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The Tempest Betrayal Quotes

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

Quote #4

I pray thee, mark me.
I, thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated 
To closeness and the bettering of my mind
With that which, but by being so retired,
O'erprized all popular rate, in my false brother
Awaked an evil nature, and my trust,
Like a good parent, did beget of him 
A falsehood in its contrary as great
As my trust was, which had indeed no limit,
A confidence sans bound. (1.2.108-117)

Prospero suggests that Antonio's taste of power awakened in him an even bigger desire for power. Prospero's loyalty to his brother was so great, and his trust so complete, that he really didn't see this coming.  That, of course, allowed Antonio to take it farther.

Quote #5

All hail, great master! Grave sir, hail! I come
To answer thy best pleasure. Be 't to fly,
To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride
On the curled clouds, to thy strong bidding task 
Ariel and all his quality. (1.2.224-228)

Ariel is loyal to Prospero, but he is also loyal to nature—his source of power and home. Ariel serves two masters, but seems to delight in the natural more than the community service aspect of his job.

Quote #6

Nor I. My spirits are nimble.
They fell together all, as by consent.
They dropped as by a thunderstroke. What might,
Worthy Sebastian? O, what might—? No more.
And yet me thinks I see it in thy face  
What thou shouldst be. Th' occasion speaks thee, and
My strong imagination sees a crown
Dropping upon thy head.
                                        What, art thou waking?
Do you not hear me speak? 
                                            I do, and surely
It is a sleepy language and thou speak'st
Out of thy sleep. (2.1.224-236)

The betrayal Antonio suggests is so heinous as to be unfathomable to Sebastian at first. It seems that once you gain something by betrayal, you're willing to do it over and over again, because it works so well… until it doesn't. (Think of Macbeth's gains and downfall here.)

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