The Tempest – Act 4 – Question Answer

In this post, we present explanations and context discussions from selected sections of the drama The Tempest, Act 4. We explain and discuss different sets of dialogues in this drama. The Tempest is a play by English playwright William Shakespeare. It is included in the ISC syllabus (English Literature for class 11 and class 12). Students of class 11 and class 12 of the ISC board (Indian School Certificate) will find this post quite helpful.

[ Also see: The Tempest Act 3, scene 1 notes ]

The Tempest – Act 4 – Question & Answer, class notes for ISC

Prospero to Ferdinand – Dialogue 1

PROSPERO

If I have too austerely [harshly] punished you, Your compensation [reward] makes amends,[makes up for it] for I Have given you here a thrid of mine own life[integral part] – Or that for which I live — who once again I tender [offer] to thy hand.

All thy vexations [hardships] Were but my trials [tests] of thy love and thou Hast strangely stood the test.

Here, afore heaven, I ratify [approve] this my rich gift.

O Ferdinand, Do not smile at me that I boast of her, For thou shalt find she will outstrip [exceed] all praise And make it halt behind her.

Explanations:

Prospero said this to Ferdinand.

In this scene, Prospero was found satisfied with the progress of Miranda’s romance with Ferdinand.

Prospero wanted Ferdinand to fall in love with Miranda. To test Ferdinand’s love for Miranda he forced Ferdinand, the prince of Naples, to lead a slave’s life. Ferdinand successfully passed Prospero’s test by toiling hard without making any complaints.

Prospero was talking to Ferdinand about the punishment he[Ferdinand] received and the reward he was going to receive in lieu of that punishment. As a reward, Prospero wished to offer Miranda to Ferdinand as a life partner.

Prospero admitted that he had been quite harsh to Ferdinand, but his reward was going to compensate for the punishment he received. Prospero approved the love between Ferdinand and Miranda. He offered his daughter Miranda to Ferdinand’s hands so that they could marry.

Miranda was an integral part of Prospero’s life, hence that reward was precious. [Here, as compensation for Ferdinand, Prospero meant to offer Miranda to Ferdinand. Miranda was the reward to Ferdinand.]

Prospero also admitted to Ferdinand that all the trouble he gave Ferdinand was just to test Ferdinand’s love for Miranda, and Ferdinand had passed that test with flying colours. Hence, before God, Prospero promised to offer Miranda to Ferdinand.

Prospero asked Ferdinand not to laugh at Prospero for praising Miranda so highly because Ferdinand would certainly discover in due course that Miranda was far beyond all these praises given to her.

Ferdinand to Prospero – Dialogue 2

FERDINAND

I do believe it Against an oracle.

Explanations:

Ferdinand said this to Miranda.

Earlier Prospero asked Ferdinand not to laugh at Prospero for praising Miranda so highly because Ferdinand would certainly discover in due course that Miranda was far beyond all these praises given to her.

Then Ferdinand said that he believed the words of Prospero and would never doubt his praises about Miranda even if an Oracle said otherwise.

Prospero to Ferdinand – Dialogue 3

PROSPERO

Then as my gift and thine own acquisition

Worthily purchased, take my daughter.

Explanations:

In this scene, Prospero was found satisfied with the progress of Miranda’s romance with Ferdinand.

Prospero wanted Ferdinand to fall in love with Miranda. To test Ferdinand’s love for Miranda he forced Ferdinand, the prince of Naples, to lead a slave’s life. Ferdinand successfully passed Prospero’s test by toiling hard without making any complaints.

Hence, Prospero approved of the love between Ferdinand and Miranda.

He offered his daughter Miranda as a gift to Ferdinand’s hands so that they could marry. Ferdinand really toiled hard to pass the test put forth by Prospero. Hence, Prospero described Miranda as Ferdinand’s “own acquisition Worthily purchased”.

Prospero to Ferdinand | Prospero to Ariel – Dialogue 4

PROSPERO

Sit then and talk with her. She is thine own. What, Ariel! My industrious servant, Ariel!

Explanations:

Prospero approved the love between Ferdinand and Miranda. He offered his daughter Miranda as a gift to Ferdinand’s hands so that they could marry.

Then Prospero called Ariel, the spirit. Prospero had to celebrate the engagement of Miranda and Ferdinand. Hence, he wanted to entertain them with a great magic show using the spirits under his control. That’s why Prospero called Ariel.

