Keep the following questions in mind as you read The Tempest, Acts 2 & 3The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.
What does the Island look like? Where is it? Why can’t the nobles cannot agree on what should be object facts?
Who’s Dido & what purpose does the classical reference serve?
If Gonzalo had a plantation on the island, what would it be like? What assumptions does Gonzalo’s vision of his “plantation” make about “nature”?
Is Alonso, the King of Naples, a good leader/administrator? Compare Alonso’s leadership with some of the other characters and their leadership skills: Prospero, Gonzalo, Sebastian, and Trinculo. Who’s kingdom would you most like to live in? Why does Ariel save Alonso from assassination?
What does Caliban look like when Trinculo meets him for the first time? How does Trinculo react to his first meeting with Caliban?
Compare Caliban’s description of the Island to other descriptions.
Where does Trinculo get the “sack” (fortified wine) that he and the rest of the conspirators drink?
Do the two scenes in act two suggest that conspiracy to overthrow the king is natural?
What sorts of monsters do the Europeans believe inhabit the island? What sorts of monsters actually inhabit the island?
Why does Caliban agree to help Trinculo and Stephano? Can he ever really be set free?
What key words, phrases, or images that get repeated in this act?
What does Ferdinand mean when he says, “The mistress which I serve quickens what’s dead” (3.1.6)?
How’s Ferdinand’s history with women?
Ferdinand refers to himself as a “patient log man” (3.1.68) conscripted to “wooden slavery” (3.1.62). How do his descriptions of himself and his service compare to the epithet Stephano gives Caliban, “servant monster” (3.2.3)?
Has Miranda ever seen any other women?
Are Ferdinand and Miranda married by the end of 3.1?
Why does Caliban kneel before Trinculo & Stephano in 3.2? Why does Ariel contradict the story Caliban tells the other men?
There are a lot of vows taken in Act 3. Compare the vows Miranda and Ferdinand make to one another to the vows Caliban and Stephano exchange.
How do the conspirators plan to Kill Prospero? Compare the rebellion against Prospero to the plot to kill Alonso. Might also compare the two attempted murders to the attempted rape mentioned in 1.2.?
Why does Caliban instruct Stephano to “Burn but his books” (3.2.90) before he kills Prospero?
Why do you think that Caliban pledges his service to Stephano instead of leading the insurgency?
Is Caliban’s description of the isle based on experience or desire? Compare his description to Gonzalo & Trinculo’s.
What’s a “Living Drollery!” (3.3.21)? What does sight of it confirm for the nobles?
What’s a “quaint device” (SD 3.3.52)?
How does the sea function like a character in 3.3?