© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Tempest

The Tempest


by William Shakespeare

The Tempest Man and the Natural World Quotes

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

Quote #4

Abhorrèd slave,
Which any print of goodness wilt not take, 
Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee,
Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each
One thing or other. When thou didst not, savage,
Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like
A thing most brutish, I endowed thy purposes 
With words that made them known. But thy vile
Though thou didst learn, had that in 't which good
Could not abide to be with. Therefore wast thou
Deservedly confined into this rock, 
Who hadst deserved more than a prison. (1.2.422-436)

Can we ever unlearn what is natural within us? Is there a certain "civilized" kind of learning that is incompatible with man in the state of nature?

Quote #5

Full fathom five thy father lies.
   Of his bones are coral made.
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
   Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange. 
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell.

                                   Burden, within: Ding dong.
Hark, now I hear them: ding dong bell. (1.2.474-482)

Ariel isn't just being callous with his song, but pointing out that death is part of the natural process. Ferdinand is perhaps drawn away from his grief because the natural calls out to him, just as it now influences his father (were his father under the ocean).

Quote #6

I might call him
A thing divine, for nothing natural
I ever saw so noble. (1.2.498-500)

Is Miranda here disputing the idea of the "noble savage"?  Is there anything that we might consider "noble" in the natural world?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...