The Tempest by William Shakespeare

The Tempest by William Shakespeare, is a comedy with a happy ending and surprisingly only one marriage. In the beginning, a storm wrecks a ship carrying Alonzo, Ferdinand, Sebastian, Antonio, Stephano, Gonzalo, and Trinculo home from the wedding of King Alonzo’s daughter in Africa. The tempest, or wind storm, sinks the ship and everyone is forced to a nearby island.

For the last 12 years, Prospero and his daughter Miranda have lived on this island, banished from home. The audience soon finds out that it was Antonio, Prospero’s brother, who stole his title and sent him to die with nothing but a raft, some food, and his books. However, the books were magical and saved the father and daughter. When they landed on this island, they met Ariel, a magical being, and Caliban, a servant, who were both enslaved by Sycrox, a deceased witch, who had previously inhabited the island.

It becomes clear to the audience that the ship wreck was an elaborate plan of revenge by Prospero. Knowing that his brother was on that ship, as well as the King and the Prince, Prospero devised a plan to right the wrongs of his life and regain his title. Throughout the rest the play with Ariel and Calibans assistance, the shipwrecked group of people are separated and scattered about the island. The first person that Miranda and Prospero meet is Prince Ferdinand, and when Miranda and the Prince meet, they immediately fall in love. Although Prospero imprisons Ferdinand, it becomes clear that his intention is actually to bring Ferdinand and his daughter closer together.

Meanwhile, further away from the base camp, the other group of men start to plot against the King. Everyone believes Ferdinand is dead and they realize the next person(s) in line would be Sebastian or Antonio, so the two try to stab Alonzo in his sleep; however, Ariel causes Alonzo to wake up just before the deed is done. The two men create a story about why their swords were pulled, claiming there was a lion and they were protecting the King.

While Ariel and Caliban are busy keeping the others away from Prospero, Miranda, and Ferdinand, Miranda proposes to Ferdinand and he accepts. A sea of magical creatures surrounds them and the two are bonded in marriage. Soon after this the other shipwrecked souls find their way to Prospero and much is revealed. Prospero wanted Ferdinand and Miranda to get married so that he could return to Italy as a Duke.

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