Act/Scene summaries in the Tempest Flashcards Preview

ENGLISH LITERATURE A2 > Act/Scene summaries in the Tempest > Flashcards

Flashcards in Act/Scene summaries in the Tempest Deck (15):

Act i: Scene i

*Tempestuous storm, enter Shipmaster, Boatswain and Mariners*

- Threat of ship being run aground or wrecked, shows futility of political power against nature

- Boatswain urges higher level characters below deck

- Sebastian and Antonio curse boatswain - telling of their personalities?

-Ends with the characters splitting up as the tempest throws them off the ship


Act i: Scene ii

(Until Miranda's sleep)

*Prospero and Miranda talking on land*

- Miranda believes the ship to have been wrecked, and in her empathy she 'suffers' with them. She begs Prospero to calm the seas

- Prospero reassures her there is no harm done, and chooses to divulge to her their past:

- Prospero was the rich Duke of Milan married to a 'piece of virtue. He trusted governing of Milan to Antonio so he could become learned in the "secret acts". Antonio reformed Prospero's "officers and office". Prospero's reclusiveness and neglect of government caused Antonio to believe he was the true Duke, overtaxing the people and using the pretence of Prospero's isolation to make Milan subordinate to Naples and himself. Alonso, King of Naples, helps Antonio to usurp Prospero. They dare not kill him due to his popularity so send him and Miranda out in a boat. Gonzalo gives Prospero books, a "prize above his dukedom" and other necessities which help them to survive

-Miranda sent to sleep


Act i: Scene ii continued

Miranda's sleep --> Miranda's awakening

*Enter Ariel*

-Ariel describes his role in wrecking the King's ship, where he became a fire spirit causing them to jump overboard. Shows himself to be a 'protean' character who can change easily. They are now safe and dispersed on the island, with the King's ship in dock and the mariners stowed under deck

-Ariel demands his freedom, at which point Prospero recalls that he was freed from Sycorax's enchantment which had trapped him in a tree. Under threat that Prospero will repeat this punishment, Ariel swears to obey him until their freedom is granted

-Prospero commands that Ariel take the form of a nymph of the sea who is invisible to all but him

-Miranda awakened from Prospero's charm


Act i: Scene ii continued

Miranda's awakening --> *Enter Ferdinand and Ariel*

-Caliban is introduced as a reluctant slave who curses Prospero
-Prospero threatens him with cramps and other curses
-Caliban protests that the island is his by right of heritage and how Prospero, first kind, has become a cruel master
-Prospero reveals that Caliban attempted to rape Miranda as a child
-Caliban, after some discussion, grudgingly obeys


Act i: Scene ii continued

*Enter Ferdinand and Ariel* --> End

*Enter Ferdinand and Ariel*
-Ferdinand led in by Ariel, invisible
-He questions its origins and it plays on his feelings (full fathom five for his father's death)
*Prospero and Miranda discuss him*
- Miranda first believes Ferdinand to be a spirit, and thinks him divine
-Ferdinand is shocked to hear Ferdinand and Miranda speaking of Naples
-Prospero accuses Ferdinand of being a spy. At this Ferdinand draws his sword and is immobilised and manacled
-Miranda protests and Prospero scolds her
-Ariel attends Prospero


Act ii: Scene i

*Gonzalo, Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio*
-Gonzalo is optimistic, grateful that they are still alive, whilst Alonso mourns his son's death. Sebastian and Antonio mock him.
-Gonzalo sees the island as plentiful and idyllic, whereas Sebastian and Antonio are more pessimistic
-Gonzalo considers the Island if he was King of it, creating a Utopic vision which is debunked by Sebastian and Antonio
-Ariel enters causing Gonzalo and Alonso to sleep
-Antonio and Sebastian plan to Kill them, so that Sebastian can become King. Gonazlo will be killed as a liability
-Ariel wakes Gonzalo, who wakes Alonso
-Antonio and Sebastian explain that a menacing sound caused them to be drawn
-They all drawn, and wary, continue onwards


Act ii: Scene ii

*Caliban, carrying wood*
-Caliban wishes to curse Prospero, and complains of the frequency with which Prospero curses him
-He sees *Trinculo*, and believing him to be a spirit Prospero has sent to torment him, he lies and covers himself with a cloak
-Trinculo sees Caliban lying under the cloak and believes him to be a dead islander. He hides under Caliban's cloak to escape the immanent storm
-Stephano sees Caliban and Trinculo under the cloak and believes it to be one monster, which he can tame and sell on his return to Naples. He makes him drink
- Trinculo calls out to Stephano, who pulls Trinculo out believing that this ''moon calf" can breathe out Trinculo(s)
-Caliban believes them divine, asking "be my God"
-Trinculo is not trusting, thinking that Caliban will rob them of their alcohol
-Caliban convinces them, saying he will show them the rich resources of the island so that Stephano and Trinculo can inherit (colonise)


Act iii: Scene i

*Ferdinand, carrying logs*
-Ferdinand does not mind labouring as Miranda makes his 'labours [become] pleasures'
-*Miranda* appeals to him to rest, suggesting she take over, but he insists on continuing rather than causing her dishonour
-Prospero says Miranda is infected with love
-Miranda tells Ferdinand her name
-Both declare their love, Ferdinand claiming she is perfect, and Miranda claiming she would not wish for any companion but him
-Prospero approves, wishing the heavens to rain grace on their love
-They agree to be married


