The Tempest – Act 3, scene 1 – Question Answer

In this post, we present selected questions from The Tempest, Act 3, scene 1. We also answer the questions listed. The Tempest is a play by English playwright William Shakespeare. It is included in the ISC syllabus for class 11 and class 12. ISC (Indian School Certificate) students of class 11 and class 12 will find this post quite helpful. In this post, we have taken different dialogues between the characters like Ferdinand, Miranda, and Prospero and discussed the meaning and essence in detail.

[Also see The Tempest Act 4 Notes]

The Tempest – Act 3, scene 1 – Question & Answer, class notes for ISC

The Tempest is a play by English playwright William Shakespeare. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss different pieces of dialogues from Act III, scene 1 of The play The Tempest. Here, we find that all the dialogues are between Ferdinand and Miranda, where Prospero was watching them and sometimes talking to himself. ISC students of class 11 and class 12 can get benefits from the following class notes.

Ferdinand to Miranda – Dialogue 1

FERDINAND

There be some sports are painful, and their labor Delight in them sets off.

Some kinds of baseness Are nobly undergone.

And most poor matters Point to rich ends.

This my mean task Would be as heavy to me as odious, but

The mistress which I serve quickens what’s dead

And makes my labors pleasures.

Oh, she is Ten times more gentle than her father’s crabbed,

And he’s composed of harshness.

I must remove Some thousands of these logs and pile them up, Upon a sore injunction.

My sweet mistress Weeps when she sees me work, and says such baseness Had never like executor.

I forget, But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labors, Most busiest when I do it.

FERDINAND

Word meaning

odious – extremely unpleasant; repulsive

mistress – woman, lady

crabbed – bad-tempered

sore injunction – painful order/command

Explanation

Ferdinand was saying all these to himself.

The locale was Prospero’s place on the island.

Ferdinand was carrying wood willingly to prove his love for Miranda.

Ferdinand was wise enough to understand that some games are difficult, but the hard work they require brings in more pleasure. Some kinds of lowly [humble] activities are done for noble reasons. Most of the hated [despised, poor] things can lead to rich results.

Ferdinand would have found the undignified [humiliating] job of carrying wood as an unpleasant one, but the woman [Miranda] for whom he was doing the work made his work wonderful.

The woman pointed out by Ferdinand was Miranda, daughter of Prospero. Ferdinand was in deep love with Miranda, but he was a captive of Prospero. Hence, under Prospero’s instruction order Ferdinand had to do undignified works like carrying wood.

Ferdinand found Miranda as a kind woman and to him she was ten times kinder than her nasty and bad-tempered father Prospero.

[crabbed, Sore injunction] – Ferdinand found Prospero to be nasty because Prospero had strictly ordered Ferdinand to move thousands of logs and put them in a stack.

Miranda used to cry when she saw Ferdinand toil hard under her father’s order. She used to comment that such lowly work had never been done by a noble person like Ferdinand. [ Miranda was in love with Ferdinand and she wanted to be his wife. Hence Ferdinand’s hardship and pain were intolerable/unbearable to her.]

Ferdinand found Miranda’s behavior and thoughts to be very soothing. Her sweet thoughts used to refresh him. Her thoughts made him forget that he was working, especially when he was working the hardest.

Miranda to Ferdinand – Dialogue 2

MIRANDA

Alas now, pray you, Work not so hard. I would the lightning had Burnt up those logs that you are enjoined to pile!

Pray, set it down and rest you.

When this burns,

‘Twill weep for having wearied you. My father Is hard at study.

Pray now, rest yourself. He’s safe for these three hours.

Explanation:

Miranda said this to Ferdinand. The locale was Prospero’s place on the island.

Ferdinand was carrying wood as he was strictly instructed by Prospero to move thousands of logs and put them in a stack.

Miranda was in love with Ferdinand and she wanted to be his wife. Hence Ferdinand’s hardship and pain were intolerable/unbearable to her. Here, she was requesting Ferdinand to stop working and take some rest as her father Prospero was busy with his study.

Miranda was so much moved by Ferdinand’s hardship that her anger fell upon the logs Ferdinand was carrying as she found those to be the real cause of his misfortune. She wished to have the logs burned up by the lightning. She also wished that when the wood would burn, it would cry because it made Ferdinand tired.

[She cursed that the logs would be burnt up by the lightning and while burning the wood would repent [regret] for making Ferdinand tired.]

Ferdinand and Miranda – Dialogue 3

FERDINAND

O most dear mistress, The sun will set before I shall discharge

What I must strive to do.

MIRANDA

If you’ll sit down, I’ll bear your logs the while. Pray, give me that. I’ll carry it to the pile.

FERDINAND

No, precious creature.

I had rather crack my sinews, break my back, Than you should such dishonor undergo While I sit lazy by.

