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The Tempest

The Tempest Translation Act 4, Scene 1

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PROSPERO, FERDINAND, and MIRANDA enter.

PROSPERO

[to FERDINAND] If I have too austerely punished you, Your compensation makes amends, for I Have given you here a third of mine own life— Or that for which I live— who once again I tender to thy hand. All thy vexations Were but my trials of thy love and thou Hast strangely stood the test. Here, afore heaven, I ratify this my rich gift. O Ferdinand, Do not smile at me that I boast of her, For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise And make it halt behind her.

PROSPERO

[To FERDINAND] If I’ve been too strict in my punishment of you, your compensation will make it better. For I am giving you my daughter, who makes up a third of my entire life, and who is everything I live for. I put her into your hands. All of the trouble I gave you was just my way of testing your love for her, and you have endured those tests extraordinarily well. Here, before God, I promise you that I will give you this precious gift. Oh, Ferdinand, don’t laugh at me for praising her so highly, because you’ll discover that she exceeds all the praise given to her.

FERDINAND

I do believe itAgainst an oracle.

FERDINAND

I believe it, and would even believe it if an oracle said otherwise.

PROSPERO

Then as my gift and thine own acquisition Worthily purchased, take my daughter. But If thou dost break her virgin knot before All sanctimonious ceremonies may With full and holy rite be ministered, No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall To make this contract grow, but barren hate, Sour-eyed disdain, and discord shall bestrew The union of your bed with weeds so loathly That you shall hate it both. Therefore take heed, As Hymen’s lamps shall light you.

PROSPERO

Then, as a gift from me and as your well-earned reward, take my daughter. But if you take her virginity before the marriage ceremony is performed according to all the sacred traditions, the heavens will not shower blessings on your marriage. Instead, empty hate, bitter disrespect, and conflict will ruin your marriage until you both grow to despise it. So listen to what I'm saying if you want to have a happy marriage blessed by Hymen.

FERDINAND

As I hope For quiet days, fair issue, and long life, With such love as ’tis now, the murkiest den, The most opportune place, the strong’st suggestion, Our worser genius can shall never melt Mine honor into lust to take away The edge of that day’s celebration When I shall think, or Phoebus' steeds are foundered, Or night kept chained below.

FERDINAND

Since I hope to enjoy quiet days, beautiful children, and a long life filled with the love that I have now, not even the greatest opportunity or strongest temptation will allow my worse instincts to overcome my honor, and let me give in to lust. Doing so would only remove the anticipation from that day's celebration, when I'll be so excited for my first night with Miranda that I'll wonder if the sun has stopped in the sky, or if night has been locked away somehow.

PROSPERO

Fairly spoke.Sit then and talk with her. She is thine own.What, Ariel! My industrious servant, Ariel!

PROSPERO

Well said. Sit then, and talk with her. She is yours. Come here, Ariel! My busy servant, Ariel!

ARIEL enters.

ARIEL

What would my potent master? Here I am.

ARIEL

What would my mighty master like? I am here.

PROSPERO

Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service Did worthily perform, and I must use you In such another trick. Go bring the rabble, O'er whom I give thee power, here to this place. Incite them to quick motion, for I must Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple Some vanity of mine art. It is my promise, And they expect it from me.

PROSPERO

You and your lesser friends performed well in your last task, and now I need you to do something similar. Go bring the whole group here. I give you the power to control them. Make sure they come quickly, because I must use my magic to give this young couple a show. I promised I would, and they’re expecting it.

ARIEL

Presently?

ARIEL

Immediately?

PROSPERO

Ay, with a twink.

PROSPERO

Yes, in the twinkling of an eye.

ARIEL

Before you can say “Come” and “Go,” And breathe twice and cry “So, so!” Each one, tripping on his toe, Will be here with mop and mow. Do you love me, master, no?

ARIEL

Before you can say “Come” and “Go"—and breathe twice and shout “So, so!"—each one of your servants, leaping on their toes, will arrive here with their gestures and silly faces. Do you love me, master? No?

PROSPERO

Dearly my delicate Ariel. Do not approachTill thou dost hear me call.

