The Tempest | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Course Hero. "The Tempest Study Guide." September 23, 2016. Accessed January 21, 2019.


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The Tempest | Scene Summaries

See Scene Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Day 1, middle of storm

    King of Naples's ship wrecks.

    Act 1, Scene 1
  • During shipwreck

    Prospero tells his daughter, Miranda, how his dukedom was taken from him.

    Act 1, Scene 2
  • After shipwreck

    Ferdinand, though grieving his father, sees Miranda and the two fall in love.

    Act 1, Scene 2
  • At same time

    Antonio gives Sebastian the idea to murder King Alonso and take control.

    Act 2, Scene 1
  • At same time

    Caliban is discovered by Stephano and Trinculo; they make a plan to kill Prospero.

    Act 2, Scene 2
  • Some time later

    Ariel spreads a magical feast before the king's men and reminds them of their guilt.

    Act 3, Scene 3
  • At same time

    Prospero throws a celebratory masque in honor of Ferdinand and Miranda's betrothal.

    Act 4, Scene 1
  • A short time later

    Prospero and Ariel frighten off Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo.

    Act 4, Scene 1
  • Toward end of Day 1

    Prospero forgives the king and his men first and then Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo.

    Act 5, Scene 1
  • End of Day 1

    Prospero finishes the play and asks the audience to free him through their applause.


Scene Summaries Chart

Scene Summary
Act 1, Scene 1 The sailors onboard a ship are caught in a fierce and raging thunderstorm on their journey from the north coast of Afric... Read More
Act 1, Scene 2 On the shore of their island home Prospero and Miranda watch the ship being destroyed in the storm. Miranda suspects tha... Read More
Act 2, Scene 1 The scene opens with everyone from the king's party except Ferdinand. Gonzalo encourages the nobles to see the good in t... Read More
Act 2, Scene 2 As this scene opens Caliban is cursing his master, Prospero, whom he believes has cursed him by sending spirits to provo... Read More
Act 3, Scene 1 The action returns to Ferdinand and Miranda's story as Prospero watches in secret. Ferdinand is carrying logs as require... Read More
Act 3, Scene 2 The drunken trio of Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo returns. Caliban's complaints against Prospero are ongoing, and he p... Read More
Act 3, Scene 3 After a long search for Ferdinand, the king and his party are exhausted and have given up hope of finding the prince. As... Read More
Act 4, Scene 1 This scene begins with Prospero acknowledging that he has only been testing Ferdinand and Miranda's love. Now that he kn... Read More
Act 5, Scene 1 and Epilogue Prospero, accompanied by Ariel, enters the stage wearing his magic robes again. He has everything under control: "Now do... Read More
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