A line-by-line translation

The Tempest

The Tempest Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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PROSPERO enters wearing his magic robes, with ARIEL.

PROSPERO

Now does my project gather to a head. My charms crack not, my spirits obey, and time Goes upright with his carriage. How’s the day?

PROSPERO

Now my plan is coming to its conclusion. My spells are not breaking, my spirits are obeying me, and everything is running smoothly. What time is it?

ARIEL

On the sixth hour, at which time, my lord,You said our work should cease.

ARIEL

It’s nearly six o'clock, my lord, which is when you said our work would be done.

PROSPERO

I did say so When first I raised the tempest. Say, my spirit, How fares the king and ’s followers?

PROSPERO

I did say that what I first created the storm at sea. Tell me, my spirit, how are the king and his followers?

ARIEL

Confined together In the same fashion as you gave in charge, Just as you left them, all prisoners, sir, In the line grove which weather-fends your cell. They cannot budge till your release. The king, His brother, and yours, abide all three distracted, And the remainder mourning over them, Brimful of sorrow and dismay. But chiefly Him that you termed, sir, “the good old Lord Gonzalo,” His tears run down his beard like winter’s drops From eaves of reeds. Your charm so strongly works 'em That if you now beheld them, your affections Would become tender.

ARIEL

Locked up together—exactly as you commanded and just as you left them. Sir, they are prisoners in the grove of lime trees that shields your hut from bad weather. They can’t budge until you release them. The king, his brother, and your brother are waiting, out of their wits. Everyone else is worried about them, and completely shocked and sad. The one you called “the good old lord Gonzalo” is the most upset. Tears run down his beard like melting snow from a thatched roof. Your magic has affected them so deeply that if you saw them now, you’d feel bad for them.

PROSPERO

Dost thou think so, spirit?

PROSPERO

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ARIEL

Mine would, sir, were I human.

ARIEL

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PROSPERO

And mine shall. Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling Of their afflictions, and shall not myself, One of their kind, that relish all as sharply Passion as they, be kindlier moved than thou art? Though with their high wrongs I am struck to th' quick, Yet with my nobler reason 'gainst my fury Do I take part. The rarer action is In virtue than in vengeance. They being penitent, The sole drift of my purpose doth extend Not a frown further. Go release them, Ariel. My charms I’ll break, their senses I’ll restore, And they shall be themselves.

PROSPERO

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ARIEL

I’ll fetch them, sir.

ARIEL

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ARIEL exits.

PROSPERO

[tracing a circle on the ground] Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves, And ye that on the sands with printless foot Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him When he comes back; you demi-puppets that By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make, Whereof the ewe not bites; and you whose pastime Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid, Weak masters though ye be, I have bedimmed The noontide sun, called forth the mutinous winds, And ’twixt the green sea and the azured vault Set roaring war—to th' dread rattling thunder Have I given fire, and rifted Jove’s stout oak With his own bolt; the strong-based promontory Have I made shake, and by the spurs plucked up The pine and cedar; graves at my command Have waked their sleepers, oped, and let 'em forth By my so potent art. But this rough magic I here abjure, and when I have required Some heavenly music, which even now I do, To work mine end upon their senses that This airy charm is for, I’ll break my staff, Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, And deeper than did ever plummet sound I’ll drown my book.

PROSPERO

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Solemn music plays.

ARIEL enters, followed by ALONSO who is acting as if he is crazy and is tended to by GONZALO. SEBASTIAN and ANTONIO enter, also seeming crazy, and are tended to by ADRIAN and FRANCISCO. They all enter the circle that PROSPERO has drawn and stand still, under a spell. PROSPERO watches them, and then speaks.

