Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"The Tempest" a Working Synopsis

The Tempest is about a man, Prospero that lost his rightful position as Duke of Milan because his brother, Antonio conspired against him with Alonso, the King of Naples. It is twelve years since then and Prospero is stuck on an island with his daughter Miranda. Until a ship comes by carrying Alonso the King of Naples, Ferdinand his son, Sebastian Alonso’s brother, Antonio Prospero’s brother, Gonzalo an honest old councillor, Stephano a drunken butler, and Trinculo a jester.
 Prospero uses his spirit familiar Ariel, to conjure up the tempest and to separate the passengers among the island. Prospero’s plan is for his daughter to fall in love with Ferdinand in order to have them married as a way of revenge. It seems as though Miranda and Ferdinand were smitten on first sight. While the love blooms here, on another part of the island the others are worried about Ferdinand’s safety.
Until Ariel appears invisible and puts everyone but Sebastian and Antonio asleep and as the others “rest” Sebastian and Antonio contemplate killing everyone else. As they finally decide to take action Ariel appears and wakes Gonzalo, who shouts waking the rest of the party. Causing the two to make up an excuse and to why their swords were drawn.
The next scene contains Prospero putting Ferdinand to work but when Miranda thinks her father is asleep they begin to flirt. Miranda suggests marriage and Ferdinand agrees. Secretly Prospero wakes from the shadows happy with the development.
With his ability to influence people Ariel seems to hold all the cards. He uses his ability to influence others to want to kill Prospero and with that Prospero gains perspective. In the end they all get back on the ship and return on their journey to Italy.


  1. Nice work Stephanie. I am not familiar with this play at all, but your synopsis of it piqued my interest and I now look forward to covering it in class. You correctly identified the play as a comedy, but I find it noteworthy that the plot still contains ‘attempted or thoughts of’ murder, but because no one died and the ending is happy it is still a comedy.
    I also found it interesting that, after all the action they are able to sail away as if nothing happened. I am anxious to see how he pulled that off, as that seems like it would be quite a feat.

  2. I'm also curious about the ending. How did Alonso react to the engagement between Miranda and Ferdinand? I can imagine he wasn't too happy. Since it's a comedy, I'll assume that the couple end up married. I also wonder why Prospero put Ferdinand to work if he was hoping that he'd marry Miranda. Sounds like an interesting play, and I can't wait to hear more about it!