Prospero to Ariel – Dialogue 5

PROSPERO

Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service

Did worthily perform, and I must use you

In such another trick. Go bring the rabble,

O’er whom I give thee power, here to this place.

Incite them to quick motion, for I must

Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple [present before the young couple]

Some vanity [illusion] of mine art [magic]. It is my promise,
And they expect it from me.

Explanation:

Prospero said this to Ariel.

Thou and thy meaner fellows” refers to Ariel and other spirits under the control of Ariel.

“Last service” – Here Prospero praised Ariel and other spirits as they performed quite well in their last task assigned by Prospero.

What was the last service mentioned here? Here the last service refers to the previous task performed by Ariel and its fellow spirits as instructed by Prospero. In their last task, Ariel and other spirits showed a magical illusion to Alonso and his company. Ariel convicted the ‘three men of sin’.

“Young couple” referred to Miranda and Ferdinand.

Here, Prospero wanted to engage Ariel and its fellow spirits in a similar trick.

Hence Prospero ordered Ariel to bring other spirits under control of Ariel there quickly.

Prospero had a plan to give Miranda and Ferdinand a small display of his magic powers. He had promised them to do so, and they were expecting the show.

Ariel to Prospero – Dialogue 6

ARIEL

Before you can say “Come” and “Go,”

And breathe twice and cry “So, so!”

Each one, tripping on his toe,

Will be here with mop and mow [ make a face, pout]

Do you love me, master, no?

Explanations:

Ariel said this to Prospero.

Prospero had a plan to give Miranda and Ferdinand a small display of his magic powers with the help of Ariel and other spirits. Hence Prospero ordered Ariel to bring all other spirits under its control quickly.

Here, Ariel was responding to Prospero by saying that in a jiffy it would bring all the spirits in front of Prospero.

Here, Ariel asked its master Prospero whether he loved it or not.

Ariel knew that its freedom depended on its performance to execute Prospero’s order. Ariel always matched or exceeded its master’s expectations and knew its freedom was nearby. It just wanted to know its master’s feeling about him here. It was like getting feedback from the master about one’s performance.

Prospero to Ariel – Dialogue 7

Prospero

Dearly. Now come, my Ariel! Bring a corollary,[additional memeber]

Rather than want [lack of] a spirit. Appear and pertly

No tongue. All eyes! Be silent.

Explanations:

Prospero said this to Ariel. Ariel was a spirit under the control of Prospero.

Prospero had a plan to give Miranda and Ferdinand a small display of his magic powers with the help of Ariel and other spirits. Hence Prospero ordered Ariel to bring all other spirits under its control quickly.

Here Prospero ordered Ariel to bring additional spirits if available, as he didn’t prefer to have any lack of participants in his magical illusion.

selected Dialogues of the Goddesses (actually said by the spirits in the guise of various goddesses)

IRIS

A contract of true love to celebrate,

And some donation freely to estate

On the blessed lovers.

CERES

Highest queen of state,

Great Juno, comes. I know her by her gait.[manner of walking]

JUNO

How does my bounteous sister? Go with me

To bless this twain that they may prosperous be,

And honored in their issue.

JUNO

(sings)

Honor, riches, marriage, blessing,

Long continuance, and increasing,

Hourly joys be still upon you.

Juno sings her blessings on you.

CERES

Earth’s increase, foison plenty,

Barns and garners never empty,

Vines and clustering bunches growing,

Plants with goodly burden bowing

Spring come to you at the farthest

In the very end of harvest.

Scarcity and want shall shun you.

Ceres’ blessing so is on you.

Explanation:

In honour of the engagement of the young lovers Miranda and Ferdinand, Prospero presented a small display of his magic powers with the help of Ariel and other spirits.

The spirits performed a masque and appeared in the guise of various goddesses. The illusion of three goddesses, Iris (the goddess of the rainbow), Ceres (the goddess of agriculture and all the fruits on the earth), and Juno (the wife of Jupiter) appeared in front of Ferdinand and Miranda. The magical images of Ceres and Juno blessed the lovers and thus celebrated their engagement.

[ Also see: The Tempest Act 3, scene 1 notes ]

The Tempest – Act 4 – Question Answer
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