The beautiful, blue Mediterranean Sea was clear and calm. Far from land, driven along by a gentle wind, a ship was sailing slowly to the north. It had come from Tunis, on the coast of Africa, and was going home to Naples in the south of the Italy. It was passing a small, unimportant looking island, a little way to west.
Suddenly, as if by magic, the weather changed. Dark clouds began to gather, lightning started to flash, thunder crashed, and rain poured down. The wind roared, and blew harder and harder every minute, one moment from one direction, the next from another.
The waves grew higher and higher, and broke like huge waterfalls over the ship.
Out of the darkness, strange flames began to appear, and soon it looked as if the ship were burning. It was very frightening.
The sailors did not know what was happening. They ran about in the wind and rain, this way and that, pulling up some sails, and letting down others.
But nothing they did would get them away from this terrible storm. Slowly, the ship was blown towards the island. Before long it seemed as if it would hit the rock and break up.
The sailors and all the people on board would be thrown in to the sea, and drown. Many of the passengers were so afraid that they did not waif for the ship to reach the rocks. They jumped into the rough water, hoping they would be able to save themselves by swimming to the island.
On the island, two people were watching the ship fighting its way through the high, wild waves. One was a young girl, called Miranda. She was about fifteen years old and very beautiful. With Miranda was her father, Prospero.
Prospero was a tall, old man. He had grey hair and a grey beard, and a wise, old face. But he was not an ordinary old man. He was a powerful magician.
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In fact, Prospero had caused the storm. Miranda thought the ship was going to sink, and she felt very sorry for the men in it. She asked her father to use his magic powers to calm the sea and save the ship if he could.
Prospero told her not to be anxious, for no one would be harmed. He said that he had a good reason for causing the storm and making the ship to the island. ‘But now,’ he added, ‘I have something to tell you, before I let you know why I have made this storm.
I must explain to you how you and I come here, twelve years ago, and where we come from. I have not spoken to you about this before, but now the time has come to tell you all about it.
Please sit down and listen carefully.
Miranda was very pleased to learn that she was going to hear the storey of her past. She would remember, when she was tiny child, having lots of women around to server here. Now she and her father lived almost alone on this small island.
There was only on other human there, and he was an ugly, stupid person called Caliban, who worked for them as servant. Miranda often wondered about the women she remembers. Her life, when she was a little girl, must have been very different to the way it was now.
What had happened to make it change so much? She sat down and listened carefully.
Twelve years ago,’ said Prospero, ‘when you were just a small child, I was the ruler of Milan, in Italy.
I had money and lands and power. But I was not interested in those things, or in doing the work of government.
I preferred to study my books. I asked my brother, Antonio, to look after the government of Milan for me, but I should not have trusted him so much. ‘Antonio did not just wan to govern for me, he wanted to be the rule himself.
He planned to kill me, and he persuaded the king of Naples, Alansa, to help him. One dark night, their servants seized you and me, and put us in the ship.
We were taken a long way out to sea, and when we were far away from any land, they made us get into an old boat, if was so old and so small, it looked as if would soon break into pieces.
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They left us in that little boat. They hoped it would sink, and we would drown. ‘A man called Gonzalo was ordered to these things for my brother Antonio and King Alonso. But Gonzalo was a kind man. He did not like what the King and my brother made him do.
He had to obey them, but he tried to help us. He put water, food and clothes in the boat with use. Knowing that I loved my books more than anything else, he had gone to my library and taken the most valuable ones he could find. He put those in the boat, too.’
The little boat was stronger than it looked. We sailed in it for many days across the stormy waters. In the end, a long way from out home in Italy, it brought us to this island were we no live. ‘At first, the island seemed a strange and mysterious place.
It had once been controlled by the magic power of an evil old witch called Sycorax. But she had died long before our boat brought us here.
The only human we found here was her son, Caliban, though he is so strange and ugly, it is still hard to think of him as a human being.
