The Tempest

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 4

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MIRANDA

    Oh, my heart bleeds
To think o' th' teen that I have turned you to,
65Which is from my remembrance! Please you, farther.

MIRANDA

Oh, it breaks my heart to think how painful it must be for you to recall all this, things that I can’t remember. But please tell me more.

PROSPERO

My brother and thy uncle, called Antonio—
I pray thee, mark me (that a brother should
Be so perfidious!)—he whom next thyself
Of all the world I loved and to him put
70The manage of my state, as at that time
Through all the signories it was the first,
And Prospero the prime duke, being so reputed
In dignity, and for the liberal arts
Without a parallel. Those being all my study,
75The government I cast upon my brother
And to my state grew stranger, being transported
And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle—
Dost thou attend me?

PROSPERO

My brother, your uncle Antonio—just listen to this (I still can’t believe a brother could be so disloyal!)—My brother whom—aside from you—I loved more than anyone else in the world, I trusted to run my state, which at that time was the strongest in the land, and Prospero the number one duke, famous for my dignity and my education. Since I was so drawn to studying things like logic, grammar, geometry, and astronomy, I let my control of the government slide a bit, being too wrapped up in my occult books. Your disloyal uncle—are you paying attention?

MIRANDA

    Sir, most heedfully.

MIRANDA

I’m hanging on every word.

PROSPERO

Being once perfected how to grant suits,
80How to deny them, who t' advance and who
To trash for overtopping, new created
The creatures that were mine, I say—or changed 'em,
Or else new formed 'em—having both the key
Of officer and office, set all hearts i' th' state
85To what tune pleased his ear, that now he was
The ivy which had hid my princely trunk,
And sucked my verdure out on ’t. Thou attend’st not.

PROSPERO

Once Antonio got the knack of granting certain requests, denying others, promoting some officials and keeping down those who were getting too ambitious, he won over the people who used to be mine, or changed them—remade them, you might say. Since he had control over the whole government and everyone in it, he soon made everyone sing his own song—whichever song he happened to like. He became like the ivy that sticks to the side of the tree, and sucked my vitality out of me.—You’re not paying attention.

MIRANDA

O, good sir, I do.

MIRANDA

Oh, yes I am, father.