Synopsis of Act 1 Scene 2 of The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Overview of The Tempest Act 1 Scene 2

Summary from The Tempest Act 1 Scene 2

The second scene carries on with the exposition, making us aware of the background for the tempest and the shipwreck. A lengthy narration of the past events, beginning with the plot against Prospero and his subsequent exile from his dukedom is told to his daughter Miranda. Prospero's obsession with studies of philosophy and magic makes him lose interest in the day-to-day governing of his dukedom. He entrusted the governance to his brother Antonio. who became over-ambitious and wished to hold complete power. With the help of King of Naples, he overthrew his brother. The audience learns how Prospero and his three-year-old daughter were put in a ship which even the rats had abandoned. Fortunately, a good-hearted person Gonzalo had placed some food and magic books on the ship with the help of which, Prospero escaped and survived on the uninhabited island. He took control of supernatural powers like Ariel and Caliban and ruled the island. His daughter grew up to be a graceful young lady with fine feelings and manners. Ferdinand, son of Alonso, is brought in front of Miranda. They fall in love at first sight, as planned by Prospero.

Critical Analysis of The Tempest Act 1 Scene 2

The scene introduces the theme of villainy and retribution. Prospero masterminds the meeting with his enemies to make them realize the magnitude of the crime they have committed. It also gives an insight into the main characters of the play. Miranda's sweet nature and her concern for the shipwrecked, is made evident. We come to know about Prospero's interest in philosophy and magic and how this interest led to his losing power. The past life of Ariel and Caliban is also revealed. How Prospero, with his superior intelligence and power, becomes the master of the island is an interesting development to note. Moreover, the evil that exists in the human mind is represented by Antonio, Sebastian and Alonso.


perdition - damnation;
meddle - intrude in one's affairs or business:
direful - extremely bad:
perdition - damnation;
inquisition - severe inquiry:
warrants - justifies:
perfidious - treacherous, deceitful;
signories - states, provinces:
prerogative - a right reserved exclusively by a person or group:
ignoble - dishonourable;
homage - special respect or honour;
coronet - a small crown:
verdure - green foliage:
inveterate - confirmed,
impertinent - insolent;
bountiful - in abundance;
dulling - becoming less intense, lessen, decrease:
zenith - highest point;
blemish - a small mark or flaw:
grudge - complaining, reluctance:
malignant - evil in nature;
diligence - alertness:
heaviness - the property of having great weight;
unwholesome - unhealthy, poisonous.
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