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"The Tempest", written by William Shakespeare, embodies both seemingly timeless romance and the historically specific moment in which Europe begins to explore and conquer the New World.
Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, has been living on a primitive island with his fifteen-year-old daughter, Miranda, for the past 12 years. His dukedom had been usurped by his own brother, Antonio, whom Prospero had entrusted to manage the affairs of government while he was concentrating on his study of the liberal arts. With the support of Alonso, the King of Naples, Antonio conspired against his brother to become the new Duke of Milan.
Possessed of magic powers, Prospero is reluctantly served by Ariel, a spirit whom he had rescued from imprisonment in a tree. Ariel was trapped therein by the Algerian witch Sycorax, who had been exiled to the island years before and died prior to Prospero's arrival.
The witch's son Caliban, a deformed monster and the only non-spiritual inhabitant before the arrival of Prospero, was initially adopted and raised by the Milanese sorcerer. He taught Prospero how to survive on the island, while Prospero and Miranda taught Caliban religion and their own language.