Explanations And MCQs Of The Play ‘The Tempest’

Explanations :

  1. When the sea is, ‘Hence! What cares these roars for the name of king? To Cabin ! Silence! Trouble us not.

(Act I, Scene 1, Lines 16-28)

Exp. In these lines from the first scene of the first act of The Tempest the Boatswain speaks so wonderfully well that he overshadows the royal characters. He. is the master of the situation. And when the royal characters poke their nose in his work, he commands them to be silent.

He commands Gonzalo, one of the royal characters, to be silent. He makes it quite clear that it is the land, and not the sea where he counsels the duke. It is not his business to counsel the mariners on the sea. He should, therefore, depart. The sounding waves do not care for king. King may command people in their countries where distinctions of all sorts are made. But the sea, and tempests make no distinctions between kings and their subject. They level down all the istinctions. The Boatswain, therefore, chides Gonzalo to be silent, and not to interfere him and other mariners.

Shakespeare might have wondered how the Boatswain was eclipsing important characters and defeating his design. And so he cut his role down. The Boatswain, who comes so vividly to life in a few lines dominates this scene and leaves us with a strong sense of the superiority of personal character to social rank. As we read these lines we grow to love this wide-chapped rascal. Neither rank nor danger can deter him from his office. And while all are howling, he is doing his job.

  1. I have great comfort from this fellow…. ….. If he be not born to be hanged, our case is miserable.

(Act I, Scene 1, Lines 28-33)

Exp. Here are some humorous lines in the first scene, first act of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Gonzalo shows himself to be humorous character. He is generous and humane. He is amused, and not seriously offended by the rebuke of the Boatswain. The tempest is roaring furiously. It is feared that the ship may be wrecked. The mariners and the royal persons are panickly and fear to be drowned. But Gonzalo does not fear. He is hopeful to be saved. He has marked closely the physical appearance of the Boatswain.

Gonzalo humorously says that the Boatswain’s character shows obviously that he is to be hanged and, therefore, he cannot possibly be drowned. This is compressed in an English proverb: ‘He that is born to be hanged, will never the drowned. Gonzalo requests the fate to remain steadfast to the hanging of the Boatswain. The destined hanging of the Boatswain is the only guarantee that they will be saved from drowing. The anchor-cable provides them no help. If the Boatswain had not been destined to be hanged, their case would have been hopeless. They must have been drowned. But as the case is, Gonzalo is optimistic about the safety and survival. We can distinguish Gonzalo, who is ready to meet his fate with some detachment and humour, from Antonio and Sebastian, who are merely screaming abuse the sailors trying to save their lives.

Also Read : 


  1. O, I have suffered

With those that I saw suffer!…………

Against my very heart! Poor souls, they perished.

(Act I, Scene II, Lines 5-9)

Exp. These are the opening lines of the second scene, first act of The Tempest. Here we are introduced to Miranda. the heroine of the play. On our first introduction to Miranda. Shakespeare emphasises her compassion and tender heart. Prospero has raised a magic storm and the ship has appeared to be wrecked. Miranda’s heart goes out for the crying and dying persons.

Miranda has requested her father to allay the storm that has caused havoc. She says that she suffered with those whom she saw struggling and drowning. She has some ‘intuition of Ferdinand, who is to win her love. And, therefore, she says that the ship that wrecked was a beautiful one and there was surely some beautiful prson in it. The cries of the struggling, drowning persons aroused pity in her heart. She feels sorry to think that the unfortunate persons to the ship are drowned and have perished.

Miranda’s compassion and tenderness are the main characteristics of the play.

  1. There they hoist up

To cry to the sea that roared to us, to sigh

To the winds, whose pity, sighing back again

Did us but loving wrong.

(Act I, Scene II, Lines 148-51)

Exp. In these lines from Act one Scene two of The Tempest Shakespeare describes the sea as an image of Provitlence. The sea plays an important part in this play, both in the action and in the symbolic meaning. Although the sea is believed by some of the characters to be cruel and unconquerable, it is shown to be in image of Providence, in that it tests and tries man and reveals his quilt, out also delivers him up safely and acts as a means of renewal and rebirth. I functions something like the waters of Baptism. In this speech Prospero brings to introduce the truly miraculous element in the play, as he tells how divine mercy and grace saved him and Miranda. He tells Miranda that his brother Antonio had prepared for him a leaky boat which even the rats had deserted. He had left him and her on the mercy of the waves. But the wave did only loving wrong. Prospero says that the persons in charge of the mission to banish them left them on a small vessel without tackle, sail or mist. They left them only to cry to the sea which was roaring in anger, anon to sigh to the winds, whose pity, as they blew against our boat, did us lowing wrong. The winds which seemed to harm us, blew at us for their own good (and not to harm us). The winds could show their sympathy only by blowing (sighing) for our suffering. But as they blew they produced commotion to our wrong Antonio did to us. ‘Did us but loving wrong’ is contraste I with treachery of Antonio. Anne Wrighter comments:

“The deliberate artificiality of Prospero’s language here, the abandonment of realism and probability in his description of this voyage, marks a new stage in the story. The ordinary world of Milan and Naples is separated by more than geographical space from this island. A voyage in which sea and winds are partners in lamentation, in which an infant not yet three years old remains uniformly cheerful and an unseaworthy boat arrives at its destination without help from sail or mast, declares plainly that Prospero’s island will not be found on any map.”

