The Tempest Versions of Reality Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the 2008 Norton edition.
Whe'er thou beest he or no,
Or some enchanted trifle to abuse me,
(As late I have been), I not know. Thy pulse
Beats as of flesh and blood; and since I saw thee,
Th' affliction of my mind amends, with which
I fear a madness held me. This must crave
(And if this be at all) a most strange story.
Thy dukedom I resign, and do entreat
Thou pardon me my wrongs. But how should Prospero
Be living and be here? (5.1.1)
Alonso didn't have a strong sense of reality to begin with – he knows he is easily swayed by flattering words, and he now realizes he can no more trust his eyes than his easily influenced intuitions.
You do yet taste
Some subtleties o' the isle, that will not let you
Believe things certain. (5.1.9)
Prospero is playing false here – he knows it is his magic, and not the island, that plays with others' views of reality. Or does Prospero really believe that all his magic is helped by the magic inherent in the island?
If this prove
A vision of the Island, one dear son
Shall I twice lose.
A most high miracle! (5.1.6)
Sebastian, seeing that the Prince lives, realizes that his view of reality was swayed by Antonio's evil persuasion; he lets go of the idea of usurpation as easily as he came by it.