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The Tempest

The Tempest

  

by William Shakespeare

The Tempest Compassion and Forgiveness Quotes

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

Quote #1

MIRANDA
O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer! A brave vessel, 
Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her,
Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart! Poor souls, they perished.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth or ere
It should the good ship so have swallowed, and
The fraughting souls within her. (1.2.5-13)

Miranda has a naturally merciful temperament. She wishes her father to be merciful, regardless of his aim.

Quote #2

PROSPERO
If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak
And peg thee in his knotty entrails till
Thou hast howled away twelve winters. (1.2.349-351)

Prospero may not be forgiving or compassionate by nature, as he's accustomed to being unquestioned and a little tyrannical. It's interesting that Ariel is actually the one who inspires Prospero to be merciful to his enemies in the end.

Quote #3

CALIBAN
As wicked dew as e'er my mother brushed
With raven's feather from unwholesome fen
Drop on you both. A southwest blow on you
And blister you all o'er.
PROSPERO
For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps, 
Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up. Urchins
Shall, for that vast of night that they may work,
All exercise on thee. Thou shalt be pinched
As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging
Than bees that made 'em. (1.2.385-394)

Anger only begets more anger—both Caliban and Prospero expect the other to be awful, and they only get what they expect. Neither Caliban nor Prospero forgives the other's past wrongs, and this keeps their relationship at a complete standstill.

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