EuiYoung Tempest Quotations
“Good wombs have borne bad sons.”
Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 119
This quotation means that ethical women can give birth to dreadful sons. During
Shakespeare’s time, a good woman could also mean a woman from a noble or royal family.
So a man from a noble bloodline, in this case Antonio, can be as disobedient or mischievous as a man from a lower class, giving the reader a glimpse of who Antonio really is. “You taught me language, and my profit on't
Is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!”
Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 362364
This quotation reflects the unstable relationship between Miranda and Prospero, and Caliban.
Caliban sees Prospero as an autocrat, while Prospero and Miranda believe they have educated Caliban and cared for him before he tried to rape Miranda. Language, an important aspect in Prospero’s and Miranda’s culture and identity, is abhorred by Caliban. He believes that by learning Prospero’s language, it has changed him for the worse. The significance of this quotation is that it portrays the relationship between the colonialists (Prospero and
Miranda) and natives (Caliban). Throughout history, natives that were colonized suffered for the actions of the colonialists, and were left bitter and furious, just like Caliban. “Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a seachange
Into something rich and strange.
Seanymphs hourly ring his knell.”
Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 397403
This quotation from Ariel describes Alonso’s supposed drowning to Ferdinand, convincing him that his father is dead. She tells Ferdinand that his father will not decay in the sea because his bones will turn into coral and his eyes will turn into pearls. On lines 401402, Ferdinand is told the sea will change his father into something better, “rich and strange”(Act 1, Scene 2, Line
402). Alonso being five fathoms deep could mean that his thoughts are very complex and the changes he is experiencing are affecting him down to his bones.The changes could allude to how Alonso’s life changed when he saw Ferdinand alive with Miranda and met Prospero again, reinstating him as the Duke of Milan. This quotation uses metaphors for bones as coral and eyes as pearls. It also uses symbolism, representing pearls as the eyes of royalty.
“I' the commonwealth I would by contraries
Execute all things, for no kind of traffic
Would I admit; no name of magistrate;
Letters should not be known; riches; poverty,
And use of service, none; contract, succession,
Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none;
No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil;
No occupation, all men idle, all,
And women too, but innocent and pure;”
Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 145153
In this quotation, Gonzalo explains what the island would look like if he ruled it, a utopia.
Everything the people would own would be from the land and everyone would live a leisurely life, with no occupation. There would be no business (traffic), government (magistrate), education (Letters) and servants (service). The quotations significance lies in the fact that the life described by Gonzalo is reminiscent of Caliban’s lifestyle. It implies that colonizers such as Prospero are more savage than natives (Caliban) because colonization destroys the serene lifestyle of the natives. The theme of Caliban not being a savage but corrupted by
Prospero’s education and colonization of the island is repeated throughout the play. “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”
Act 2, Scene 2, Line 39
This quotation is very witty and literally means that Trinculo must share his personal space and lie down with Caliban, a stranger, in order to avoid the terrible storm. The strangeness that Trinculo talks about can have a variety of meanings, including foreign,