Everyone exits except for Prospero, who speaks an epilogue to the audience. He begins, "Now my charms are all o'erthrown, and what strength I have's mine own—which is most faint" (epilogue.1-3). He asks the audience to set him free by applauding for him, saying "But release me from my bands with the help of your good hands" and "As you from crimes would pardoned be, let your indulgence set me free" (epilogue.9-10, 19-20). Prospero exits the stage.
The once-mighty Prospero stands humbly before the audience and begs for his freedom, as did Caliban and Ariel. Prospero's "charms" can be likened to the playwright's skill and talent. Many critics believe that this speech is meant to double as Shakespeare's own farewell address to the theater.