I tried to help Caliban, but he was too stupid to learn anything, so I let him live with us as our servant. ‘I found the large, dry cave which is now our house.
There I put my books. Every day I read them, and studied them carefully, until I became very skillful in magic, and much stronger than he old witch, Sycorax, ever was.
And so we have lived here quietly ever since you, me and Caliban, our servant. ‘But now, Mirando, my dear daughter, at last, the time has come for our lives to change. The men on that ship out there are my old enemies. They passed by this island by a strange chance. Alonso, the King of Naples, arranged for this daughter, claribel, to marry the king of Tunis.
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They have just been to the wedding in Tunis, and Alonso and his noble friends are returing home to Italy. With the King is my unfaithful brother, Antonio, now the ruler of Milan. King Alonso’s brother, Sebastian, is there too, as is Alonso’s son, Ferdinand, and the king told man, Gonzalo.
I have used my magic to make as storm so that the ship will come towards this island. I want to bring my old enemies here, so that they will be in my power.’ By the time Prospero had finished his story, the storm had stopped, and the sea was clear and calm again.
The ship was nowhere to be seen However, although Prospero had made the storm on purpose, it was no this plan to harm his enemies.
In fact, his intensions were quite different. He planned to use his magic to make Antonio and King Alonso feel sorry for their evil deeds. Then he planned to forgive them, so that they would no longer be his enemies.
Mirando, Prospero and their servant, Caliban, were the only three humans on the island, but there were many spirits living there. These were magic creatures that could change their appearance and become invisible and do many things that human beings usually cannot do.
Prospero was such a great magician that he could command them all. Prospero’s skill in magic had given him power over the entire island.
He used the magic to help many good spirits who had been trapped by Sycorax. She had caught the good spirits, who refused to obey her evil commands, and put them inside trees.
Prospero had let them out of their tree prisons, and now always ready when his master, Prospero, called him. He was able to fly through the air without anyone seeing him, and could do many other strange things.
For example; he could change himself into different shapes and make himself look like a bear or any other animal. Ariel was always very cheerful and full of life, but he also liked to play all sorts of tricks on people.
He loved playing tricks on the stupid Caliban when he was lazy and did not obey Prospero’s orders.
Ariel had been following Prospero about everything that he had done. He said that he had frightened the passengers on the ship with all kinds of tricks so that they had jumped into the sea.
Ferdinand, the son of the king of Naples, had jumped in first, and had swum safely to the shore. He was quite near to where Prospero and Mirando were.
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Everyone else was safe. The sailors were asleep on the ship, and the other passengers had landed on different ports of the island.
However, each ground of passengers thought that all the others had drowned Ferdinand was sitting alone on the shore, weeping about his father’s death.
His father was somewhere else, with a few friends, weeping about the loss of his dear son. Prospero was very pleased with what Ariel had done.
There was a lot more work to do, and because Prospero was such a great magician, Ariel had to obey him and work very hard. But Prospero knew that Ariel wanted to be completely free more than anything else in the world. He promised the little spirit that if everything went well, there would be never be any more work to do after that, and he would give him his freedom, Prospero asked Ariel to make himself invisible so that no one could see him except the great magician himself. Then he gave him something else to do.
Miranda Falls in Love
Not long afterwards, some music and singing could be heard. It was Ariel and some of the other spirits, but as one could see them, the music seemed very strange.
Ferdinand, kind Alonso’s son, had been sitting on the beach, weeping because of the loss of his father, when he first heard the music. He could not tell if it come from the air or the earth. Then he noticed the the sweet sound seemed to be passing by him, over the waters. It made the waves calm, and it made him feel less sad.
He followed it. He wanted to find out where it comes from. In this way, time, Prospero and Miranda were there as well.
Miranda was very surprised when she saw the young prince. She had lived for twelve years along on the island with her father, so she had never seen anyone like Ferdinand before.