MIRANDA

It would become me As well as it does you, and I should do it

With much more ease, for my good will is to it And yours it is against.

meaning of the dialogues in modern English

FERDINAND

Oh, my dear lady, the sun will set before I’ve finished the work I’ve been told to do.

MIRANDA

If you’ll sit down, I’ll carry your logs for a while. Please, give them to me. I’ll carry it to the pile.

FERDINAND

No, my precious darling, I’d rather tear my muscles and break my back than let you do such dishonorable work while I sit lazily nearby.

MIRANDA

The work would suit me as much as it suits you, and it would be easier for me because I want to do it, whereas you do not.

Explanation:

Miranda requested Ferdinand to stop working and take some rest as her father Prospero was busy with his study. But Ferdinand wished to continue with the work he was instructed to do as he had to do it before the sunset.

Miranda wanted to work instead of Ferdinand, as she was not ready to see him toil anymore. But Ferdinand was not ready to allow his love [Miranda] to carry logs. He was ready to tear his own muscles and break his own back but he was not ready to see her doing that humiliating[undignified] work.

Miranda was not ready to give up and she continued to argue by saying that the work suited her as much as it suited Ferdinand. She also put forth an argument saying that the work would be easier to her to carry on as she would be doing that willingly [to save Ferdinand], while Ferdinand was doing that under compulsion.

Prospero – Dialogue 4

PROSPERO

(aside) Poor worm, thou art infected! This visitation shows it.

Meaning of the above in modern English

PROSPERO

(to himself) You poor weak thing, you’re in love! I can see it clearly now

or

[To himself] Poor little thing, you’re overwhelmed by love! These lovesick words prove it.

Explanation:

Prospero said this to himself.

He was telling this about her daughter Miranda.

He was watching Miranda and Ferdinand and listening to their conversation from some hiding. From Miranda’s behavior and words, Prospero clearly understood that Miranda was in deep love with Ferdinand.

‘Poor worm’ means poor weak or helpless thing. Miranda was so much in love with Ferdinand that she sounded and behaved like a helpless woman who was too keen to surrender herself to her love. That’s why Prospero said this.

Prospero was happy because his plan to unite his daughter Miranda with Ferdinand, the would-be king of Naples was getting successful.

Miranda’s words helped Prospero to understand her love for Ferdinand:

Miranda requested Ferdinand to stop working and take some rest. When he didn’t agree to stop working, Miranda even offered to work instead of Ferdinand, as she was not ready to see him toil anymore. She also said that the work suited her as much as it suited Ferdinand. She also put forth an argument saying that the work would be easier to her to carry on as she would be doing that willingly [to save Ferdinand], while Ferdinand was doing that under compulsion. Out of her love for Ferdinand, She even cursed the wood Ferdinand had to carry. All these helped Prospero understand that Miranda was in deep love with Ferdinand.

Miranda and Ferdinand – Dialogue 5

MIRANDA

You look wearily.

FERDINAND

No, noble mistress. ‘Tis fresh morning with me When you are by at night. I do beseech you—Chiefly that I might set it in my prayers—What is your name?

word meaning:

wearily – tired | beseech – beg /request

Explanation:

Miranda requested Ferdinand to stop working and take some rest. But he didn’t agree to stop working. Miranda said this to him at that moment.

Ferdinand didn’t admit that he was tired at all. Rather he said that Miranda’s company kept him as fresh and strong as he was in the morning. He also begged to know her name so that he could use her name in his prayers.

Ferdinand fell in love with Miranda. Miranda’s care for him won his heart. He wanted to pray to God for his union with her. Hence he wanted to know her name so that he could use that name in his prayers.

Miranda – Dialogue 6

MIRANDA

Miranda.—O my father,

I have broke your hest to say so!

Explanation:

Ferdinand wanted to know the name of Prospero’s daughter so that he could use that name in his prayers.

The lady, Miranda didn’t hesitate to share her name with the man she loved. But at that very moment, she could remember her father’s prohibition to do so. Then she said the above-mentioned words.

Ferdinand to Miranda – Dialogue 7

FERDINAND

Admired Miranda!

Indeed the top of admiration, worth What’s dearest to th’ world!

Full many a lady I have eyed with best regard and many a time

Th’ harmony of their tongues hath into bondage Brought my too diligent ear.

For several virtues Have I liked several women.

Never any With so full soul but some defect in her Did quarrel with the noblest grace she owed

And put it to the foil.

But you, O you,

So perfect and so peerless, are created Of every creature’s best.

Explanation

Ferdinand here appreciated Miranda and said that Miranda deserved the utmost admiration, as much as the most treasured thing in the world.

Ferdinand here admitted that he had seen many women with attention. He had been enchanted by their sweet voices and nice words. He had liked many of these women for their good qualities. But there was something wrong with each one of these ladies that blotted their excellent qualities and canceled them out. But Ferdinand found his experience with Miranda to be entirely different. To him, Miranda was perfect without a rival in the world as she was made up of the best qualities of every woman.

