The Tempest

by: William Shakespeare

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PROSPERO

    I pray thee, mark me.
I, thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated
90To closeness and the bettering of my mind
With that which, but by being so retired,
O'erprized all popular rate, in my false brother
Awaked an evil nature. And my trust,
Like a good parent, did beget of him
95A falsehood in its contrary as great
As my trust was, which had indeed no limit,
A confidence sans bound. He being thus lorded,
Not only with what my revenue yielded
But what my power might else exact, like one
100Who having into truth, by telling of it,
Made such a sinner of his memory
To credit his own lie—he did believe
He was indeed the duke, out o' th' substitution
And executing th' outward face of royalty,
105With all prerogative. Hence his ambition growing—
Dost thou hear?

PROSPERO

Please listen to me carefully. As I neglected practical matters, being totally dedicated to solitude and to improving my mind with subjects more valuable than most people imagine, I was so shut away from the world that I unwittingly stirred up evil wishes in my disloyal brother. My deep trust in him made him deeply untrustworthy, arousing in him a treachery as big as my trust was—my trust which had no limit, an infinite confidence. With Antonio possessing such powers and wealth, coming not only from my income but also from his ability to take whatever my authority allowed him to take, Antonio started to believe that he was the duke, like some liar who begins to believe in his own lie. He put on the face of royalty, with all the rights that go along with it. With his ambition growing like this—do you hear what I’m saying?

MIRANDA

    Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.

MIRANDA

What you’re saying could cure deafness, father. Of course I hear it.

PROSPERO

To have no screen between this part he played
And him he played it for, he needs will be
Absolute Milan. Me, poor man, my library
110Was dukedom large enough. Of temporal royalties
He thinks me now incapable, confederates—
So dry he was for sway—wi' th' King of Naples
To give him annual tribute, do him homage,
Subject his coronet to his crown and bend
115The dukedom yet unbowed—alas, poor Milan!—
To most ignoble stooping.

PROSPERO

To make his political performance absolutely perfect, he simply had to become the Duke of Milan himself. My library was a large enough dukedom for me. So, now Antonio judges me incapable of carrying out my duties. He’s so power-hungry that he allies himself with the King of Naples, agreeing to pay him a regular annual sum, swear subservience to him, and put the dukedom of Milan—never subservient to anyone before!—under the humiliating control of Naples.

MIRANDA

    Oh, the heavens!

MIRANDA

Good heavens!