The Tempest Act 1 Scene 2 Questions and Answers ISC Class 11 and Class 12

Passage 1

Be collected.
No more amazement. Tell your piteous heart There’s no harm done.

O woe the day.

No harm

I have done nothing but in care of thee,
Of thee my dear, one, thee my daughter , who
Art ignorant of what thou art, naught knowing
Of whence I am, nor that I am more better
Then Prospero, master of a full poor cell,
And thy no greater father.

(i) Who are Prospero and Miranda?  Where are they at this moment?

Answer : Prospero is the ousted Duke of Milan. Miranda is his daughter. They are at this moment on the island where Prospero and Miranda landed twelve years ago, after Prospero’s ouster from Milan.

(ii) Why does Prospero tell Miranda to “be collected”?

Answer : Prospero tells Miranda to be calm because Miranda is greatly upset on seeing that a ship caught in the storm was sinking. She thinks that all the passengers aboard, will perish. She is tearful and desperate.

(iii) What does Prospero do before telling Miranda his story? Why does he do so?

Answer : Prospero takes off his magic robe. He points out to the magic robe and remarks that he discards his magic with the robe. He does so in order to assure Miranda that no one on the ship will be affected anymore with his magic.

(iv) What does Prospero mean when he tells Miranda that she is “ignorant of what thou art?”

Answer : Prospero means to say that Miranda does not know who she is in reality, from where she came to the island and where she lived before they came to this island.

(v) What had Prospero’s position been before coming to his place? What was responsible for his condition?

Answer : Prospero was the Duke of Milan before coming to this place. His own brother Antonio was responsible for this condition.

(vi) Give the meaning of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) piteous      (b) care

Answer : a) piteous : sympathetic
b) care : interest

Passage 2

Well demanded, wench:
May tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not,
So dear the love my people bore me, nor set
A mark so bloody on the business; but
With colours fairer painted their foul ends.
In few, they hurried us aboard a bark,
Bore us some leagues to sea; where they prepared
A rotten carcass of a butt, not rigg’d ,
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast-the very rats
Instinctively have quit it. There they hoist us
To cry to the sea that roar’d to us; to sigh
To the winds, whose pity, sighing back again,
Did us but loving wrong.

(i) How has Miranda reacted on seeing a sinking ship in the sea storm?

Answer : Miranda has reacted quite agitatedly on seeing a sinking ship in the sea storm. She is worried about the fate of crying passengers. She asks her father to calm the sea if he has raised the storm by his magical powers.

(ii) What does Prospero assure Miranda?

Answer : Prospero tells Miranda that he has raised the storm for her good. He assures her that no passenger on the ship has been harmed, and that all are safe. He says that she is upset because she does not know who she is and who he is in reality.

(iii) What happened to Prospero twelve years ago?

Answer : Twelve years ago Prospero was the Duke of Milan. He left the management of state affairs to his brother Antonio. Antonio grew greedy of power, and one day he, with the help of the king of Naples and his loyal soldiers, usurped his throne. He and his two years old daughter Miranda were then put in an old , dilapidated boat, to drift and die in the sea. Luckily, they safely landed on an island.

(iv) Why were Prospero and his daughter not killed?

Answer : If Prospero and his daughter had been killed, there could have been bloody clashes in the state. So Antonio and his associates carried out their wicked designs secretly.

(v) Who had helped Prospero , and how?

Answer : An old devoted lord Gonzalo put all the necessary things, clothes, linens and Prospero’s valuable books in the boat. These proved to be very helpful to Prospero and Miranda where they lived a secluded life on the island.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
a) wench   b) provokes

Answer : (a) girl (b) excites

Passage 3

Abhorred slave,
Which any print of goodness wilt not take,
Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee,
Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour
One thing or other: when thou didst not, savage,
Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like
A thing most brutish, I endow’d they purposes
With words that made them known

(i) Who is Caliban? How is he used by Prospero?

Answer : Caliban is a deformed creature, looking more like a fish. He is the son of a witch called Sycorax. Prospero tried to humanize him in ever way but to no avail. He has now come to to use him to carry wood and make fire.

(ii) What kind of relationship exists between Prospero and Caliban?

