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Examination Questions on The Tempest

1. Did the storm described in the first scene suggest the title of the play?

2. Is Shakespeare's description of this storm technically accurate?

3. Why does Shakespeare begin this play with the description of a storm?

4. What further dramatic function does the storm now have?

5. What does Prospero's mantle symbolize?

6. Why does he lay his mantle aside when he begins to relate to Miranda the circumstances of their previous lives?

7. What does Prospero say regarding his love of study and of books?

8. What is the dramatic purpose of the quarrel between Prospero and Ariel?

9. Who is Sycorax?

10. What has Shakespeare accomplished in Act I of The Tempest?

11. Who is Claribel? What dramatic purpose is attained by the references to Claribel?

12. In what way does Caliban manifest his mental and moral degradation?

13. Why was Caliban so much shrewder than Stephano and Trinculo?

14. Why does Shakespeare introduce here the game of chess?

15. Of what is Prospero the personification?

16. What is the nature and function of Ariel? Why is he invisible to every one in the play except Prospero?

17. In The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare portrays man in connection with the supernatural. What is the principal difference between the plays so far as they relate to this subject?

18. What does Prospero say about the conspiracy against his life? What effect does the recollection of the conspiracy have upon Prospero?


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 Magic, Books, and the Supernatural in The Tempest
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 Introduction to Prospero
 Introduction to Miranda
 Introduction to Caliban
 Introduction to Ariel

 Staging The Tempest
 The Contrast Between Ariel and Caliban in Shakespeare's Tempest
 The Relationship Between Miranda and Ferdinand

 The Tempest: Stages of Plot Development
 The Significance of The Tempest to the Editors of the First Folio
 Exploring the Nature of Shakespearean Comedy
 Blank Verse, Prose, and Diction in Shakespeare's Tempest

 How to Pronounce the Names in The Tempest
 The Tempest: Plot Summary
 Famous Quotations from The Tempest
 Shakespeare Quotations (by Theme)

 Quotations About William Shakespeare
 Why Shakespeare is so Important
 Shakespeare's Language
 Shakespeare's Boss: The Master of Revels
 How many plays did Shakespeare write?

 Queen Elizabeth: Shakespeare's Patron
 Shakespeare's Attention to Details
 Shakespeare's Portrayals of Sleep
 Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama

 Shakespeare Timeline: Part 1 (1558-1599)
 A Shakespeare Timeline: Part 2 (1600-1604)
 A Shakespeare Timeline: Part 3 (1605-1616)
Caliban. Illustration by Charles A. Buchel, 1904.