© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

CHECK OUT SHMOOP'S FREE STUDY TOOLS: Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

The Tempest

The Tempest


by William Shakespeare

 Table of Contents

The Tempest Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The Tempest

Like the storm in King Lear, the tempest that opens our play is full of symbolic meaning. When Prospero uses magic to whip up a storm that shipwrecks the King of Naples on the island, the tempest...


By the middle of Act 5, Scene 1, Prospero has worked his magic to win back his dukedom and he has also orchestrated the marriage of Miranda and Prince Ferdinand, who everyone thinks is dead thanks...

Prospero's Books

Prospero's books are a pretty big deal in this play. They're the source of Prospero's magic, which is why Caliban says Prospero is completely vulnerable without them: Why, as I told thee, 'tis a c...

Gonzalo's Big Utopian Speech

Ever the optimist, Gonzalo's response to being stranded is to make a big speech about how things would be if he ruled the isle:I' th' commonwealth I would by contrariesExecute all things, for no ki...

Miranda's Virginity

If you're like us, you're probably wondering why the play and most of the characters in it are so obsessed with Miranda's virginity. Prospero is always talking about it (and guarding it from the l...

Water, Water, Everywhere!

Water is central to this play, and, particularly, the act of being immersed in water – namely, drowning. Of course, the first scene when the ship splits is a pretty good time to worry about drow...

Clasping of Hands

Hands stuff pops up all over the place in this play. Prospero takes Miranda's hand before he tells her of their true identity, and our first introduction to the Prince and King has them below deck,...

The Epilogue

We thought you might look here for some thoughts about Prospero's epilogue. We talk about it in "What's Up With the Ending?," which is where you should go now if you want to know more about it.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search
Noodle's College Search