The Tempest The Supernatural Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the 2008 Norton edition.
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).
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.
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?