  1. O, a cherubin

Thou wast that preserve mel. Thou dist smile,

Infused with a fortitude from heaven,


Against what should ensure.

(Act I, Scene II, Lines 152-58)

Exp. In these lines Act I. Scene II of the The Tempest Prospero uses the word Cherubin (a young angel, the usual singular is cherub’) for Miranda, the use of this image for Miranda carries various references in this part of the scene to the helping hand of Providence. Prospero describes to Miranda about the past life, about the treachery of his brother, Antonio, and about their miraculous landing on this deserted island. Miranda tells that she had been the cause of so much trouble to him.

Prospero replies that she was Ratner an angel who kept him from despairing. When he had been shedding tears on the treachery and ingratitude of his brother, Antonio, and was groaning, weighed down under the burden of sorrow, she smiled and inspired him, and filled his heart with an enduring and stubborn courage to face bravely the challenge of any adversity that might come.

Shakespeare has emphasized here the importance of inspiration which the grown up persons get from smiles of their children.

  1. I must eat my dinner,

This island’s mine, by Sycorax my mother,

Which thou tak’st from me.

(Act 1, Scene II, Lines 331-33)

Exp. These are very famous lines in Scene II. Act I of The Tempest, because they point out the democratic trait in the character of Caliban. The lines read as the charter of rights, and Shakespeare, who wrote these lines about three hundred years ago, is far ahead of his times.

Prospero’s call has interrupted Caliban taking his meal. He seems to be irritated and angry and declares to Prospero that he has the right to eat his dinner. Every human being, whether rich or poor, whether master or slave. has the right to take his meal, and he should not be disturbed while taking it. Caliban also claims the ownership of the island. He points out that he had inherited the island from Sycorax, his mother. And now, he complains that Prospero has usurped this island.

Prospero has in a way colonized this island. He has become the master of the island and has made Caliban, his slave, because he is more powerful. It is the victory of art over nature. Prospero the usurped, is also the usurper. And we sympathies with Caliban because he has been usurped. We laugh at Caliban, we hate him, but we also have a soft corner for him.

  1. You taught me language, and my profit on’t

Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you

For learning me your language.

(Act one Scene two, Lines 363-65)

Exp. These famous lines in Act I Scene II of The Tempest present Caliban in bad light. He is not ashamed to tell that he is ungrateful. He perhaps makes no distinction between good and bad, and he is neither moral nor immoral. Morats are beyond his grasp. Miranda calls him abhorred slave and says that he is capable of all ills. She says that when he gabbled like a brute, she taught him how to speak. But in return he tried to rape her and was deservedly made a slave.

Caliban replies foolishly. He does not fell obliged. He does not know what it is to be grateful. He is, if not an animal, surely a missing link between man and monkey.

Objective Questions :

  1. Shakespeare was born in:

(a) 1544

(b) 1666

(c) 1664

(d) 1564


  1. Shakespeare’s dramatic company was honoured by title:

(a) Best features

(b) The holyness of players

(c) The King’s players

(d) Knight


  1. In which category you will classify “The Tempest ?”

(a) Comedies

(b) Romantic

(c) Dark comedies

(d) Tragedies


  1. Whom do you consider the central character in The Tempest

(a) Prospero

(b) Adrian

(c) Claribel

(d) Sycerate


  1. Who is not a male character in the following four:

(a) Miranda

(b) Alonso

(c) Sebastian

(d) Gonzalo


  1. Identify the spirit’s name in the following:

(a) Adrian

(b) Trinculo

(c) Stephano

(d) Ariel


  1. Which one is not the name of places on anentioned in “The Tempest”.

(a) Tunis

(b) Milan

(c) Harpies

(d) Naples


  1. For whose marriage the party travelleol to Tunis:.

(a) Claribel

(b) Iris

(c) Miranda

(d) Francisco


  1. The depojed Duke of Milan, Living on a deserted island and central char- acter of the comedy. Name him. who is he?

(a) Alonso

(b) Prospero

(c) Sebastian

(d) Juno


  1. Identify among the following names as not having been the goddess in

“The Tempest”?

(a) Irics

(b) Ceres

(c) Stephano

(d) Juno.



  1. (d).
  2. (c).
  3. (b).
  4. (a).
  5. (a).
  6. (d).
  7. (c).
  8. (d).
  9. (a).
  10. (b).



Leave a Comment