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• The Tempest is a play written by William
• It is thought by many people to be the last
play he wrote.
• There are three plots in the story as well
as two prequels (stories that
precede/come before the main story)
Prospero – the ex Duke of
Miranda – Prospero’s
Gonzalo – Prospero’s friend
Sycorax – a witch
Caliban – a monster /
Ariel – a sprite / Prospero’s
Antonio – Prospero’s
brother / Duke of Milan
Alonso – King of Naples /
Ferdinand – King of Naples’
Stefano – butler to King
Trinculo – jester to King
• Sycorax, Caliban and Ariel lived on the
• Sycorax commanded Ariel to use it’s
magic for bad and Ariel refused.
• Sycorax cast a spell that trapped Ariel
within a tree.
• When Sycorax died, Ariel stayed trapped
in the tree until 12 years later when
Prospero released it.
• Twelve years ago, Prospero was the Duke of Milan.
• His brother (Antonio) was jealous and plotted against
Prospero with the King of Naples (Alonso).
• One night, Prospero and his young daughter Miranda
were seized, thrown into a small boat and pushed into
• Luckily, Prospero’s old friend, Gonzalo, had crept to
the boat earlier and hidden food, water and Prospero’s
books to help his friend survive.
• Prospero and Miranda came ashore at an island where
they found the monster Caliban and Prospero released
Ariel from the tree (see Prequel: Sycorax).
The plot (what happens in the
• The play opens with a huge storm (a tempest).
On the sea, a ship is being destroyed by the
• On the ship is:
– Alonso, the King of Naples
– Antonio, the Duke of Milan
– Ferdinand, Alonso’s son
– Trinculo, Alonso’s jester
– Stefano, Alonso’s butler
– Sebastian, Alonso’s brother
• The men fall into the water and the storm carries
them to different parts of the island where they
get washed ashore.
• Meanwhile, on the island, Prospero has caused
this storm with the help of his servant Ariel. His
enemies are on that ship and he wants his
revenge after twelve years.
• Ariel is getting impatient and wants it’s freedom
from Prospero. Ariel is told that it will be set free
in two days once Prospero has got his revenge.
• Prospero and Miranda visit Caliban. Prospero
cared for the monster until he attacked Miranda
so now he is treated cruelly by Prospero.
• Miranda sees Ferdinand who is walking around
lost on the island. They fall in love and arrange
to marry but Prospero wants to test Ferdinand
and makes him carry logs. Ferdinand did this
willingly and so Prospero gave their engagement
• The other shipwrecked men start to wake.
Sebastian and Antonio plot to kill King Alonso
(and make Sebastian king) but everybody wakes
up before they can do it.
• Caliban finds Trinculo and Stefano. Caliban has
never seen another human and thinks they are
gods. Trinculo and Stefano create a plan to help
Caliban and kill Prospero.
• Ariel overhears their plan and flies off to tell
Prospero. They plot to punish the trio.
• When Caliban, Stefano and Trinculo approach
Prospero’s cave, they are distracted by many
fine clothes Ariel has laid on the floor. They stop
to try on the expensive clothes.
• When the trio are half dressed, Prospero
released a pack of angry ghost dogs to chase
them away across the other side of the island.
Prospero then decides it is time to get revenge
on his brother and enemies.
• King Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian are still
searching for Ferdinand. Tired and hungry, they
are amazed when a table of food suddenly
appears. As soon as they touch the food though,
Ariel, disguised as a harpy made their food
disappear and reminded them of their sins
• The three men were very scared and Ariel
cast a magic spell which froze them like
• When Prospero appeared, Gonzalo was
happy to see his old friend but Antonio
and King Alonso begging forgiveness.
Prospero accepted and his anger was
• Prospero then showed King Alonso where
Ferdinand and Miranda were playing
chess. He was overjoyed to see his son
alive and blessed their engagement.
• Caliban, Trinculo and Stefano appeared
still running from the ghost dogs. Urged on
by Ariel, Prospero forgave them.
• Everyone agreed to sail back to Naples
the next morning for the wedding of
Miranda and Ferdinand. Prospero would
then return to Milan as the duke. Prospero
released Ariel and threw away his magic
cloak, buried his magic staff and threw his
book of magic out to sea. He left the island