Bonus Features: Discussion Points

Post Act 1 Scene 1

  • Why do you think Shakespeare began the play with a storm at sea?
  • What are your first impressions of Alonso and his courtiers?
  • Who questions or challenges authority in this scene? Discuss and decide whether or not the challenges are justified.
  • After seeing how some of the characters reacted in the storm, come up with a word or phrase that best describes them.
  • Discuss important lines and moments from Act 1, Scene 1.

Post Act 4 Scene 1

  • What do you think of Prospero and Miranda’s relationship? Discuss their relationship as parent and child.
  • Discuss the relationship between Prospero and Ariel, and between Prospero and Caliban. In what ways do they differ? Why do you think this is? What does this tell us about the characters?
  • Do you see Prospero as a manipulative tyrant or a benevolent magician? Why?
  • What is the significance of the masque in this scene? What might the three goddesses represent?
  • Prospero’s speech “Our revels now are ended…” has many words with theatrical meanings or related to the theatre. List the theatrical metaphors she makes in this speech and discuss their meaning. Which lines or phrases in the speech seem to indicate a comparison between the real world and the stage, and in particular the fleetingness of human existence?
  • Discuss the significance of Caliban speaking in verse (poetry) and Stephano and Trinculo speaking in prose (common everyday language that we speak)? What might this signify about the characters?

Post Act 5 Scene 1

  • Prospero was originally written as a male character. Does having a woman playing the part of Prospero change your perspective about the character and her motivations?
  • Discuss the following exclamation made by Miranda. Do you agree or disagree? Why? “How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in’t!”
  • Discuss the character of Caliban. Is he a hero, villain or morally ambiguous? In what ways is he impacted by colonialism?
  • Prospero has manipulated everything throughout the play, and now she begs the audience’s indulgence to set her free. Do you believe she deserves to be set free or not? Explain.
  • What do you think will happen to the island once Prospero and courtiers leave? What do you think will become of Ariel and Caliban?
  • From your perspective, what is the key theme in the play? What do you take away from it?
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