Answer : There is master-slave relationship between Prospero and Caliban. Caliban hates Prospero for usurping his island and controlling him by his magic. Prospero hates him for he has once tried to rape Miranda.

(iii) How did Prospero treat him in the past?

Answer : Prospero treated him kindly in the past until he tried to outrage the chastity of his daughter . He taught him to speak so that he could express his thoughts. However, he failed to change his evil nature. So he imprisoned him in a rock-cave.

(iv) How does Prospero threaten Caliban to obedience?

Answer  : Prospero tells Caliban that if he fails to bring some wood at once or disobey him in any way he would torture him with severe cramps and fill his bones with acute pain which will force him to roar loudly.

(v) What impression do you form of Prospero?

Answer : Prospero’s harsh attitude towards Caliban is justified in view of Caliban’s evil and vicious nature. His past treatment of Caliban shows that he is basically a kind person. However, some critics condemn Prospero for being a colonialist who tames that savage to exploit him later.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) abhorred   (b) gabble

Answer : (a) hated    (b) talk non-sense

Passage 4

So they are!
My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound up.
My father’s loss, the weakness which I feel,
The wreck of all my friends , nor this man’s threats,
(To whom I am subdu’d) are but light to me,
Might I but through my prison once-a-day
Behold this maid: all corners else o’the earth
Let liberty make use of; space enough
Have I in such a prison.

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

Answer : Ferdinand is the son of Alonso, the king of Naples. He was on the ship that had on board his father, Antonio , Sebastian among others. There arose a severe tempest and the ship was sure to be wrecked. Ferdinand leapt into the sea and reached the shore.

(ii) Who brings him to Prospero and Miranda, and who?

Answer : It is Ariel who sings a very sweet song. Drawn by his voice, Ferdinand comes to the place where Prospero and Miranda are.

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

Answer : Ferdinand is bewitched by the beauty of Miranda whom he at first regards as the goddess of the island. Miranda, who as never before seen such a handsome man as Ferdinand , falls in love with him at once.

(iv) Why does Prospero imprison Ferdinand ? How does Ferdinand react?

Answer : Prospero wants to test Ferdinand’s love of his daughter. So he imprisons Ferdinand by magic. Ferdinand finds himself totally weak and helpless. So he surrenders himself to his captor. He feels that imprisonment is of no consequence if he can have the glimpse of Miranda daily.

(v) How does Miranda feel on Ferdinand’s imprisonment?

Answer : Miranda is full of resentment of Ferdinand’s being treated cruelly. She objects to it but her father snubs her into silence. She decides to remain near Ferdinand and help him in his arduous task of carrying logs of wood.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) bound up   (b) light

Answer : (a) enchained  (b) of little importance


Shake it off. Come on,
We’ll visit Caliban, my slave, who never
Yields us kind answer.

‘Tis a villain, sir,
I do not love to look on.

But as ’tis,
We cannot miss him; he does make our fire,
Fetch in our wood, and serves in offices
That profit us – What, ho, slave! Caliban,
Thou earth, thou : speak!

(i) What order has Prospero given to Ariel? Why?

Answer : Prospero has ordered Ariel to go and come back to him in the form of a sea-maiden. He asks him not to be visible to anyone else (except Prospero and Ariel himself). He wants to use Ariel to teach his enemies a lesson.

(ii) Why does he wake up his daughter Miranda?

Answer : He waves up Miranda as he wants to go with her to see Caliban, his slave. Caliban always gives rough and unkind answers to his questions.

(iii) What is Miranda’s attitude towards Caliban?

Answer : Caliban once tried to outrage the modesty of Miranda. He is ugly and deformed creature. He looks more like a fish than a human being. So Miranda hates him and does not even want to have a look at him.

(iv) What does Prospero want Miranda to realize?

Answer : Prospero wants Miranda to realize that they cannot do without Caliban. It is Caliban who serves them in many useful ways – in making their fire, fetching wood, etc.

(v) Who comes immediately before Caliban’s appearance? In what form is he?

