The Tempest

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 13

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PROSPERO

This blue-eyed hag was hither brought with child
And here was left by th' sailors. Thou, my slave,
As thou report’st thyself, wast then her servant.
275And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate
To act her earthy and abhorred commands,
Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee,
By help of her more potent ministers
And in her most unmitigable rage,
280Into a cloven pine, within which rift
Imprisoned thou didst painfully remain
A dozen years; within which space she died
And left thee there, where thou didst vent thy groans
As fast as mill wheels strike. Then was this island—
285Save for the son that she did litter here,
A freckled whelp hag-born—not honored with
A human shape.

PROSPERO

This sunken-eyed hag was brought here pregnant and left by the sailors. You, my slave, were her servant at the time, as you admit yourself. You were too delicate to carry out her horrible orders, and you refused. In a fit of rage she locked you up in a hollow pine tree, with the help of her powerful assistants, and left you there for twelve years. During that time she died, and you were trapped, moaning and groaning as fast as the blades of a

mill

A mill is a building with machinery for grinding grain into flour. If built next to a river, the machinery would be driven by a paddled wheel propelled by the river.

mill
wheel strike the water. At that time there were no people here. This island was not honored with a human being—except for the son that Sycorax gave birth to here, a freckled baby born of an old hag.

ARIEL

   Yes, Caliban, her son.

ARIEL

Yes, Caliban, her son.

PROSPERO

Dull thing, I say so. He, that Caliban
Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know’st
290What torment I did find thee in. Thy groans
Of ever angry bears. It was a torment
Did make wolves howl and penetrate the breasts
To lay upon the damned, which Sycorax
Could not again undo. It was mine art,
295When I arrived and heard thee, that made gape
The pine and let thee out.

PROSPERO

That’s right, you stupid thing. Caliban, who now serves me. You know better than anyone how tortured you were when I found you. Your groans made wolves howl, and even made bears feel sorry for you. Nobody but the damned souls of hell deserves the spell that Sycorax put on you and couldn’t undo. It was my magic that saved you when I arrived on the island and heard you, making the pine tree open and let you out.

ARIEL

     I thank thee, master.

ARIEL

Thank you, master.

PROSPERO

If thou more murmur’st, I will rend an oak
And peg thee in his knotty entrails till
Thou hast howled away twelve winters.

PROSPERO

If you complain any more, I’ll split an oak tree and lock you up in it till you’ve howled for twelve years.