The Tempest

by: William Shakespeare

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Modern Text

PROSPERO

     And mine shall.
Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling
Of their afflictions, and shall not myself,
One of their kind, that relish all as sharply
Passion as they, be kindlier moved than thou art?
25Though with their high wrongs I am struck to th' quick,
Yet with my nobler reason 'gainst my fury
Do I take part. The rarer action is
In virtue than in vengeance. They being penitent,
The sole drift of my purpose doth extend
30Not a frown further. Go release them, Ariel.
My charms I’ll break, their senses I’ll restore,
And they shall be themselves.

PROSPERO

I will too. You’re made of air, so if even you feel sorry for them, imagine the pity that I’ll feel, being one of their own human race. I suffer pain just as much as they do, so I’ll sympathize far more than you. Though I’m indignant about their evil deeds, I’ll go with my nobler instincts, which tell me to feel some compassion for them. It’s better to act virtuously rather than vengefully. Now that they’re sorry, I don’t want anything more. Go release them, Ariel. I’ll break my spells and bring them back to their senses, and they’ll feel like themselves again.

ARIEL

     I’ll fetch them, sir.

ARIEL

I’ll go get them, sir.
Exit ARIEL
ARIEL exits.

PROSPERO

(tracing a circle on the ground)
Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves,
35And ye that on the sands with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him
When he comes back; you demi-puppets that
By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make,
Whereof the ewe not bites; and you whose pastime
40Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice
To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid,
Weak masters though ye be, I have bedimmed
The noontide sun, called forth the mutinous winds,
And ’twixt the green sea and the azured vault
45Set roaring war—to th' dread rattling thunder
Have I given fire, and rifted Jove’s stout oak

PROSPERO

(drawing a large circle on the stage with his staff) I’ve darkened the noontime sun with the aid of you elves who live in the hills and brooks and groves, and you who chase the sea on the beach without leaving footprints in the sand, and run away when the waves come back; and you who make toadstools while the moon shines; who make mushrooms as a hobby after the evening bell has rung. With your help I’ve called up the angry winds, and set the green sea and blue sky at war with each other. I’ve given lightning to the thunderclouds, and burned up Jupiter’s beloved oak.