PROSPERO

Dearly, my lovely Ariel. Don’t come until you hear me call for you.

ARIEL

Well, I conceive.

ARIEL

Yes, I understand.

ARIEL exits.

PROSPERO

[to FERDINAND] Look thou be true. Do not give dalliance Too much the rein. The strongest oaths are straw To th' fire i' th' blood. Be more abstemious, Or else, goodnight your vow.

PROSPERO

[To FERDINAND] Be mindful that you stay true to your promise to remain chaste before marriage. Don’t let your flirting push you over the edge. Even the strongest promises can get burned to a crisp by the fire of lust in your blood. Be more self-disciplined, or else say goodbye to your vow.

FERDINAND

I warrant you, sir,The white cold virgin snow upon my heartAbates the ardor of my liver.

FERDINAND

I promise you, sir, the pure love I feel in my heart holds back the passion I feel elsewhere.

PROSPERO

Well. Now come, my Ariel! Bring a corollary, Rather than want a spirit. Appear and pertly!— No tongue. All eyes! Be silent.

PROSPERO

Good. Now come, my Ariel! It's better to bring an extra helper along than to need a spirit and not have one. Appear, quickly! No talking. Watch! Be quiet.

Soft music plays.

IRIS enters.

IRIS

Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, and peas; Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep, And flat meads thatched with stover, them to keep; Thy banks with pionèd and twillèd brims, Which spongy April at thy hest betrims To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy broom groves, Whose shadow the dismissèd bachelor loves, Being lass-lorn; thy pole-clipped vineyard; And thy sea-marge, sterile and rocky hard, Where thou thyself dost air— the Queen o' th' Sky, Whose watery arch and messenger am I, Bids thee leave these, and with her sovereign grace, Here on this grass plot, in this very place, To come and sport. Her peacocks fly amain.

IRIS

Ceres, I am the messenger that carries the rainbow for Juno, the Queen of the Sky. She commands you to leave behind your rich farmlands of wheat, rye, barley, oats, and peas; the grassy hills where sheep graze and the meadows covered with hay for the sheep to eat in winter; your riverbanks covered in vines and branches that April, on your orders, covers with flowers for virginal nymphs to use to make crowns; your yellow-flowered groves where young men go when they have been rejected by their lovers; your pruned vineyards; your rocky seashore where you yourself fly. Leave all those places, and come to meet the Queen on this grassy spot—this very place—to come and play. The peacocks that draw her chariot approach at full speed.

JUNO descends from above the stage and stops in midair.

IRIS

Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain.

IRIS

Come, rich Ceres, and entertain Juno.

CERES enters.

CERES

Hail, many-colored messenger, that ne'er Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter; Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers Diffusest honey drops, refreshing showers; And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown My bosky acres and my unshrubbed down, Rich scarf to my proud earth. Why hath thy queen Summoned me hither to this short-grassed green?

CERES

Hello, many-colored messenger, who never disobeys Juno, the wife of Jupiter. With your golden wings you scatter dewdrops—those refreshing showers—on my flowers. You crown my woodlands and fields with each end of your rainbow, making a gorgeous scarf for my delighted earth. Why has your queen summoned me here to this grassy place?

IRIS

A contract of true love to celebrate,And some donation freely to estateOn the blessed lovers.

IRIS

To celebrate a marriage of true love, and to give a gift to the blessed lovers.

CERES

Tell me, heavenly bow, If Venus or her son, as thou dost know, Do now attend the queen? Since they did plot The means that dusky Dis my daughter got, Her and her blind boy’s scandaled company I have forsworn.

CERES

Tell me, heavenly rainbow, do you know if either Venus or her son Cupid are with the queen? Ever since the two of them plotted a way for Dis to steal from me my daughter Proserpina, I have sworn never to go near Venus or her blind son again.

IRIS

Of her society Be not afraid. I met her deity Cutting the clouds towards Paphos, and her son Dove-drawn with her. Here thought they to have done Some wanton charm upon this man and maid, Whose vows are that no bed-right shall be paid Till Hymen’s torch be lighted—but in vain. Mars’s hot minion is returned again. Her waspish-headed son has broke his arrows, Swears he will shoot no more, but play with sparrows And be a boy right out.