Answer : Prospero calls out Caliban. Before Caliban appears, Ariel enters in the form of a water-nymph. Prospero praises his attire and utters something in his ear.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) shake if off  (b) offices

Answer : (a) wake up  (b) duties


Being once perfected how to grant suits,
How to deny them, who t’ advance, and who
To trash for overtopping, new created
The creatures that were mine, I say, or changed ’em,
Or else new formed’em; having both the key
Of officer and office, set all hearts i’th’ state
To what time tune pleased his ear, that now he was
The ivy which had hid my princely trunk
And sucked my verdure out on’t. Thou attend’st not!

(i) Who was Prospero? What happened to him twelve years ago?

Answer : Prospero was the Duke of Milan. Twelve years ago his brother Antonio conspired against him with the help of Alonso, the king of Naples, and ousted him from his dukedom one night. Miranda, then two years old baby, was in his arms.

(ii) How did Antonio succeed in his evil designs?

Answer : Prospero was so much absorbed in secret studies that he left the administration of the state in the hands of his brother Antonio. Antonio , being cunning, knew whom to promote and whom to discourage. He changed the loyalty  of those who were devoted to Prospero. He came to fully control the state. He began to behave like the real Duke. With the help of his loyal men and the king of Naples he was able to oust Prospero from his dukedom.

(iii) On what terms did the king of Naples help Antonio?

Answer : Antonio sought the help of Alonso, the king of Naples, in usurping his brother’s throne. In return, he agreed to acknowledge him as his superior and make his dukedom subordinate to the state of Naples. He also promised to pay him annual subsidy.

(iv) How were the lives of Prospero and Miranda saved?

Answer : It was Providence that helped the old and dilapidated boat of Prospero and Miranda reach a remote island. An old lord Gonzalo had put in the boat all the necessary articles and some valuable books of Prospero, which proved to be very useful in their survival.

(v) Why does Prospero tell his story to Miranda after twelve years?

Answer : Prospero realizes that as Ferdinand, his father and Prospero’s own brother Antonio are now on the island; it is high time for Miranda now that she is quite grown up to understand the things to know what happened to her and her father twelve years ago.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) trash  (b) verdue

Answer : (a) check  (b) sap


Dost thou forget
From what a torment I did free thee?


Thou dost, and think’st it much to tread the ooze
Of the salt deep,
To run upon the sharp wind of the north,
To do me business in the veins o’th’ earth
When it is baked with frost.

I don not, sir,

Thou liest, malignant thing; hast thou forgot
The foul witch Sycorax, who with age and envy
Was grown into a hoop? Hast thou forgot her?

No, sir.

Thou hast! Where was she born? speak ; tell me

(i) What has made Prospero angry?

Answer : After doing the assigned tasks, Ariel reminds Prospero that he has promised him his freedom. He says he has never disobeyed him. Prospero has promised to reduce his period of service by one full year. This demand for freedom makes Prospero angry.

(ii) What does Prospero remind Ariel?

Answer : Prospero reminds Ariel how he freed him from his great torture.

(iii) Who was Sycorax? What did she do to Ariel, and why?

Answer : Sycorax was a wicked witch who was banished from Algiers and was brought to the island. As Ariel, being a delicate spirit, refused to carry her hateful commands, she imprisoned him in an open pine tree. He languished there with pain for twelve years. It was Prospero who released him from his prison with his magic.

(iv) What tells you that Ariel is an obedient and nice spirit?

Answer : Ariel realises his mistake in demanding his freedom. So he seeks pardon and promises to obey all commands of Prospero without grumbling. It reveals that he is basically a nice, obedient spirit, unlike Caliban who is wicked and perverse by nature.

(v) Comment upon Prospero’s attitude towards Ariel.

Answer : It is very rare that Prospero’s attitude towards Ariel is harsh. It is possible that he becomes angry at Ariel’s premature demand of freedom as he has many unfinished tasks which he is to accomplish with Ariel’s help.

(vi) Give the meanings of the words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) ooze  (b) malignant thing

Answer : (a) soft mud  (b) evil-minded person.


Yes, Caliban, her son.

Dull thing, I say so-he , that Caliban,
Whom now I keep in service. Thou best knowst
What torment I did find thee in: thy groans
Did make wolves howl, and penetrate the breasts
Of every-angry bears. It was a troment
To lay upon the damned, which Sycorax
Could not again undo. It was mine art,
When I arriv’d and head thee, that made gape
The pine and let thee out.

