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The Tempest

The Tempest


by William Shakespeare

The Tempest The Supernatural Quotes

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

Quote #4

The ditty does remember my drowned father.
This is no mortal business, nor no sound 
That the earth owes. I hear it now above me. (1.2.483-485)

Magic is more than mortal, though it tends to impact mortals. Ferdinand draws the connection that magic might also have a bit of the divine in it (otherwise it would be against God, and kind of blasphemous).

Quote #5

What, I say,
My foot my tutor?—Put thy sword up, traitor,
Who mak'st a show, but dar'st not strike, thy
Is so possessed with guilt. Come from thy ward,
For I can here disarm thee with this stick
And make thy weapon drop. (1.2.568-574)

Prospero here uses his magic to protect him in a very simple way, though obviously he is much more powerful than this action implies.  He is willing to use his magic as a dumb-show when necessary, in this case to convince Ferdinand that he's not playing around.

Quote #6

This is a most majestic vision, and
Harmoniously charmingly. May I be bold 
To think these spirits?
Spirits, which by mine art
I have from their confines called to enact
My present fancies. (4.1.131-136)

Prospero is not above using his magic to his own fancy. We are asked to think about the limitation of his power here—he can make spirits look like gods, but he has no access to the real gods.  Is the implication that even Prospero's magic hits a glass ceiling when it comes to the divine? 

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