IRIS

Don’t be afraid that you will have to see her. I met Venus as she was flying with her son in a carriage pulled by doves through the sky towards her home on the island of Paphos. They had been planning to put a magic spell upon this man and woman. The spell would have made them break their vow that they would not sleep together until Hymen's torch was lit on their wedding day. Venus, that lustful wife of Mars, has returned home again. And hot-headed Cupid has broken all his arrows. He swears he will never shoot them again, and will instead play with sparrows like a regular boy.

CERES

Highest queen of state,Great Juno, comes. I know her by her gait.

CERES

The most powerful queen, Great Juno, comes. I know her by her walk.

JUNO descends to the stage.

JUNO

How does my bounteous sister? Go with meTo bless this twain that they may prosperous be,And honored in their issue.

JUNO

[To CERES] How is my generous sister? Come with me to bless this couple so they will be successful, and have wonderful children.

They sing.

JUNO

Honor, riches, marriage, blessing, Long continuance, and increasing, Hourly joys be still upon you. Juno sings her blessings on you.

JUNO

May honor, riches, marriage, blessings,
Long life, and ever increasing,
Constant joy be always with you.
Juno sings her blessings to you.

CERES

Earth’s increase, foison plenty, Barns and garners never empty, Vines and clustering bunches growing, Plants with goodly burden bowing— Spring come to you at the farthest In the very end of harvest. Scarcity and want shall shun you. Ceres' blessing so is on you.

CERES

The blessings of earth, plentiful harvests,
Always full barns and silos,
Vines full of clustered grapes,
Plants bending under the weight of their fruit—
May spring follow
Right after the end of autumn’s harvest.
Lack and poverty will never touch you.
That is Ceres’ blessing for you.

FERDINAND

This is a most majestic vision, and Harmonious charmingly. May I be bold To think these spirits?

FERDINAND

This show is an incredible illusion, with enchantingly harmonious music. Am I right to think that these are spirits that we're watching?

PROSPERO

Spirits, which by mine artI have from their confines called to enactMy present fancies.

PROSPERO

They are spirits that I've called out from their dwellings to perform my current fantasy, all through my magic.

FERDINAND

Let me live here ever.So rare a wondered father and a wifeMakes this place paradise.

FERDINAND

Let me live here forever. Such a wonderful father-in-law and wife make this place a paradise.

JUNO and CERES whisper, then send IRIS out to do a task.

PROSPERO

Sweet now, silence. Juno and Ceres whisper seriously. There’s something else to do. Hush and be mute, Or else our spell is marred.

PROSPERO

[To MIRANDA, who is about to speak] Quiet for now, darling. Juno and Ceres are whispering about something serious. There’s something else they must do. Be quiet and don't speak, or else my spell will be broken.

IRIS

You nymphs, called Naiads of the windring brooks, With your sedged crowns and ever-harmless looks, Leave your crisp channels and on this green land Answer your summons, Juno does command. Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate A contract of true love. Be not too late.

IRIS

You nymphs, called Naiads, who live in the wandering streams! With your crowns of grass and always innocent looks, leave your cool streams and obey Juno's command. Come up on this grassy field. Juno orders you. Come, chaste nymphs, and help us celebrate the engagement of two true lovers. Don’t be late.

Several NYMPHS enter.

IRIS

You sunburnt sicklemen of August weary, Come hither from the furrow and be merry. Make holiday. Your rye-straw hats put on, And these fresh nymphs encounter every one In country footing.

IRIS

Now, you sunburned farmers—so tired from all the work you must do in August—come here from your rows of planting and have fun. Celebrate. Put on your straw hats and dance with these young nymphs.

Several farmers enter, dressed appropriately. They join the nymphs in a graceful dance. At the end of the dance PROSPERO suddenly is startled and speaks.

PROSPERO

I had forgot that foul conspiracy Of the beast Caliban and his confederates Against my life. The minute of their plot Is almost come.— Well done. Avoid, no more!

