The Tempest

by

William Shakespeare

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The Tempest: Foreshadowing 1 key example

Read our modern English translation.
Definition of Foreshadowing
Foreshadowing is a literary device in which authors hint at plot developments that don't actually occur until later in the story. Foreshadowing can be achieved directly or indirectly, by making... read full definition
Foreshadowing is a literary device in which authors hint at plot developments that don't actually occur until later in the story. Foreshadowing can be achieved... read full definition
Foreshadowing is a literary device in which authors hint at plot developments that don't actually occur until later in the... read full definition
Act 1, scene 2
Explanation and Analysis—The Tempest and Caliban:

One example of foreshadowing in The Tempest is the way that Shakespeare frequently hints at Prospero's final decision to relinquish his magic and be restored as the Duke of Milan. Another example is the tempest; it foreshadows the way that the island upturns social conventions. Miranda's description of the tempest in Act 1, Scene 2 sets the scene for a sequence of political and social upheavals:

The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,
But that the sea, mounting to th' welkin's cheek,
Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer! A brave vessel,
Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her,
Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd.

Here, the violence of the storm hints at the violence that will arise among Prospero, Alonso, Caliban, and the other characters. Throughout the story, Miranda maintains the same sense of empathy that she shows here.

Another example of foreshadowing is Caliban's potential retaliation; Prospero treats him so poorly and his previous attempt to rape Miranda shows that he will likely rebel against or try to kill Prospero. Caliban's nicknames include "slave" and "monster," and given his initial hostility toward Prospero and his daughter, it seems obvious that he will try to break free from his captors and regain his rightful freedom on the island.