Prospero, the Duke of Milan, deposed by his brother Antonio and cast out to sea with his baby daughter Miranda, has been marooned on a remote island. With his knowledge of magic, he has liberated the island from the rule of the witch Sycorax and freed certain spirits, which are now in his service. The action begins twelve years later, when Prospero uses his magic to shipwreck Antonio, his accomplice Alonso, King of Naples, and Alonso's son Ferdinand and his brother Sebastian on the island.
On Prospero's orders, the spirit Ariel leads Ferdinand to Miranda. They fall in love. Prospero sets Ferdinand some tests to prove he is worthy of his daughter. Meanwhile, Antonio, Alonso and Sebastian are tormented by Ariel's magic tricks.
Prospero consents to the marriage of Miranda and Ferdinand and conjures up a masque to entertain them. Prospero sends Ariel to fetch Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian. They recognize him and he forgives them.
In a comic subplot, Prospero's half-human slave, Caliban, and Trinculo and Stephano, two drunken sailors of the shipwreck, plan to take over the island, but are thwarted by Prospero's magic and their own greed and stupidity.—Summary taken from The World of Shakespeare.
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