The Tempest by William Shakespeare: Summary

A ship is caught in the terrifying storm, tempest in the middle of the sea. There are include Alonso, the King of Naples; his son Ferdinand; his brother Sebastian; his kind old councilor Gonzalo; and Antonio, the false Duke of Milan. Prospero, who is the rightful duke of Milan is on the Island and now has become a great and powerful magician. He has a daughter named Miranda. Prospero has created the tempest to gather his all enemies in a same place.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Twelve years ago, Prospero was dethroned by his own brother Antonio making conspiracy with the help of Alonso and Sebastian. Prospero and his infant daughter Miranda were cast away in the sea, but fortunately they were brought to the island. Since then, they have been living in the island with two servants: Ariel the airy spirit and the monster, Caliban. Caliban was treated well at first, but when he tried to rape Miranda, he was treated sternly by Prospero.

Prospero, after causing the tempest, separated Alonso’s son, Prince Ferdinand, from the others. His father thinks Prince Ferdinand is dead in the storm. He is deeply saddened by this fact and his councilor Gonzalo comforts him. On the island, Antonio and Sebastian plot to kill the king and his councilor and take his kingdom. But at the right time, Ariel wakes the king and his councilor. The main purpose of this plot is to seize the kingship of Alonso by his brother Sebastian.

On the other side of the island, Ferdinand meets Miranda and they both fall in love. Ferdinand too thinks that he is the only survivor of the storm. Before he gets approval of his love from Prospero, he is assigned to a difficult toil to pile up a thousand logs before the sun sets. He succeeds in this task and becomes the lucky one to have Miranda in his life.

Stephano and Trinculo are the other survivors of the wreck. They meet Caliban, and poor Caliban takes them as God who would free him from the slavery of Prospero. These three people make a plot to kill Prospero. The three become drunk and because of the mischievous deed of Ariel, Trinculo and Caliban have a row before the implementation of their plot. Before they can set their scheme against Prospero in motion, Ariel leads them off with enchanted music, then goes to report the scheme to his master.

The king’s people look for Ferdinand on the island, but fail and being desperate stops to rest. Ariel and the other airy spirits prepare a great feast for the group, as they are ready to enjoy it, they turn into harpies and grab it away. All men are terrified, and Ariel tells them that they are being punished for the wrong deed they did to Prospero twelve years ago.

Meanwhile, as Ferdinand passes his test, Prospero tells him to be faithful to Miranda and remain chaste until the marriage. Then the good spirits entertain the couple with mosque and Juno blesses the couple with prosperous life.

Prospero, being decisive to forgive all his enemies, brings Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio before him, along with Gonzalo and the rest of the King's party and he reveals his identity. Alonso quickly asks his pardon, though Antonio and Sebastian never really repent. To Alonso's pleasure, Ferdinand returns not only alive, but engaged to the lovely Miranda as well. Ariel leads in the captain of the ship and the boatswain to the ship. They have already declared that the ship is totally ruined. But to their surprise, because of the magic of Ariel, the ship is in good condition. Prospero forgives Caliban, too. He's decided to give up his magic and return with the others as the rightful Duke of Milan. After commanding Ariel to speed their trip, Prospero promises the airy spirit the freedom he's wanted for so long.