She thought en always had grey hair and grey beard, like her father. Prospero asked her what she thought about Ferdinand. At first she said she did not know what he was. She thought Ferdinand was a spirit, because she did not believe a human being could be so good looking.
Then young Ferdinand saw Miranda. He was very surprised, too. At first he thought the music was being played for her, and that she must be a goddess of the island.
Miranda and Ferdinand fell in love immediately. Prospero was pleased about this, for he had planned that they should be married. However, he decided to test the strength of their love.
He spoke very roughly to Ferdinand. He picked a quarrel with him and called him a thief. He said he thought Ferdinand had come there to take the island away from him.
Prospero told Miranda that she should not speak to Ferdinand, because he was someone who would steal their wonderful island from them.
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He also said that he was going to tie Ferdinand up by his neck and feet, give him sea water to drink, and very poor food to eat. Miranda was very unhappy.
Ferdinand was the first young man she had ever seen, and now her father was being unkind to him. She asked her father not to be so hard on him. To her, Ferdinand seemed to be a fine, brave young nobleman, who was not afraid of anything.
But Prospero said that here were many young men in the world who were much better than Ferdinand. Miranda replied that she did not mind; she had no wish to see anyone nicer than him. But it was no good. Prospero refused to listen to his daughter, and he made Ferdinand his prisoner for a while.
The king, Antonio, Sebastian and their noblemen and servants had been wandering about hopelessly on the island, looking for food and a place to sleep.
The noblemen tried to comfort the king, who thought his son had drowned. Some of them said that they thought they had seen Ferdinand swimming towards the shore.
But none of them was very cheerful. One Gonzalo had much to say. He was surprised to see who green the island was. He thought people could live there comfortably if they wanted to. They would be very need to do any work, and their lives would be very easy.
At last, the king, Gonzalo and some of the others fell asleep. Getting away from the storm and wondering about the island had made them very tired. But Antonio and Sebastian, the King’s brother, remained awake.
Antonio was still a very wicked man. He had not changed over the years. He said to Sebastian that as Ferdinand, the king’s son, was dead, Sebastian would become the king of Naples when Alonso died. If they killed the king now, Sebastian could become king of Naples when Alonso died. If they killed the king now, Sebastian could become king of Naples immediately.
They agreed to help one another, and took out their swords. They were going to kill both Alonso and Gonzalo. Just in time, Ariel, who was standing close by them watching what was happening, made a noise in Gonzalo’s ear and woke him up?
Gonzalo saw Sebastian and Antonio standing close to him and the king with swords in their hands. He asked them what they were doing, and they said they had heard a noise and thought there might be some danger. They said they were protecting the king and Gonzalo.
Prospero had commanded Ariel to look after the noblemen, but he had also told him to make them suffer for their evil deeds in Italy. When the king and his friend had woken up, Ariel tricked and puzzled and frightened them with strange sights and sounds.
They began searching for food again. Just as they were losing hope, they heard the sound of peculiar music. Spirits appeared before them, in strange shapes, carrying rich food.
The spirits invited the travelers to eat, and then they disappeared. The hungry men were surprised and delighted, and began to eat. Suddenly Ariel appeared, in the form of a great, ugly bird. He clapped his wings over the table, and the feast disappeared.
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Ariel himself remained before the shocked men, and spoke to them. He called Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian ‘three men of sin’. He remained Alonso and Antonio that they had been very wicked.
He said they were hardly fit to live, for they had sent away the good Prospero from Milan. Without any cause, they had left him and his innocent child in a dangerous boat.
Now they themselves knew all about the danger of storms at sea, and the sea had taken Alonso’s dear son from him. Only one thing could save them from death on this island: sorrow for their evil deeds, and a desire to live a better life in the future.
As soon as Ariel had finished, he vanished. The king and his friends were too surprised to speak. Alonso was very shocked, for he thought he had heard Ariel say that Ferdinand was dead.
