PART C: Passage Analysis on The Tempest/Cyrano De Bergerac

“I must eat my dinner. This island’s mine by Sycorax my mother, Which thou taks’t from me. When thou cam’st first, Thou strok’st me and made much of me, wouldst give me Water with berries in’t, and teach me how To name the bigger light, and how the less, That burn by day and night; and then I lov’d thee And show’d thee all the qualities o’ th’ isle, The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile, Curs’d be I that did so! All the charms of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you! For I am all the subjects that you have, Which first was mine own king; and here you sty me In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me The rest o’ th’ island.” Speaker – CalibanCaliban states that he was the first one on the island, however; Prospero took it from him. Prospero initially was kind to him, offering him “water with berries,” but he grew more controlling over time. This passage is significant to The Tempest, because it demonstrates the control that Prospero had over Caliban, along with being a prime example of what happened to the Native Americans.
“To have no screen between this part he play’d And him he play’d it for, he needs will be Absolute Milan – me (poor man) my library Was dukedom large enough: of temporal royalties He thinks me now incapable; confederates (So dry he was for sway) wi’ th’ King of Naples To give him annual tribute, do him homage, Subject his coroner to his crown, and bend The Dukedom yet unbow’d (alas, Poor Milan!) To most ignoble stooping.” Speaker – ProsperoProspero says this quote while he is telling Miranda about how they ended up on the island and about their lives before they ended up on the island. This discussion comes up when Miranda is upset about the shipwreck and tells her dad that she would have done anything to stop it. This passage is significant because it reveals the foundation for the plot and why Prospero wants revenge. It gives insight into Prospero’s rivalry with Antonio. Prospero was happy just practicing his magic, and did not need or want the duties of being duke, but that was not enough for Antonio. Antonio wanted Prospero and his daughter completely gone from Milan and power. This overthrowing of power is how they ended up on the island, and why Prospero wants vengeance.
I’ th’ commonwealth I would, by contraries, Execute all things; for no kind of traffic Would I admit; no name of magistrate; Letters should not be known; riches, poverty, And use of service, none; contract, succession, Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none; No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil; No occupation, all men idle, all; And women too, but innocent and pure; No sovereignty —- Speaker – GonzaloHere, Gonzalo gives a description of his vision of a perfect Utopia. In his vision there is no rich or poor. He also envisions no jobs or labor and that all women are innocent and pure. His vision is completely unrealistic. This speech demonstrates Gonzalo’s personality. The quote shows that he hopes for equality and a happy life but that is not realistic. It shows he is hopeful and optimistic, but not intelligent.
“Why, as I told thee, ’tis a custom with him I’ th’ afternoon to sleep. There thou mayst brain him, Having first seiz’d his books; or with a log Batter his skull, or paunch him with a stake, Or cut his wezand with thy knife. Remember First to possess his books; for without them He’s but a sot, as I am; nor hath not One spirit to command: they all do hate him As rootedly as I. Burn but his books. He has brave utensils (for so he calls them) Which when he has a house, he’ll deck withal. And that most deeply to consider is The beauty of his daughter. He himself Calls her a nonpareil. I never saw a woman But only Sycorax my dam and she; but she as far surpasseth Sycorax As great’st does least.” Speaker – CalibanHere, Caliban speaks to Stephano and Trinculo about his plan to kill Prospero. He also states that if they kill him, they need to take away his books first because without them, he is nothing. Finally Caliban discusses Miranda’s beauty, and that it obviously far surpasses Sycorax’s. He then offers her to Stephano.
You are three men of sin, whom Destiny, That hath to instrument this lower world And what is in’t, the never- surfeited sea Hath caus’d to belch up you; and on this island Where man doth not inhabit – you ‘mongst men Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad; And even with such-like valor men hang and drown Their proper selves. You fools! I and my fellows Are ministers of Fate. The elements, Of whom your sword are temper’d, may as well Wound the loud winds, or with bemock’d-at stabs Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish One dowle that’s in my plume. My fellow ministers Are like invulnerable. If you could hurt, Your swords are now to massy for your strengths, And will not be uplifted. But remember (For that’s my business to you) that you three From Milan did supplant good Prospero, Expos’d unto the sea (which hath requit it) Him, and his innocent child; for which foul deed The pow’rs, delaying (not forgetting), have Incens’d the seas and shores – yea, all the creatures Against your peace. Thee of thy son, Alonso, They have bereft; and do pronounce by me Ling’ring perdition (worse than any death Can be at once) shall step by step attend You and your ways, whose wraths to guard you from – Which here, in this most desolate isle, else falls Upon your heads – is nothing but heart’s sorrow, And a clear life ensuing.” Speaker – ArielHere, Ariel tells Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio that they are basically horrible people, and that they are men “of sin.” He reminds them of what they did to Prospero and Miranda so he chastises them, telling them they brought these troubles upon themselves. He tells them that everything bad that will happen to them is payback for exiling Prospero and Miranda.
“Then, as my [gift], and thine own acquisition Worthily purchased, take my daughter. But If thou dost break her virgin-knot before All sanctimonious ceremonies may With full and holy rite be minist’red, Now sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall To make this contract grow; but barren hate, Sour-ey’d disdain, and discord shall bestrew The union of your bed with weeds so loathly That you shall hate it both. Therefore take heed, As Hymen’s lamps shall light you.” Speaker – ProsperoHere, Prospero tells Ferdinand that he can have Miranda’s hand in marriage, but they cannot sleep together until after the wedding. Some of the “sanctimonious ceremonies” include: the blessings of Ceres (goddess of agriculture), Iris (goddess of the rainbow), and Juno (goddess of marriage).
