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The Tempest

The Tempest

 Table of Contents

The Tempest Betrayal Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

PROSPERO I pray thee, mark me.I, thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicated  To closeness and the bettering of my mindWith that which, but by being so retired,O'er-prized all popular rate, in my false brotherAwaked an evil nature; and my trust,Like a good parent, did beget of him  A falsehood in its contrary as greatAs my trust was; which had indeed no limit,A confidence sans bound. (1.2.12)


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 #2

ARIELAll hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I comeTo answer thy best pleasure; be't to fly,To swim, to dive into the fire, to rideOn the curl'd clouds, to thy strong bidding task  Ariel and all his quality. (1.2.1)


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 #3

ANTONIONor I; my spirits are nimble.They fell together all, as by consent;They dropp'd, as by a thunder-stroke. What might,Worthy Sebastian? O, what might? – No more: –And yet me thinks I see it in thy face,  What thou shouldst be: the occasion speaks thee, andMy strong imagination sees a crownDropping upon thy head. SEBASTIANWhat, art thou waking? ANTONIODo you not hear me speak?  SEBASTIAN I do; and surelyIt is a sleepy language and thou speak'stOut of thy sleep. (2.1.30)


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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