He, Antonio and Sebastian at last realized how wicked they had been. They felt so unhappy and ashamed that they could not think anything else.
Three Foolish People
In a different part of the island, Caliban, Propero’s ugly, stupid servant, met two other passengers from the ship.
They were Trinculo and Stefano. Like everyone else, they thought they were the only ones to get away from the ship alive.
They were surprised to meet Caliban, because they also thought no one lived on the island. At first they did not know if he was human or not, he looked so strange and ugly.
Caliban was surprised to meet them, too. They only people he had ever seen before were his mother, and Prospero and Miranda.
Stefano had found some wine from the ship, and he gave some of it to the Caliban to drink. Caliban thought the wine tasted good. He also thought Stefano was very king to give it to him.
Soon Stefano, Trinculo and Caliban had drunk so much wine that they started singing noisy songs, and behaving very foolishly.
Caliban hated Prospero. He thought Prospero had stolen the island from him, and was very cruel to him Caliban liked Stefano and the wine was so much that he decided to server Stefano as his lord from then on.
He told Stefano would then be king of the island, and he could have Miranda as his queen. Stefano and Trinculo both thought Caliban was a strange and stupid person, but they seemed interested in his ideas.
Caliban was very happy — he believed he was free of Prospero at last. He was so happy, he asked Stefano to sing a song with him.
Stefano, Trinculo and Caliban all sang together, but suddenly they stopped. They could hear someone else playing some music, but there was no one else there.
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The tune was a different one from the one they were singing. It seemed very strange. Caliban told the other two not to be frightened. “This island is full of noises, sounds and sweet music,’ he said. ‘It is very pleasant, and never hurts anyone.’ ‘This will be a fine kingdom for me, then,’ said Stefano. ‘I shall have music and it will cost me nothing.’ Then Trinculo noticed that the music seemed to be moving away from them, and they decided to follow it.
Of course, the music was being played by Ariel. He had heard everything they had said, and was now going to make them follow him all around the island.
At Prospero’s Cave
Prospero did not keep Prince Ferdinand tied up for long, but he did give him a tiring job to do. He ordered him to fetch a lot of heavy logs and place them together close to the door of Prospero’s cave.
Miranda could not understand her father’s behavior, and thought he was being very cruel. She sat nearby while Ferdinand, who had never had to do this sort of work before, worked hard.
Prospero Pretended to go away to read, but he watched them secretly and listened to their conversation.
Soon Ferdinand was very tired. Miranda said he should not work so hard. ‘My father is in his room, and will be reading his books for three hours more.
Please rest, ‘she said. But Ferdinand was afraid to disobey Prospero. He hoped the old man would allow him to marry Miranda if he did the work well. ‘I dare not rest. I must finish the work for your father first,’ he said. But Miranda still wanted to help him, and she made another suggestion. “if you will sit down, I will carry your logs for a while. ‘Ferdinand would not agree to let her do such hard work while he sat and rested.
He continued to carry the logs to the cave, and they talked to one another all the time. Prospero was pleased when he heard the things that Miranda and Ferdinand were saying to one another all the time.
Prospero was pleased when he heard the things that Mirando and Ferdinand were saying to one another. He was sure that they really loved each others. So the old man appeared before them, and told them that he would soon allow them to marry. He explained to Ferdinand that he had only been unkind to him to be sure the really loved Miranda.
Prospero told the Prince he could stop working. By this time, Ariel had returned. Prospero ordered him to do something very special for the young pair. The little spirit then mad the goddesses Iris and Ceres appear and later Juno, greatest of all the goddesses.
These wonderful looking people sang to Miranda and Ferinand. Then some more spirits came and danced in front of them. The dance was very joyful until the very last moment.
It ended in confusion when the spirits suddenly stopped their dance, and vanished. This was because at this moment, Prospero had heard, from Ariel, about the plot thought up by Caliban, Stefano and Trinculo.