“You do look, my son, in a mov’d sort, As if you were dismay’d; be cheerful, sir. Our revels now are ended. These our actors (as I foretold you) were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air, And like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And like this insubstantial pageant faded Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vex’d; Bear with my weakness, my old brain is troubled. Be not disturb’d with my infirmity.” This is Prospero’s soliloquy in which he openly expresses his thoughts about death. He realizes that everything he has ever done has been essentially meaningless, and that everything, even the globe itself (not the theater) will come to an end by being “rounded with a sleep”. Prospero knows he will die eventually, and in his new outlook, it does not really matter when. It is inferred that the reason he states this is because he remembers that Caliban and company (Stephano, Trinculo) are out to kill him.
“And mine shall. Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling Of their afflictions, and shall not myself, One of their kind, that relish all as sharply Passion as they, be kindlier mov’d than thou art? Though with their high wrongs I am strook to th’quick, Yet, with my nobler reason, ‘gainst my fury Do I take part. Their rarer action is In virtue than in vengeance. They being penitent, The sole drift of my purpose doth extend Not a frown further. Go, release them, Ariel. My charms I’ll break, their senses I’ll restore, And they shall be themselves.” Speaker – ProsperoIn this passage Prospero explains that it is a harder, more mature move to forgive instead of take revenge. He will decide to forgive his brother for what he did and move on from the anger. This is a response to Ariel, because previously, Ariel was being more empathetic towards Sebastian and Alonso, even though he is not human. In a sense, Ariel’s attitude towards them inspires Prospero to forgive.Penitent = Remorseful
“Now my charms are all o’erthrown,And what strength I have’s mine own, Which is most faint. Now ’tis true, I must be here confin’d by you, Or sent to Naples. Let me not, Since I have my dukedom got, And pardon’d the deceiver, dwell In this bare island by your spell, But release me from my bands With the help of your good hands. Gentle breath of yours my sails Must fill, or else my project fails, Which was to please. Now I want Spirits to enforce, art to enchant, And my ending is despair, Unless I be reliev’d by prayer, Which pierces so, that it assaults Mercy itself, and frees all faults. As you from crimes would pardon’d be, Let your indulgences set me free.” Speaker – ProsperoThis is the epilogue where he explains he has no magic left because he broke his staff and his powers are weakened. Now, he is solely human. He also discusses how he is free from the island. Prospero represents Shakespeare being freed from the stage by pleasing the audience. The audience’s indulgence will let Prospero go.
In an agressive tone: “If I had a nose like that I’d have it amputated!”Friendly: “The end of it must get wet when you drink from a cup. Why don’t you use a tankard?” …………….. Here, Cyrano responds to Valvert because Valvert comments on his nose, so Cyrano gives him a range of different tones and manners of speech he could use to describe it. The way Cyrano formulates different tones and reactions demonstrates his wit, humor, and intelligence, because the way in which he does this is very creative. He basically makes a fool out of Valvert.
“But what would I have to do? Cover myself with the protection of some powerful patron…….I may not rise very high, but I’ll climb alone.”(This is the ivy passage) Here, Cyrano discusses his nose, in the sense that he wants to be independent and his own person. While Le Bret wants him to soften up, he doesn’t want to be conventional. Cyrano doesn’t care about what other people think, and he doesn’t want to have one primary aspect that is special about him. The last line is a metaphor, where Cyrano is a tree. Basically, Cyrano does not want to be within the ivy; he wants to be his own “tree.”
“Can’t you think of anything but food?… Come here Bertrandou….Listen, Gascons: it’s all of Gascony!” Here, Cyrano wants the fifers to “create images” through their music, because the power of music will evoke memories of home for the soldiers. The music will also distract the soldiers from their physical hunger. —Generally, the fife is used to call people to war
“Yes! You can’t know… I’ve adored you since the evening when, under my window, you began to reveal your soul to me…. She would have become as ardent as Helen of Troy, thrown her work aside, and gone off to join him!” Here, Roxane speaks to Christian and she states that she used to love him for his looks, but now she loves him for his soul. Now she is truly enamored with Christian. However when she states “you began to reveal your soul to me in a voice I’d never heard you use before” it is dramatic irony, because the audience know that the voice Christian uses when he talks to Roxane is actually Cyrano’s voice.
“I believe I see… yes, I see him, with his noseless face, daring to look at my nose! … You ask what it is? I’ll tell you! It’s…” Here, Cyrano gives his death speech where he basically hallucinates. One major thing he mentions it that he will not come to terms with the things that have haunted him for his whole life, such as compromise, prejudice, cowardice, and stupidity which he personifies. He also mentions that he’ll take his white plume with him (to his death) in spite of his “enemies.” The plume is a symbol of honor and courage, and a man (of military rank) who carries a plume on the battlefield is a target for enemy guns. If you drop your plume, you won’t die, like De Guiche. Cyrano also states that he was going to tell Roxane about his situation with Christian, but then he died. However, he wrote her a letter. Not telling her about Christian was the noble, respectful thing to do.

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