PROSPERO

I forgot about Caliban’s evil conspiracy with his companions to kill me. The time for them to act on their plot is almost here.

[To the spirits] Well done. Now leave, no more!

The spirits look sad and vanish as a strange, hollow, and confused noise sounds.

FERDINAND

[to MIRANDA] This is strange. Your father’s in some passionThat works him strongly.

FERDINAND

[To MIRANDA] This is strange. Some strong feeling has deeply upset your father.

MIRANDA

Never till this daySaw I him touched with anger so distempered.

MIRANDA

I’ve never in my life seen him this angry and upset.

PROSPERO

[to FERDINAND] You do look, my son, in a moved sort, As if you were dismayed. Be cheerful, sir. Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air. And like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vexed. Bear with my weakness. My old brain is troubled. Be not disturbed with my infirmity. If you be pleased, retire into my cell And there repose. A turn or two I’ll walk To still my beating mind.

PROSPERO

[To FERDINAND] My son-in-law, you look troubled, as if something has made you upset. Cheer up, sir. The show is now finished. These actors, as I told you, were all spirits, and they’ve melted into the air, thin air. And like this vision—with its towers reaching to the clouds, its gorgeous palaces, its grand temples (which in fact have no underlying structure)—the actual world, and everyone living in it, will dissolve just as this illusion has disappeared, leaving not even a wisp of cloud behind. We are all made of the stuff of dreams, and our small lifespans stretch from the sleep before birth to the sleep after death. Sir, I’m upset. Please put up with this weakness of mine. My old brain is troubled, but don’t be disturbed by it. If you would like to, you can go to my hut and relax. I’ll take a little walk to calm my restless mind.

FERDINAND, MIRANDA

We wish your peace.

FERDINAND, MIRANDA

We hope you find some peace.

FERDINAND and MIRANDA exit.

PROSPERO

Come with a thought. I thank thee, Ariel. Come.

PROSPERO

Ariel—I call you with a thought. I thank you, Ariel. Come.

ARIEL enters.

ARIEL

Thy thoughts I cleave to. What’s thy pleasure?

ARIEL

I follow all your thoughts. What do you want?

PROSPERO

Spirit,We must prepare to meet with Caliban.

PROSPERO

Spirit, we must prepare to deal with Caliban.

ARIEL

Ay, my commander. When I presented Ceres,I thought to have told thee of it, but I fearedLest I might anger thee.

ARIEL

Yes, my leader. When I was presenting the show about Ceres, I thought of mentioning Caliban to you, but I was afraid I might make you angry.

PROSPERO

Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets?

PROSPERO

Tell me again, where did you leave those villains?

ARIEL

I told you, sir, they were red-hot with drinking, So full of valor that they smote the air For breathing in their faces, beat the ground For kissing of their feet; yet always bending Towards their project. Then I beat my tabor, At which, like unbacked colts, they pricked their ears, Advanced their eyelids, lifted up their noses As they smelt music. So I charmed their ears That, calflike, they my lowing followed through Toothed briers, sharp furzes, pricking gorse, and thorns, Which entered their frail shins. At last I left them I' th' filthy-mantled pool beyond your cell, There dancing up to th' chins, that the foul lake O'erstunk their feet.

ARIEL

I told you, sir, they were wildly drunk—so full of inflated courage that they were striking at the air with their swords for blowing in their faces, and hitting the ground for touching their feet. Yet at the same time they’ve never lost sight of their plan. Then I beat my drum, at which—like colts that had never been ridden—they pricked up their ears, looked around, and lifted their noises as if to smell the music. So with my music I put a spell on their ears that made them follow me like trusting calves through sharp-leaved bushes, prickly shrubs, and thorns—all of which stuck in their vulnerable shins. Finally, I left them in the middle of the scum-covered pond behind your hut, with the stinking water lapping at their chins.

PROSPERO

This was well done, my bird. Thy shape invisible retain thou still. The trumpery in my house, go bring it hither For stale to catch these thieves.

PROSPERO

That was well done, my little friend. Remain invisible. Go get those cheap, showy clothes from my house. Bring them here for us to use as bait to catch these thieves.