Prospero now knew that they were coming to murder him, so he went to make some preparations. When Caliban, Stefano and Trinculo arrived at Prospero’s cave, they were all in a very bad temper.
Ariel, playing his beautiful music, had led them through all the roughest parts of the island. They had fallen down into dark boles in the ground, and pools of muddy water.
They were wet, dirty and tired, and they smelled very bad. Caliban got very angry because the other two would not keep quiet.
They spoke to each other very noisily. Caliban thought they would soon be discovered, and then they would not be able to murder Prospero.
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But Stefano and Trinculo took no notice of caliban. They found some silver clothes hanging on a line. Prospero had left them there. When they saw them, they stopped feeling so angry. They liked these clothes very much and began putting them on, joking about it at the same time.
Suddenly they heard the noise of some hunters coming. A few seconds later, a large number of spirits rushed towards them.
The spirits looked like hunters on horses, and there were many more spirits with them, looking like hunting dogs.
They all chased after Caliban, Stefano and Tranculo, and bit them whenever they caught them.
The three ran away in great fear, shouting and screaming as they went. That was the end of the plan to Kill Prospero and makes Stefano the king of the island.
Leaving the Island
Prospero, who only wanted to make his enemies sorry, now ordered Ariel to send the king and his friends to him. Ariel led them to the old man.
At first, neither Antonio nor his brother, nor any of the others with them, recognized Prospero, who was dressed in his magic clothes.
They had no idea that the man they saw was the old ruler of Milan. Prospero reminded them of the cruel way they had treated him and his daughter in the past.
Then he took off his magic clothes, and they saw he was their old ruler. Alonso and Antonio both told Prospero that they were sorry.
The promised to give him back his position as ruler of Milan, and prayed to him to forgive them. The told man did forgive them for all their crimes and welcomed them as friends.
The old man then turned to Alonso and Said, ‘Because you have given me back my kingdom, I will show you something that will give you as much joy.’ He stood back, and there, a little way behind him, Alonso saw his son, sitting with Miranda.
The father and son were both delighted to see each other alive and well. When he saw Mirando, Alonso, like Ferdinand, thought she must be a goddess. ‘No,’ replied Ferdinand smiling at his father. ‘She is not a goddess, but human like the rest of us.
But the gods have allowed her to be my wife. She is the daughter of the ruler of Milan. After our marriage, he will be my father also.’ Alonso replied, ‘Then that marriage will make me her father, too. So I must ask my daughter to forgive me for my crime against her father.’
Prospero said that they should all forget the past, and that night, he gave a feast. Caliban, his slave, served the guest.
Everyone was very surprised by the sight of this ugly creature. The king and his friend wondered how they would be able to get back to Italy.
Only Prospero and Miranda knew that the travelers’ ship had not been destroyed, and that the sailors had not been downed.
Ariel had done his work well ___ all the sailors were safe, and the ship was whole. As they were talking at the feat, Gonzalo saw some sailors coming towards them.
The men were delighted to see that all their royal passengers were alive, and Prospero’s new friends were relieved to hear that the ship was still safe and strong.
‘Tonight you must rest here,’ said Prospero to his friends, ‘and I will amuse you with the interesting story of my life after I left Italy.
Tomorrow, I will show you your ship, and we will set off for Naples. In Naples, Ferdinand and Miranda will be married.
Afterwards, I hope to return to Milan, and to rule there till I die.’ The Next day, they all left the island. Prospero said goodbye to his faithful spirits, and especially to Ariel.
He freed Ariel to go where he liked, but the spirit asked to be allowed to stay with the ship until it reached Naples.
He wanted to make sure that they all arrived home safely. Before he left until it reached Naples. Before he left the island, Prospero buried his magic books, for they had decided never to use his magic powers again.
His wishes had all come true ___ he was friends with his brother again, he would live and rule in Milan again and his daughter would be Queen of Naples. He did not need magic any more.
Take a time and comment what did you learned from this story?