Reading Guide for “Europe and the New World: “Humanism” 1614-15 “William Shakespeare: Life and Times” 1801-03 The Tempest Act I

In the essay on William Shakespeare, what did you learn about his early life? What was the profession of his father? Do you believe this profession was low, middle, or high class?
What are the positions of Alonzo, Antonio, and Gonzalo? In the opening scene of The Tempest, how does the boatswain speak to these men? Alonzo-King of NaplesAntonio- the usurping Duke of MilanGonzalo- the counselor of the menThe boatswain is frustrated with the men, because the storm is getting really bad and he is trying to keep them from crash and they all keep bothering him
Why does the boatswain ask them “What cares these roarers for the name of King?” What is his concern at this moment? The boatswain says that the storm does not care that there is royalty on the boat, so the men need to go down to their cabin and let him do his job
What do you think Gonzalo means when he says the following line? “I have great comfort from this fellow. Methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows.” Gonzalo says that he feels confident that this man will get them through the storm, because he seems determined to make sure that they all live
What seems to happen at the end of the first scene? Ferdinand jumps off the boat into the open ocean and the other men remain on the boat but become shipwrecked
In Act I Scene 2, why is Miranda so upset at the beginning? What has she just witnessed? Miranda is upset because she has just witnessed the shipwreck
What does Prospero say to reassure her? “Be collected. No more amazement; tell your piteous heart there’s no harm done”
How old was Miranda when they first came to this island, and how long have they been here? What is her age now? Miranda was three years old when they first arrived on the island and she is now fourteen/fifteen
What title did Prospero hold in Milan? His father was the Duke of Milan
Who did Prospero let act in his position in Milan? To what type of vine does Prospero compare this man? Prospero let Antonio act as the Duke of Milan because Prospero was too busy studying
Prospero’s brother “confederates,” or partners, with what royal person to usurp Prospero’s position? Antonio partnered up with Alonso to usurp Prospero
How did they attempt to murder Prospero and Miranda? In the circumstances in which those two were left, who do you think would have died first? Of what do you think they would have died? They put Prospero and Miranda on a very small boat with nothing to steer it with and sent him off to sea; the two will eventually die of dehydration and starvation (Miranda would have died first because she was so little)
Who helped them so they were able to survive? What did this man give them? Gonzalo helped them so they were able to survive. When he took them to the boat he gave them food, water, furniture, and book (how he learned magic)
Why does Miranda fall asleep at the end of Prospero’s story of their past?
What does Ariel announce he can do in his opening lines to Prospero? Ariel arrives and announces that he can do whatever Prospero needs of him
What does Ariel report he did on the ship? Who jumped into the ocean first? Ariel reports that he created a huge storm in the ocean where the men were on their ship; Ferdinand was the first man to jump into the ocean
What makes Ariel moody? What does he want? After creating the shipwreck Ariel asks for his freedom which was promised by Prospero, but Prospero says that he cannot believe after everything he has done for him he could ask to leave
From what torment did Prospero save Ariel? What is the name of the witch who imprisoned Ariel in this way? What is the name of the witch’s son? Prospero saved Ariel from being stuck in a pine tree, which he was imprisoned in by Cirax; Cirax has a son named Caliban who is Prospero’s other slave
With what torture does Prospero threaten Ariel if Ariel complains again? Prospero threatens to imprison Ariel in a pine tree if Ariel complains again
What work does Prospero say Caliban does for him and Miranda? Prospero says that Caliban does all the physical work for him and Miranda (gathering wood, chopping wood, etc)
How do Prospero and Caliban speak to each other at the beginning of their dialogue? Prospero and Caliban begin insulting one another at the beginning of their dialogue
What torture does Prospero tell Caliban he will suffer this night? Prospero tell Caliban that he is going to give him horrible cramps all night long because of the way he has talked to Prospero
Why does Caliban claim the island belongs to him? What does he say about his early relationship with Prospero? Caliban claims the island belongs to him because he was their first; he says he wished that Prospero would have never been shipwrecked there in the first place
For what attempted crime does Prospero say he started treating Caliban as a slave? Prospero says he started treating Caliban like a slave after he tried to rape Miranda
Is Caliban repentant? What does he say he would have done if Prospero had not prevented him? Caliban is not repentant. He says that if Prospero had not stopped him he would have raped Miranda over and over until they had children running all over the island
What does Miranda say she taught Caliban? Miranda claims that she taught him to speak
What profit does Caliban say he gained from her teaching? What does he mean? He says she taught him to speak so he could now curse her
Why is Ferdinand sad? What does he think has happened? Ferdinand is sad because he thinks that his father died
What do Miranda and Ferdinand think of each other when they first meet? When Ferdinand and Miranda first meet, it is love at first sight
Why does Ferdinand think he is the King of Naples? Ferdinand thinks he is the King of Naples because he thinks his father has died during the storm
What does Ferdinand say he will do if Miranda is a virgin and her affection not gone forth? Ferdinand says that if she is a virgin and unmarried, then he wants to marry her
What does Prospero mean when he says “this swift business I must uneasy make, lest too light winning make the prize light”? Prospero is going to make Miranda and Ferdinand fight for one another, so that when they are finally together they truly appreciate one another
Of what does Prospero accuse Ferdinand? What does he say he will do to Ferdinand? Prospero accusses Ferdinand of trying to kill them; Prospero says that he will hang Ferdinand by his toes
Ferdinand says that all of his difficulties will seem light to him if he can do what once a day? He asks Prospero if he can see Miranda once every day while he is in prison; all his difficulties would be worth it if he can see her