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The Tempest Art and Culture Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the 2008 Norton edition.

Quote #10

But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands.
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
    As you from crimes would pardoned be,
    Let your indulgence set me free. (Epilogue.9-20)

When Prospero says the audience's applause is the only thing that can release him from his bondage, he's saying a lot more than "hurry up and clap so I can get off this stage."  This final speech says something about the importance of the theater audience.  In the end, it's the playgoers' approval that matters the most. 

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