50 pages 1 hour read

William Shakespeare

The Tempest

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1611

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Act III

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Act III, Scene 1 Summary: “Before Prospero’s cell.”

Ferdinand hauls wood for his captor Prospero but exults that the labor brings him near Miranda. She appears and tells him that she hates to see him suffer. She points to the huge wood pile he’s built and says, “[…] when this burns, / ’Twill weep for having wearied you” (3.1.18-19).

Ferdinand tells Miranda that the work will take him past sunset. Miranda offers to haul logs for him, but he says he’d rather break his back than sit and watch her toil. Prospero, spying on them, notes with satisfaction that his daughter has fallen hopelessly in love with Ferdinand, just as he planned.

Although she’s seen almost no men, Miranda says she can’t imagine one better than Ferdinand. He replies that his heart has been enslaved to her since the moment they met. She asks if he loves her, and he assures her that he does. Miranda weeps with happiness. She offers herself to him in marriage or simply as his servant. Ferdinand takes her hand and says he wants to marry her. Nearby, a delighted Prospero beseeches the Heavens to bless their “rare affections.”

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