Quotes

The Tempest/#1/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Give thanks you have lived so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for
the mischance of the hour.”

Answer:  Act 1, Scene 1,
Lines 25-27.  Boatswain to
passengers.  A terrifying storm has quickly developed near an isolated, remote island in the Mediterranean. The ship’s boatswain knows that the storm is serious and that he must protect both the passengers and the ship. But the passengers, for the most part royalty, pester him, suspect that he and the crew are up to the challenge. The Boatswain cries out to the men to go below. He offers them this quote.

The Tempest/#2/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “I might call him a thing divine, for nothing natural I ever saw so
noble.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 498-500.  Miranda to Prospero.  Miranda is fifteen. She is Prospero’s only child. The two of them have been on this remote Mediterranean island since she was three, and they’ve been pretty much alone. There is another man on the island, named Caliban, a misshapen being, who was there when they arrived. He is now Prospero’s servant. We’ll get to Caliban later. The storm was not as serious as we were first led to believe, all surviving. But the survivors, royalty, mostly, find themselves on the isolated island, without much more than the clothes on their backs, believing that their ship has sunk. The episode was all a product of Prospero’s unusual skills as a magician. Twelve years ago Prospero was the duke of Milan. He and his three year old daughter were then sent out to sea, his brother unseating him. They ended here on this remote island. Miranda sees the young, handsome Ferdinand, the prince, heir to Naples crown. He was on the ship that appears to have sunk. Ferdinand has been separated from the other men. She offers her father this quote. Her father is pleased with this turn of events; aside he thanks Ariel, his spirit-servant. Ariel, like Prospero, has unusual skills. We’ll soon learn more about Ariel. We’ll also learn more about Prospero.

The Tempest/#3/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “This swift business I must uneasy make, lest too light winning make the prize
light.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 544-545. Prospero to himself. As we say, Ferdinand, the prince of Naples, separated from his father, the king, and others at the time of the supposed shipwreck, happens upon Miranda and her father. She sighs when she sees him. When he first sees her, he says I will “make you the Queen of Naples.” Prospero says “They are both in either’s powers.” Prospero then offers this quote. This quote is central to the play.

The Tempest/#4/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “My father’s of a better nature, sir, than he appears by speech.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 606-607.  Miranda to Ferdinand.  As we say, Prospero is very pleased that his daughter and Ferdinand are caught up in each other. But he wants to slow down the romance, hoping to make the prize of winning each other well earned. Prospero calls Ferdinand a traitor and wants to “manacle his neck and feet together.” Aside, Miranda tries to comfort Ferdinand, offering this quote.

The Tempest/#5/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “You rub the sore when you should bring the bandage.”

Answer:  Act 2, Scene 1,
Lines 149-150.  Gonzalo to
Sebastian.  Sebastian has just told Alonso, the shipwrecked king of Naples, that “We have lost your son, I fear, forever. Milan and Naples have more widows in them than we bring men to comfort them. The fault’s your own.” Sebastian is Alonso’s brother. Gonzalo was very important to Prospero and Miranda some twelve years ago when he provided them with provisions (and Prospero’s magic books) the night they were put out to sea in a small craft by Antonio, Prospero’s brother. Antonio had usurped Prospero’s title as duke of Milan, Antonio being the younger. Antonio’s claim was that Prospero was spending too much time developing his magic skills when he should have been spending more time managing Milan. Ever-upbeat Gonzalo berates Sebastian, telling him “The truth you speak doth lack some gentleness and the appropriate time to speak it.” Gonzalo proceeds to offer Sebastian this quote.

The Tempest/#6/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “It is foul weather in us all, good sir, when you are cloudy.”

Answer:  Act 2, Scene 1,
Lines 153-154.  Gonzalo to Alonzo.  The shipwrecked men appear to be trapped on a remote, uninhabited island in the Mediterranean. Their survival seems unlikely. Gonzalo is constantly upbeat. Alonzo, the king and leader of the beleaguered men, has “lost” his daughter and his son, so it seems. The men were returning from Africa where Alonso’s daughter Claribel had married the king of Tunis. Alonso is seriously discouraged. Thinking of all the men, all discouraged, Gonzalo offers the king this quote.

The Tempest/#7/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Receding men indeed most often do so near the bottom run because of their own
fear or sloth.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 255-257.  Antonio to Sebastian.  Ariel has caused all of the men to fall asleep, except Antonio and Sebastian. Wanting to take advantage of the men’s dire situation, Antonio suggests to Sebastian that they use this opportune moment to kill his brother Alonso and by the doing succeed him as Naples’ king, should they survive this tragedy at sea. Sebastian says “Hereditary sloth instructs me to recede.” Trying to encourage Sebastian, Antonio offers this quote.

The Tempest/#8/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “What’s past is prologue; that which is to come is yours and my freedom from
duty.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 289-290.  Antonio to Sebastian.  As we say, Ariel has caused all of the men, except Antonio and Sebastian, to have fallen asleep. Antonio is doing his best to convince Sebastian to kill his brother and thereby succeed him as king of Naples, should they somehow survive. The thought is that Ferdinand has probably drowned. Claribel is far away in Africa, reigning as the Queen of Tunis. Alonso’s son and daughter are his natural heirs. Antonio is using this quote, this argument, to persuade Sebastian to do his brother in. Antonio would then look to Sebastian, if Sebastian were to become king of Naples, to offer solid support to Antonio’s ambition to remain duke of Milan, Antonio having taken the position away from his brother Prospero.

The Tempest/#9/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “They’ll listen to persuasion as a cat laps milk. They’ll say it is the right
time for any business that we say befits the hour.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1,
Lines 329-331.  Antonio to
Sebastian.  Continuing to try to convince Sebastian to kill his brother, Antonio says “Here lies your brother, no better than the earth he lies upon. I, with this obedient steel sword, can lay him to bed forever.” Antonio offers this quote. Antonio goes on to say that the other men would then do as the two of them say. Ariel has overheard all of Antonio’s dastardly plans. Ariel enters and though “music and song” wakens Gonzalo who then wakens Alonzo who promptly asks his brother Sebastian “Why are you drawn? Wherefore this ghastly looking?” Antonio and Sebastian’s plan ends.

The Tempest/#10/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “I escaped upon a barrel of sweet wine, which the sailors heaved
o’erboard.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 125-126.  Stephano to Trinculo.  Stephano asks Trinculo how he escaped. Trinculo says I “swum ashore, man, like a duck.” Stephano then offers him this quote. Stephano proceeds to share his wine with Trinculo and Caliban. Through this seemingly unending supply of “sweet wine,” Stephano has caused Caliban to support him in every way, causing Trinculo to become dependent on the two of them, Caliban important to both of them, knowing the island well.