes suffer, but in the end he forgives them. Maybe that’s the ultimate punishment? Guilt?