The Tempest: Act I, Scene ii - Part 3

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  • Q1

    Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow.

    Prospero: Follow me.

    Speak not you for him; he's traitor — Come;

    I'll manacle thy neck and feet together;

    Sea water-shalt thou drink; thy food shall be

    The fresh-brook muscles, withered roots, and husks

    Wherein the acorn cradled. Follow!

    (i) Who is a traitor according to Prospero? To whom does Prospero forbid to speak?

    (ii) With what Punishment does Prospero threaten Ferdinand?

    (iii) Is Ferdinand a traitor? Why does Prospero seem to be overly harsh to Ferdinand in his dealings?

    (iv) How does Ferdinand react to the threatening of Prospero?

    (V) How does Miranda react to the treatment given to Ferdinand? What does it show about her character?


    (i) According to Prospero, Ferdinand is a traitor. Prospero orders his daughter, Miranda not to support Ferdinand.

    (ii) Prospero threatens Ferdinand that he will chain his neck and feet together. Then he will have only sea-water to drink, and so far as his food is concerned, he will have only shell-fish, dried roots and husks which once contained the acorn.

    (iii) Ferdinand is not a traitor. In fact, Prospero is pleased that Ferdinand and Miranda have taken to each other but decides that the two must not fall in love too quickly. He wants to test Ferdinand’s love too. He knows that if a reward is easily won it loses its charm. So he pretends to be harsh on Ferdinand so that he may make the reward of his daughter for him as difficult as possible.

    (iv)Ferdinand replies that he will not submit to this treatment until his enemy proves that he is more powerful than him. Then he draws his sword to resist his imprisonment by Prospero. But Prospero renders him helpless by magic from moving. So Ferdinand decides to obey Prospero without grudge.

    (v) Miranda tries to request her father not to punish Ferdinand but Prospero didn’t budge. He asks her to get away from his way. When Miranda begs him for having pity on Ferdinand that she will guarantee his goodness, Prospero snubs her into silence. However, she decides to remain near Ferdinand and help him.

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  • Q2

    Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow.

    Ferdinand: O, if a virgin,

    And your affection not gone forth, I'll make you

    The queen of Naples.

    Prospero: Soft, sir! One word more—

    [Aside] They are both in either's powers: but this swift business

    I must uneasy make, lest too light winning

    Make the prize light.

    (i) Where are Ferdinand and Prospero? Who else is with them there?

    (ii)Under what conditions would Ferdinand make Miranda the queen of Naples? How does he justify his being the king of Naples?

    (iii) Give the meaning of the following lines;

    “They are both in either's powers: but this swift business

    I must uneasy make, lest too light winning

    Make the prize light.”

    (iv) What does Prospero accuse Ferdinand of in his later speech.

    (V)How does Ferdinand respond to Prospero’s accusations? What is the reaction of Miranda to Prospero’s accusations?


    (i) Ferdinand and Prospero are in front of Prospero’s cell on the island. Prospero’s daughter Miranda is also there.

    (ii) Ferdinand promises Miranda that if she is an unmarried girl and has not bestowed her love on anybody, he will make her the queen of Naples. He is under the impression that King Alonso died in the shipwreck. Now he being the heir, can be called himself as the king of Naples.

    (iii) Prospero speaks to himself that Ferdinand and Miranda are in love with each other, but he will not allow it to run smoothly because he is worried that Ferdinand’s easy winning of Miranda’s love might devalue her in his eyes.

    (iv) Prospero questions Ferdinand about his claim for the king’s title on which he has no right. He also accuses him of being spy who has come to the island to snatch it away from Prospero, the rightful owner of it.

    (v)Ferdinand swears on the honour of a man that the accusations of Prospero are baseless. Miranda supports Ferdinand saying that there can be no evil in such a handsome body. If there is an element of evil in him, good things will strive to eliminate it.

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  • Q3

    Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow.

    Ferdinand: The ditty does remember my drowned father:

    This is no mortal business, nor no sound

    That the earth owes: I hear i: now above me.

    Prospero: The fringed curtains of thine eye advance,

    And say what thou see'st yond.

    Miranda: What is't? a spirit?

    Lord, how it looks about! Believe me, sir,

    It carries a brave form:—but 'tis a spirit.

    (i) What is a ditty? Who produces the ditty? What does it state?

    (ii)Who is Ferdinand? What happened to him earlier in the context?

    (iii) Give the meaning of

    “This is no mortal business, nor no sound

    That the earth owes”.

    (iv) Explain how Ariel leads Ferdinand to Prospero and Miranda?

    (v) How do Ferdinand and Miranda react on seeing each other?

    (vi) Why does Prospero imprison Ferdinand? How does Ferdinand react to the decision of Prospero?


    (i) A ditty is a short simple song. Here, it is sung by Ariel and his assisting spirits. The song states the mystery of death, or more accurately the supposed death of Alonso, Ferdinand’s father.

    (ii) Ferdinand is the son of Alonso, the king of Naples. He was on the ship that had on-board his father and other royal passengers. While a furious storm was tossing the ship there seemed to be no hope of survival. Then, Ferdinand leapt into the sea and reached the shore.

    (iii) Ferdinand thinks that the song that he hears above his head does not seem to be of human or earthly.

    (iv)When the invisible Ariel sings and plays music, Ferdinand in a trance-like state, gets affected by the music which speaks of his 'dead' father. Ariel then leads him to the place where Prospero and Miranda are standing.

    (v) Miranda is deeply attracted by the appearance of Ferdinand as she has seen no humans in her life other than Prospero and Caliban, and immediately falls in love with Ferdinand. Ferdinand is also bewitched by the beauty of Miranda whom he at first regards as the goddess of the island.

    (vi) Prospero wants to test Ferdinand's love for his daughter. He does not want his daughter to be so easily won. So he speaks roughly to Ferdinand. He tells him that he is not the heir to the throne of Naples as he claims, but a spy. He accuses him of trying to steal the island from him. So he imprisons Ferdinand by magic. Ferdinand finds himself totally weak and helpless. Then, he surrenders himself to his captor. He feels that the imprisonment is of no consequence if he can have the glimpse of Miranda daily.

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