ARIEL

I go, I go.

ARIEL

Here I go, here I go.

ARIEL exits.

PROSPERO

A devil, a born devil on whose nature Nurture can never stick, on whom my pains, Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost. And as with age his body uglier grows, So his mind cankers. I will plague them all, Even to roaring.

PROSPERO

He's a devil, a devil from the moment he was born. His nature can never be changed, no matter how much care he receives. All my work for him—all done with sincere care for him—had no effect, absolutely no effect. As he grows older, his body grows uglier, and his mind becomes more evil. I’ll put them all in agony until they roar in pain.

ARIEL enters, carrying sparkling clothes.

PROSPERO

Come, hang them on this line.

PROSPERO

Come here. Hang these clothes on this clothesline.

CALIBAN, STEPHANO, and TRINCULO enter. They all are wet.

CALIBAN

Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole may not hear a foot fall. We now are near his cell.

CALIBAN

Please, walk quietly, so that not even a blind mole would hear our feet touch the ground. We are now near his hut.

STEPHANO

Monster, your fairy, which you say is a harmless fairy,has done little better than played the jack with us.

STEPHANO

Hey, monster, that spirit—who you said is harmless—has done nothing but play prank after prank on us.

TRINCULO

Monster, I do smell all horse piss, at which my nose isin great indignation.

TRINCULO

Monster, I smell like horse piss, and my nose is not at all happy about it.

STEPHANO

So is mine. Do you hear, monster? If I should take a displeasure against you, look you—

STEPHANO

Mine too. Do you hear what I'm saying, monster? If I become unhappy with you, be careful—

TRINCULO

Thou wert but a lost monster.

TRINCULO

You’d be a lost monster.

CALIBAN

Good my lord, give me thy favor still. Be patient, for the prize I’ll bring thee to Shall hoodwink this mischance. Therefore speak softly. All’s hushed as midnight yet.

CALIBAN

My good lord, don't give up on me. Be patient, because the prize I’m bringing you to will cover up the bad luck we had before. So please speak quietly. Everything's quiet, as if it's the middle of the night.

TRINCULO

Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool—

TRINCULO

All right. But I'm not happy that we lost our wine bottles in the pond—

STEPHANO

There is not only disgrace and dishonor in that, monster, but an infinite loss.

STEPHANO

Monster, losing those bottles of wine was a loss much worse than disgrace or dishonor.

TRINCULO

That’s more to me than my wetting. Yet this is your harmless fairy, monster.

TRINCULO

I'm angrier about losing them than I am about having gotten wet. Yet you said the spirit was harmless, monster.

STEPHANO

I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o'er ears for my labor.

STEPHANO

I’ll get my bottle of wine back, even if it means I have to go down into that pond so the water is over my ears.

CALIBAN

Prithee, my king, be quiet. Seest thou here, This is the mouth o' th' cell. No noise, and enter. Do that good mischief which may make this island Thine own for ever, and I, thy Caliban, For aye thy foot-licker.

CALIBAN

Please, my king, be quiet. Do you see this? It's the door to his hut. Be silent and enter. Commit the good crime that will make this island yours forever. And I, your Caliban, will always be your worshipful foot-licker.

STEPHANO

Give me thy hand. I do begin to have bloody thoughts.

STEPHANO

Give me your hand. I’m starting to want to spill some blood.

TRINCULO

[seeing the apparel] O King Stephano! O peer, O worthy Stephano, look what awardrobe here is for thee!

TRINCULO

[Seeing the clothes] Oh, King Stephano! Oh, worthy Stephano, look at the clothes hanging here for you!

CALIBAN

Let it alone, thou fool. It is but trash.

CALIBAN

Ignore it, you fool. It’s trash.

TRINCULO

Oh, ho, monster, we know what belongs to a frippery.— [puts on a gown] O King Stephano!

TRINCULO

Oh, right, monster, we know what sort of clothes are nothing more than second-hand rags. And these are good quality. [He puts on a gown] Oh, King Stephano!

STEPHANO

Put off that gown, Trinculo. By this hand, I’ll have that gown.

