The Tempest Study Guide Figurative Language Shakespeare uses figurative language as he speaks with metaphors, similes, and personification and alliteration. Recognizing when his characters are speaking figuratively helps in understanding the play. Note in each example what form of figurative language is used. Alonso The winds did sing it to me, and the thunder, That deep and dreadful organ-pipe, pronounc’d The name of Prosper; it did base my trespass (3.3.97–99). Ariel Then all afire with me, the King’s son, Ferdinand, With hair up-staring (then like reeds, not hair), Was the first man that leapt; cried, “Hell is empty, And all the devils are here” (1.2.213–215). Ferdinand This music crept by me upon the waters, Allaying both their fury and my passion With its sweet air; thence I have follow’d it, Or it hath drawn me rather (1.2.392–395). Ariel Full fathom five thy father lies, Of his bones are coral made (1.2.397–398). Prose and Verse When does Shakespeare use verse in this play (and what kind) and when does he use prose and why? Key Passages, Sayings and Lines: Methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him, his complexion is perfect gallows. —Gonzalo, 1.1.28–30 In the dark backward and abysm of time? —Prospero, 1.2.50 This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother, Which thou takest from me. When thou camest first, The Tempest Thou strokedst me and madest much of me, wouldst give me Water with berries in't, and teach me how To name the bigger light, and how the less, That burn by day and night: and then I loved thee And show'd thee all the qualities o' the isle, The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile: Cursed be I that did so! All the charms Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you! For I am all the subjects that you have, Which first was mine own king: and here you sty me In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me The rest o' the island. —Caliban, I.ii.337-53 You taught me language, and my profit on’t Is, I know how to curse. —Caliban, 1.2.363–364 Full fathom five thy father lies, Of his bones are coral made: Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell. —Ariel, 1.2.397–403 There’s nothing ill can dwell in such a temple. If the ill spirit have so fair a house, Good things will strive to dwell with’t. —Miranda, 1.2.457–459 He receives comfort like cold porridge. Study Guide The Tempest —Sebastian, 2.1.10 Whereof what’s past is prologue, what to come In yours and my discharge. —Antonio, 2.1.253-254 They’ll take suggestion as a cat laps milk. —Antonio, 2.1.288 Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. —Trinculo, 2.2.39–40 Keep a good tongue in your head. —Stephano, 3.2.35 Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises, Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. —Caliban, 3.2.135–136 As I told thee before, I am subject to a tyrant A sorcerer, that by his cunning hath Cheated me of the island —Caliban, III.ii.41-3 Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air, Study Guide The Tempest And like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which is inherit, shall dissolve, And like this insubstantial pageant faded Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. —Prospero, 4.1.148–158 Where the bee sucks, there suck I In a cowslip’s bell I lie; There I couch when owls do cry. On the bat’s back I do fly After summer merrily. —Ariel, 5.1.88–92 How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world That has such people in’t! —Miranda, 5.1.182–184 Now my charms are all o'erthrown, And what strength I have's mine own, Which is most faint: now, 'tis true, I must be here confined by you, Or sent to Naples. Let me not, Since I have my dukedom got And pardon'd the deceiver, dwell In this bare island by your spell; But release me from my bands With the help of your good hands: Gentle breath of yours my sails Must fill, or else my project fails, Which was to please. Now I want Spirits to enforce, art to enchant, And my ending is despair, Study Guide The Tempest Study Guide Unless I be relieved by prayer, Which pierces so that it assaults Mercy itself and frees all faults. As you from crimes would pardon'd be, Let your indulgence set me free. —Prospero, Epilogue Study Questions 1. Prospero’s speech to Miranda (1.2) is unusually long. What purpose other than clarifying the narrative background and how the father and daughter came to be on the island, does this section of the scene serve? 2. Compare and contrast Ariel and Caliban. In what ways are they the same? In what ways are they different? 3. Describe the first meeting between Miranda and Ferdinand. How is Ferdinand introduced and what is Miranda’s impression of him? 4. How are the purposes of Antonio and Sebastian thwarted time and again? 5. What was Prospero’s purpose in giving laborious work to Ferdinand? 6. What sort of duke was Prospero before he was overthrown? What sort of duke is he likely to be after he reclaims his dukedom? The Tempest Study Guide 7. Nature and society are frequently contrasted in The Tempest, and they occasionally conflict. Trace this theme throughout the course of the play. Consider Rousseau! 8. The Tempest is a play with relatively little action. What do you think are some of the reasons for its continued production? 9. In Greek mythology, Ceres, who appears in the masque of Act 4, is associated with the concept of rebirth, a return to life, a theme that a number of the characters refer to in their closing speeches. In your opinion, has Shakespeare restored the characters to their former selves, or has he changed or developed them during the course of the play? 10. The epilogue of the play is, in many ways, ambiguous. What are some possible interpretations of its meaning? What do you feel may have been Shakespeare’s reasons for including it? 11. What is symbolized when Prospero breaks his staff and buries his books of magic? 12. Lastly, what is a Romance? How does it differ from a Comedy?