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The Tempest

William Shakespeare

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Act I, scene ii

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Act I, scene ii

Act I, scene ii

Act I, scene ii

Act I, scene ii

When he speaks to Ariel, a magical creature over whom his mastery is less certain than over his doting daughter, Prospero goes to even greater lengths to justify himself. He treats Ariel as a combination of a pet, whom he can praise and blame as he chooses, and a pupil, demanding that the spirit recite answers to questions about the past that Prospero has taught him. Though Ariel must know the story well, Prospero says that he must “once in a month” recount Ariel’s history with Sycorax, simply to ensure that his servant’s fickle nature does not cause him to become disloyal. Every time he retells Ariel’s history, we feel, he must increase both the persuasiveness of his own story and his control over Ariel. This is why he now chooses to claim that Ariel is behaving badly—so that he can justify a retelling of the history, even though Ariel is perfectly respectful. He forces Ariel to recall the misery he suffered while trapped in the pine tree (“thy groans / Did make wolves howl,” I.ii.289290). He then positions himself as the good savior who overthrew Sycorax’s evil. However, he immediately follows this with a forceful display of his own magical power, threatening to trap Ariel in an oak just as the “evil” Sycorax had trapped him in a pine. In this way, Prospero exercises control both intellectually and physically. By controlling the way Ariel and Miranda think about their lives, he makes it difficult for them to imagine that challenging his authority would be a good thing to do, and by threatening Ariel (and, shortly thereafter, Caliban) with magical torture, he sets very high stakes for any such rebellion. For his part, Ariel promises to “do my spiriting gently” from now on.

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ACT I, SCENE II QUIZ

What does Miranda entreat Prospero to do with the men in the shipwreck?
Kill them
Keep them safe
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Gonzalo

by SonnetBlossom, July 16, 2013

Gonzalo also mentions that he thinks that the Boatswain is the type of person who looks like he would die by a hanging and not by drowning.He could be suggesting that the boat would not capsize,because otherwise the boatswain would die.

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Alonso,Gonzalo and Sebastian

by SonnetBlossom, July 16, 2013

"My Lord Sebastian,
The truth you speak doth lack some gentleness,
And time to speak it in.You rub the sore
When you should bring the plaster"

In these words,Gonzalo is criticizing what Sebastian has told Alonso.In these lines,Alonso's heart is the sore,made by the loss of his son.Gonzalo says that Sebastian is "rubbing the sore" meaning that Sebastian isn't helping Alonso overcome his loss.The "plaster" is the kind,compassionate and encouraging words spoken by Gonzalo and time needed to mend Alonso's bleeding heart.... Read more

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105 out of 129 people found this helpful

Humour

by SonnetBlossom, July 16, 2013

The minor character's story runs parallel to the main plot.The minor characters are used by Shakespeare to create humour and lighten the seriousness of the main plot.While Antonio and Sebastian were very serious and sober in plotting Alonso's and Gonzalo's death.The minor characters plan to kill Prospero when they are drunk.

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The Tempest (No Fear Shakespeare)

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