Miranda to Ferdinand – Dialogue 8

MIRANDA

I do not know One of my sex, no woman’s face remember—

Save, from my glass, mine own. Nor have I seen More that I may call men than you, good friend, And my dear father. How features are abroad I am skill-less of, but, by my modesty, The jewel in my dower, I would not wish

Any companion in the world but you, Nor can imagination form a shape Besides yourself to like of.

But I prattle Something too wildly, and my father’s precepts therein do forget.

Word meaning

prattle – chatter needlessly

precepts – order, instructions

Explanation

Miranda said this to Ferdinand.

Ferdinand appreciated Miranda and said that Miranda deserved the utmost admiration as she was a perfect woman with the greatest qualities.

Miranda said this in response to Ferdinand’s words of appreciation.

Here, Miranda had expressed her love for Ferdinand.

She said that she had never seen or known a woman’s face – except her own in the mirror. And she had never met any men besides her father and Ferdinand. She even had no idea what people looked like in other places. But she swore by her modesty that she had never wanted any companion in the world other than Ferdinand.

But I prattle Something too wildly, and my father’s precepts therein do forget.” – Miranda knew that she was a bit talkative in nature, and that’s why Prospero asked her not to talk much needlessly. But here she admitted that she often failed to remember her father’s advice and used to talk much most of the time.

Ferdinand to Miranda – Dialogue 9

FERDINAND

I am in my condition

A prince, Miranda—I do think, a king;

I would, not so!—and would no more endure

This wooden slavery than to suffer

The flesh-fly blow my mouth. Hear my soul speak.

The very instant that I saw you did

My heart fly to your service, there resides

To make me slave to it, and for your sake

Am I this patient log-man

Explanation 1:

Ferdinand said this to Miranda.

Miranda swore [by her modesty] that she had never wanted any companion in the world other than Ferdinand. Then Ferdinand said the above lines.

Explanation 2:

I am in my condition A prince, Miranda—I do think, a king; I would, not so!” – Ferdinand said that he was a prince by birth, but probably he had already become a king then; though he didn’t wish to be a king at that time. He said so because he guessed that his father King Alonso had lost his life due to the shipwreck and that made Ferdinand a king, by default. He clearly said that he was not at all happy to be a king in this way, as he was really sorry after losing his father.

Explanation 3:

and would no more endure This wooden slavery than to suffer The flesh-fly blow my mouth.” – Ferdinand said that he was a prince by birth, and probably his father’s sudden death had made him a king. Hence, for a man like him accepting a slave’s job [of carrying wood] was as intolerable [unbearable] as allowing dirty flies to fly into his mouth.

Explanation 4:

Hear my soul speak

The very instant that I saw you did

My heart fly to your service, there resides

To make me slave to it, and for your sake

Am I this patient log-man

– Ferdinand here expressed his thoughts from the bottom of his soul. According to him the very moment he saw Miranda, his heart rushed to serve her, and it remained there as her servant. So just for Miranda, he patiently carried these logs.

Dialogue 9 – Explanation (1 to 4) Summary:

Here Ferdinand had opened up his mind and expressed the real reason behind his acceptance of a slave’s job. He was a prince by birth, and his father’s sudden death might have made him a king. Hence, for a man like him accepting a slave’s job [of carrying wood] was as intolerable [unbearable] as allowing dirty flies to fly into his mouth. According to him the very moment he saw Miranda, his heart rushed to serve her, and it remained there as her servant. So just for Miranda, he patiently carried these logs.

Miranda and Ferdinand – Dialogue 10

MIRANDA

Do you love me?

FERDINAND

O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound

And crown what I profess with kind event

If I speak true! If hollowly, invert

What best is boded me to mischief! I

Beyond all limit of what else i’ th’ world

Do love, prize, honor you.

Explanation

Miranda here wanted to confirm whether Ferdinand loved her. [She wanted to know whether he reciprocated the love Miranda had for him.]

Here Ferdinand swore in the name of heaven and the earth and confirmed his love for Miranda.

He also wished that if his words were true then he should be awarded a piece of good luck and on the other hand, if he had told a lie then it should cause an ill-luck for him.

He also emphasized that he loved, cherished, and honored Miranda more than anything else in the world.

Conclusion (The Tempest – Act 3, scene 1 for ISC)

In this post, we have covered 10 pieces of dialogues between the main characters and discussed the word meaning, sentence meaning, context, and explained the scenario or situation, so that students can use the explanations to answer related questions in different examinations, including ISC board (class 11 and class 12). We will add more related content soon. [Also see The Tempest Act 4 Notes]

The Tempest – Act 3, scene 1 – Question Answer
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