The Tempest Summary and Analysis

Category: Literature
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“The Tempest works out as a traditional comedy because Miranda and Ferdinand are kept from coming together as lovers until Prospero believes it is the right time. It seems that he had come up with his plan long ago because he is strangely aware of certain things that will happen, such as Miranda and Ferdinand falling for each other[1]. He thinks it is too soon for them to be together because they fell in love as soon as they saw each other. He says, “They are both in either’s powers, but I must uneasy make this swift business, lest too light winning make the prize light. ” He means that if they are allowed to be together immediately, their love might not last because they haven’t had to overcome anything to get it. This is why he sets them apart a while longer so that they have to work harder to be together and appreciate it when they are allowed to be together. This works out for Prospero, and the lovers are married in a large ceremony that resonates with the play’s mood. All the evil characters are forgiven, and everything has been set right. It appears Prospero was a very wise man because, with his magic, he had the power to kill those who wronged him. He could have taken back his kingdom by force, but he instead decided to forgive and forget.

The Tempest is similar to King Lear because they both deal with an unsuspecting King losing his kingdom to a close relative. Prospero had complete trust in his brother and left him to run a lot of the kingdom. Eventually, Antonio usurps the throne, and Prospero is stranded at sea with his young daughter. King Lear also loses his kingdom, but he does so by giving it away to his daughters, who have lied to him and inflated his ego. He is then forced to leave his kingdom and weather a storm as he wanders through town. The two plays also deal with the subject of justice. In King Lear, all the characters who have committed wrongs pay for them[2]. Although Prospero seeks revenge against those who wronged him, The Tempest deals with justice very differently from King Lear. Prospero decides to forgive those who wronged him, and justice is served once he regains his kingdom.

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Contrary to King Lear, there are no gruesome deaths in The Tempest. Another similarity between the two plays is the murder subplots. In The Tempest, Sebastian and Antonio plot to kill Alonso so that they can take his kingdom. In King Lear, Goneril kills her sister Regan so that she can marry Edmund. These murder subplots show the characters will do whatever it takes to get something they want. In The Tempest, the plot must be kept light so the murder does not happen, and these two are also forgiven. I believe that this causes The Tempest to seem less realistic than King Lear because the villains did not get what they deserved.”


  1. Shakespeare, William. “The tempest.” In One-Hour Shakespeare, pp. 137-194. Routledge, 2019.
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The Tempest Summary and Analysis. (2021, Apr 15). Retrieved from