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The Tempest. 8: Sea change

The Tempest. 8: Sea change

It's time for the finale of Prospero's plan...

He sits wearing his invisibility cloak watching the miserable courtiers. He decides that no matter how evil they once were, they have repented and he must forgive them.

Prospero removes his cloak - throws it away - and destroys his magic staff. Then, with a crack of lightening, he steps forward, no longer Prespero the magician, but once again Prospero, Duke of Milan.

The courtiers are amazed and beg for his forgiveness - at which point Ferdinand and Miranda emerge on to the beach. They're not just alive, they have Prospero's permission to marry.

With everyone now on the beach, the lost ship appears – its crew fit and healthy.

Soon the ship is ready to leave, but before it does, Prospero finally sets Ariel free. The island now belongs to him and Caliban once more.

The wind fills the sails and the island with no name grows smaller on the horizon...

They’re going home.

The Tempest - supporting resources:

  1. The Tempest - text of Episode 8 to print

The Tempest - text of Episode 8

NARRATOR: Prospero sits in his invisibility cloak and watches the miserable courtiers, huddled together weeping under a tree. No matter how evil they once were – it seems they genuinely have repented. He must forgive them. He summons Ariel, tells him he must find Caliban and the drunks and bring them to the beach. Then, he must go to the ship and release all the sailors from their spell. 'Will I then be free..?' asks Ariel. 'Very soon, dear spirit,' says Prospero, 'very soon'. With a joyful whoosh – Ariel’s gone.

Prospero now removes his cloak and hurls it into the air – it disappears! He takes his magic book and closes it – it disappears too. Finally he grasps his magic staff and breaks it across his knee. A crack of lightning – and he steps forward, no longer Prospero the magician, but once again Prospero, Duke of Milan.

The courtiers are amazed to see him. Alonso begs his forgiveness – which is given. 'If only my dear son Ferdinand were still alive,' says Alonso – at which point, arm in arm, Ferdinand and Miranda emerge onto the beach. 'And they’re not just alive,' says Prospero – 'they have my permission to marry too.' Well, as you can expect, there are all kinds of hugs and kisses and explanations.

Now Caliban, Trinculo and Stefano appear – miserable, hung-over. And finally, round the point and heading for the beach comes the lost ship – its crew fit and healthy and the sails looking better even than when they left port.

PROSPERO: Nicely done, Ariel, nicely done.

ARIEL: Is that all master... Am I...?

PROSPERO: Yes, Ariel. You are free. Your work is over. And so is mine. It is time for me – time for us all – to return to our old lives and make them new...

NARRATOR: The ship’s boats pull up on the shore and the castaways climb aboard. Caliban, now free just like Ariel, scratches his head, and waves them off. Soon the ship is ready to leave, the anchors are pulled aboard, the wind fills the sails and the island with no name grows smaller on the horizon.

They’re going home.

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