The Tempest

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

PROSPERO

      'Tis time
I should inform thee farther. Lend thy hand
And pluck my magic garment from me.

PROSPERO

It’s time for you to know the whole story. Give me a hand and help me off with this magic cloak.
MIRANDA helps PROSPERO remove his mantle
MIRANDA helps PROSPERO remove his cloak.
      So,
25Lie there, my art.—Wipe thou thine eyes. Have comfort.
The direful spectacle of the wrack, which touched
The very virtue of compassion in thee,
I have with such provision in mine art
So safely ordered that there is no soul—
30No, not so much perdition as an hair
Betid to any creature in the vessel—
Which thou heard’st cry, which thou sawst sink. Sit down.
For thou must now know farther.
(to the cloak) So, lie there, my magic. (to MIRANDA) Wipe your eyes. Take comfort. I arranged the horrible sight of this shipwreck, which moved you to such pity, so carefully that not a single person was hurt—no, not so much as a hair on anyone’s head was destroyed in the ship that you saw sink. Sit down. It’s time for you to know more. (they sit)

MIRANDA

     You have often
Begun to tell me what I am, but stopped
35And left me to a bootless inquisition,
Concluding, “Stay. Not yet.”

MIRANDA

You’ve often started to tell me who I am, but then suddenly stopped, leaving me asking questions that never get answered, telling me, “Wait. Not yet.”

PROSPERO

     The hour’s now come.
The very minute bids thee ope thine ear.
Obey and be attentive. Canst thou remember
A time before we came unto this cell?
40I do not think thou canst, for then thou wast not
Out three years old.

PROSPERO

Well, the time has come. This is the moment for you to listen hard and pay close attention. Can you remember the time before you came to live in this shack? I doubt it, since you weren’t even three at the time.

MIRANDA

    Certainly, sir, I can.

MIRANDA

Sure I can, father.

PROSPERO

By what? By any other house or person?
Of anything the image tell me that
Hath kept with thy remembrance.

PROSPERO

What do you remember? A house, a person? Tell me anything you remember.