STEPHANO

Take off that gown, Trinculo. Give me that gown, or I swear by my hand, I will beat you up.

TRINCULO

Thy grace shall have it.

TRINCULO

It's yours, your Grace.

CALIBAN

The dropsy drown this fool! What do you mean To dote thus on such luggage? Let’s alone, And do the murder first. If he awake, From toe to crown he’ll fill our skins with pinches, Make us strange stuff.

CALIBAN

May this fool die of a heart attack! Why are you obsessing over this junk? Leave the clothes alone, and let's commit the murder first. If Prospero wakes up, he’ll torment us from head to foot and transform us into something awful.

STEPHANO

Be you quiet, monster.—Mistress line, is not this my jerkin? Now is the jerkin under the line.—Now, jerkin, you are like to lose your hair and prove a bald jerkin.

STEPHANO

Be quiet, monster. Madame clothesline, isn't this my jacket? Thank you kindly. Now the jacket is under the line. Now, jacket, you'll probably lose your fur trim and become a bald jacket.

TRINCULO

Do, do. We steal by line and level, an ’t like your grace.

TRINCULO

Do it, do it. We’re stealing with a plumb-line and carpenter's level, like real professionals, if it please your Grace.

STEPHANO

I thank thee for that jest. Here’s a garment for ’t. Wit shall not go unrewarded while I am king of this country. “Steal by line and level” is an excellent pass of pate. There’s another garment for ’t.

STEPHANO

Thanks for that joke. Here's some clothes in return. Jokes won't go unrewarded when I'm king of this country. “Stealing with a plumb-line and carpenter's level” is an excellent little joke. Here’s some more clothes as a reward.

TRINCULO

Monster, come, put some lime upon your fingers, and away with the rest.

TRINCULO

Monster, come here. Put some sticky birdlime on your fingers, and carry away the rest of this stuff.

CALIBAN

I will have none on ’t. We shall lose our time,And all be turned to barnacles or to apesWith foreheads villainous low.

CALIBAN

I won’t be a part of this. We’ll miss our opportunity and we'll all get turned into geese or apes with wretchedly low foreheads.

STEPHANO

Monster, lay to your fingers. Help to bear this away where my hogshead of wine is, or I’ll turn you out of mykingdom. Go to, carry this.

STEPHANO

Monster, use your fingers. Help to carry these clothes to where my barrel of wine is, or I’ll throw you out of my kingdom. Get going, carry this.

TRINCULO

And this.

TRINCULO

And this.

STEPHANO

Ay, and this.

STEPHANO

Yes, and this.

The sound of hunters comes from offstage. Various spirits enter in the form of hunting dogs, which chase STEPHANO, TRINCULO, and CALIBAN around. PROSPERO and ARIEL enter and urge the dogs on.

PROSPERO

Hey, Mountain, hey!

PROSPERO

Hey, Mountain, hey!

ARIEL

Silver. There it goes, Silver!

ARIEL

Silver. Follow them, Silver!

PROSPERO

Fury, Fury! There, Tyrant, there. Hark, hark!

PROSPERO

Fury, Fury! Over there, Tyrant, there. Look, look!

The spirits chase CALIBAN, STEPHANO, and TRINCULO offstage.

PROSPERO

Go charge my goblins that they grind their joints With dry convulsions, shorten up their sinews With agèd cramps, and more pinch-spotted make them Than pard or cat o' mountain.

PROSPERO

Ariel, go tell my goblin servants to make their joints shake with convulsions, to make them double over with cramps, and cover them bruises so that they have more spots than a leopard or wildcat.

ARIEL

Hark, they roar.

ARIEL

Listen, they’re roaring in pain.

PROSPERO

Let them be hunted soundly. At this hour Lie at my mercy all mine enemies. Shortly shall all my labors end, and thou Shalt have the air at freedom. For a little Follow, and do me service.

PROSPERO

May they be hunted down. As of now, all my enemies are at my mercy. Soon all my work will be done, and you’ll be free to fly wherever you want. For a little longer, though, follow my orders and do some more work for me.

They exit.

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Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.