I thank thee, master.

If thou more murmur’st, I will rend an oak
And peg thee in his knotty entrails till
Thou hast howled away twelve winters.

Pardon, master,

(i) What does Prospero remind Ariel? Why?

Answer : Prospero reminds Ariel how he found him imprisoned and heard his loud, unbearable groans. It was his magical power which made the pine open apart and release him from inside it. Prospero reminds him all this as Ariel has become impatient for his freedom from Prospero’s control over him.

(ii) Who was Sycorax? Why had she imprisoned Ariel in a pine tree?

Answer : Sycorax was an evil-minded witch. She came to the island from Algiers. She got angry with Ariel when he refused to obey her hateful commands. In anger she shut him up in a pine tree. He languished there for twelve years.

(iii) Who is Caliban?

Answer : Caliban is the illegitimate son of the witch Sycorax. He is a deformed, ugly creature, a demi-devil. He looks more like a fish than a human being. Prospero calls him ‘a dull thing’. He is in Prospero’s service.

(iv) What threat is issued by Prospero to Ariel? Why?

Answer : Prospero in angry with Ariel for demanding his freedom at a wrong time. So he threatens to fix him in the twisted trunk of an oak tree and leave him there to groan for twelve years.

(v) What do you think of Prospero as a slave driver?

Answer : Prospero is strict and harsh as a master. He wants his slaves to work for him ungrudgingly. When Ariel or Caliban shows reluctance in doing something, he threatens him into submission.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) dull thing (b) penetrate

Answer : (a) stupid fellow (b) touch.


There’s nothing ill can dwell in such a temple.
If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
Good things will strive to dwell with’t.

Follow me.
Speak not you for him; he’s traitor – Come;
I’ll manacle they 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 Ferdinand? Why does Prospero call him a ‘spy’?

Answer : Ferdinand is the son of Alonso, the king of Naples. He and Miranda, Prosper’s daughter , fall in love at first sight. Prospero is happy but he decides to test Ferdinand’s love for his daughter, so he pretends to be offended. He dubs Ferdinand as a spy.

(ii) How does Miranda react?

Answer : Miranda is unhappy with her father’s treatment of Ferdinand. She tries to defend Ferdinand by saying that there can be no evil in such a handsome person. Even if there were an element of evil in him, goodwill would strive to remove it.

(iii) How does Prospero respond?

Answer : Prospero rebukes Miranda for  defending a stranger. He says that Ferdinand is a traitor. He imprisons him with his magic, and asks him to follow him.

(iv) Why does Ferdinand obey Prospero?

Answer : Ferdinand 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) What do you think of Prospero’s action?

Answer : Prospero is a wise person . 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.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) temple  (b) muscles

Answer : (a) body  (b) shell fish


O, out of that ‘no hope’,
What great hope have you? No hope that way is
Another way so high a hope that even
Ambition cannot pierce a wink beyond,
But doubt discovery there.

(i) To whom is Antonio speaking? Where are they?

Answer : Antonio is speaking to Sebastian, Alonso’s brother. They are on one part of the island.

(ii) Explain the circumstances which brought them to this place.

Answer : Antonio, Sebastian along with the king of Naples, Alonso, and others were on a ship. They were returning to Naples after the marriage of Alonso’s daughter in Africa. A storm raised by Prospero’s magic engulfed the ship. They jumped into the sea and reached the shore. After some time they walked to the place.

(iii) To what does Antonio refer through his words ‘no hope’?

Answer : Antonio refers to ‘no hope’ of Ferdinand’s safety . Ferdinand is thought to be drowned.

(iv) How does Antonio seek to comfort his companion?

Answer : Antonio tries to comfort his companion Sebastian that if he has no hope of Ferdinand’s safety it means he may have the hope of becoming the king of Naples.

(v) Which wrong deed had Antonio committed earlier?

Answer : Antonio had committed the wrong deed of ousting of own brother, Prospero, from dukedom of Milan, with the help of Alonso, the king of Naples, and his brother Sebastian.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) wink  (b) doubt

Answer : (a) wink : aim
(b) doubt : uncertainty