Act iii: Scene ii

*Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo*
-Stephano appoints Caliban as his lieutenant
-Caliban accuses Trinculo of being dishonourable. He contends this, rebutting Caliban with allegations that he is merely a drunken fish
-Stephano tells Trinculo to treat Caliban well or he shall be hung
- *Ariel, invisible, follows*
-Caliban says that the island is his by birth right but that Prospero stole it from him. He plans to kill him in a revenge attack so that Stephano can become king on the island. He instructs that first they must take his books from him so that he is powerless. They plan to take Miranda for Stephano's wife
-As the trio sing, Ariel terrorises them with an accompanying, discordant rendition
-Caliban recounts his dreams and the sounds he has heard on the island, and how they seem incomplete and testing (they hum so are incomplete, his dreams end early)


Act iii: Scene iii

*Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, Adrian, Francisco, others*
-Antonio tells Sebastian not to forget the 'purpose' (murder) they had hoped to accomplish. Antonio suggests they attempt it again tonight as Gonzalo and Alonso are both weary
-Strange music commences, a banquet appears in front of the weary band, *Prospero enters invisible*
-All are amazed, the speed with which they are taken in shows all to be quite gullible
-Gonzalo comments that in Naples, none would believe that the islanders are more gentle than the civilised Europeans Prospero
-*Ariel enters as a harpy*, banquet vanishes and thunder/lightning begins
-Ariel addresses them as "men of sin". Sebastian, Antonio and Alonso draw their swords, and Ariel makes them too heavy to yield. He holds them accountable for usurping Prospero
-Prospero praises Ariel, saying "now they are in my power", and then leaves to visit Ferdinand and Miranda
-Gonzalo observes them piteously in their madness


Act iv: Scene i

*Prospero, Ferdinand and Miranda*
-Prospero speaks with Ferdinand, saying that his harsh treatment was a test of his worthiness to marry Miranda
-He gives Miranda as a 'gift' to Ferdinand. He warns that if Miranda loses her chastity before the marrige ceremony is complete then they will both come to hate their union. Ferdinand agrees, saying his honour will never melt away into lust"
- Prospero summons *Ariel* who is instructed to summon the other spirits to put on a masque for the newlyweds
-*Ceres, Iris and Juno lead a masque*
-Ferdinand wishes to live on the island forever, believing it to be a paradise
-Prospero halts the masque as he remembers that Caliban and co have planned to murder him. In a melancholic mood, he contemplates the impermanence of our existence with the abrupt end to the fantasy of the masque (elegiac mood)
-*Ferdinand and Miranda exit, Ariel enters*


Act iv: Scene i continued
(Ariel's apparition--> end)

-Ariel tells Prospero that Caliban and co have been drawn into a stagnant pool just beyond his cell
-*Exit Ariel*, who *reappears* with clothes to hang outside the cell
-Caliban and co. appear and begin to squabble over the clothes
-Prospero, with Ariel's aid, sets on the trio spirits as hounds
-Now the play is coming to a head, as Prospero comments "At this hour/Lies at my mercy all mine enemies"


Act v: Scene i
(Prospero talks with Ariel--> Prospero resolves to give up his powers)

- Prospero remarks that as his project is coming to a head, time moves easily. So far it has been compressed, with multiple narratives and a quick succession of occurrences
- Sebastian, Antonio, Alonso and Gonzalo are all confined near Prospero's cell
- Prospero considers how he shall approach them, conceding that "the rarer action is in virtue than in vengence". He resolves to break the charms on them
-Prospero addresses a range of magical beings as witnesses to his manipulation of nature (resurrection, command of the elements). At the end, he will abjure these powers and destroy beyond retrieval his staff and books


Act v: Scene i continued
(Prospero draws the magic circle--> Ferdinand and Miranda are revealed)

- Prospero draws a magic circle in which the king and his company stand, charmed, whilst Prospero addresses them. He speaks freely whilst the are "spell stopped" and unaware
- Gonzalo is received well as Prospero's preserver
-Alonso is scolded for his betrayal of Prospero and Miranda, and Antonio is also implicated
- Prospero reproaches Sebastian and Antonio for plotting to kill Alonso
-Ariel assists Prospero in dressing as he would have been known to the king and his company in Milan. Ariel is then sent to free the ship's men in the harbour
-Gonzalo receives Prospero with amazement, questioning if he is real or an apparition/trick of the island
-Sebastian accuses Prospero of speaking falsely about the treasonous allegations
-Alonso and Prospero both speak of the loss of their children
-Prospero reasserts that the king's company are not mislead and that he is real. We are introduced to a metatheatre (scene within a scene) with Ferdinand and Miranda playing chess


Act v: Scene i continued
(Ferdinand and Miranda are revealed --> End)

-Alonso is reunited with Ferdinand
-Miranda is amazed at the sight of so many people, irony in her positive reception of those who have wronged her
- *Ariel enters with the Master and Boatswain amazed at their survival*
- *Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo are bought in by Ariel*
- Prospero repremands them, calling them knaves who had robbed him and planned to murder him. He asks the king and his company to take responsibility for Stephano and Trinculo, whilst he "acknowledges" this "thing of darkness: (Caliban). However, some critics argue this is also Prospero's acknowledgment of his own evil within him.
-Caliban sees himself as a fool for taking a drunkard as a God and aspires to be "wise thereafter"
-Prospero invites all to return to his cell for one night before they return to Naples to see Ferdinand and Miranda wed. Prospero seems to have low thoughts as every third thought shall be "his grave"
-Ariel is commanded to ensure them calm seas for their return journey, and then Ariel shall be free
-In his epilogue, Prospero has no more magical power and is "faint". He appeals to the audience not to let him remain on the island (by lack of applause) since he has pardoned the wrongdoers and had his Dukedom reinstated. If he is not freed his project has failed. "gentle breath", the audiences favourable comment, can "set him free"