PROSPERO

A solemn air and the best comforter To an unsettled fancy cure thy brains, Now useless, boiled within thy skull. There stand, For you are spell-stopped. Holy Gonzalo, honorable man, Mine eyes, ev'n sociable to the show of thine, Fall fellowly drops. The charm dissolves apace, And as the morning steals upon the night, Melting the darkness, so their rising senses Begin to chase the ignorant fumes that mantle Their clearer reason. O good Gonzalo, My true preserver and a loyal sir To him you follow’st, I will pay thy graces Home both in word and deed. Most cruelly Didst thou, Alonso, use me and my daughter. Thy brother was a furtherer in the act. Thou art pinched for ’t now, Sebastian. Flesh and blood, You brother mine, that entertained ambition, Expelled remorse and nature, whom, with Sebastian, Whose inward pinches therefore are most strong, Would here have killed your king—I do forgive thee, Unnatural though thou art. Their understanding Begins to swell, and the approaching tide Will shortly fill the reasonable shore That now lies foul and muddy. Not one of them That yet looks on me, or would know me. Ariel, Fetch me the hat and rapier in my cell. I will discase me, and myself present As I was sometime Milan. Quickly, spirit. Thou shalt ere long be free.

PROSPERO

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ARIEL

[sings and helps to attire PROSPERO] Where the bee sucks, there suck I. In a cowslip’s bell I lie. There I couch when owls do cry. On the bat’s back I do fly After summer merrily. Merrily, merrily shall I live now Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

ARIEL

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PROSPERO

Why, that’s my dainty Ariel. I shall miss thee, But yet thou shalt have freedom.—So, so, so.— To the king’s ship, invisible as thou art. There shalt thou find the mariners asleep Under the hatches. The Master and the Boatswain Being awake, enforce them to this place, And presently, I prithee.

PROSPERO

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ARIEL

I drink the air before me, and returnOr ere your pulse twice beat.

ARIEL

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ARIEL exits.

GONZALO

All torment, trouble, wonder, and amazementInhabits here. Some heavenly power guide usOut of this fearful country!

GONZALO

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PROSPERO

[to ALONSO] Behold, sir King, The wrongèd Duke of Milan, Prospero. For more assurance that a living prince Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body. And to thee and thy company I bid A hearty welcome. [embraces ALONSO]

PROSPERO

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ALONSO

Whe'er thou beest he or no, Or some enchanted trifle to abuse me, As late I have been, I not know. Thy pulse Beats as of flesh and blood. And since I saw thee, Th' affliction of my mind amends, with which I fear a madness held me. This must crave— An if this be at all—a most strange story. Thy dukedom I resign and do entreat Thou pardon me my wrongs. But how should Prospero Be living and be here?

ALONSO

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PROSPERO

[to GONZALO] First, noble friend,Let me embrace thine age, whose honor cannotBe measured or confined.

PROSPERO

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GONZALO

Whether this beOr be not, I’ll not swear.

GONZALO

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PROSPERO

You do yet taste Some subtleties o' th' isle, that will not let you Believe things certain. Welcome, my friends all. [aside to SEBASTIAN and ANTONIO] But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded, I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you And justify you traitors. At this time I will tell no tales.

PROSPERO

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SEBASTIAN

The devil speaks in him.

SEBASTIAN

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PROSPERO

No.— [to ANTONIO] For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive Thy rankest fault, all of them, a nd require My dukedom of thee, which perforce, I know, Thou must restore.

PROSPERO

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ALONSO

If thou beest Prospero, Give us particulars of thy preservation, How thou hast met us here, whom three hours since Were wracked upon this shore, where I have lost— How sharp the point of this remembrance is! My dear son Ferdinand.

ALONSO

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PROSPERO

I am woe for ’t, sir.

PROSPERO

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ALONSO

Irreparable is the loss, and patienceSays it is past her cure.

ALONSO

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PROSPERO

I rather think You have not sought her help, of whose soft grace For the like loss I have her sovereign aid, And rest myself content.

PROSPERO

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ALONSO

You the like loss?

ALONSO

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PROSPERO

As great to me as late. And, supportable To make the dear loss, have I means much weaker Than you may call to comfort you, for I Have lost my daughter.

PROSPERO

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ALONSO

A daughter? O heavens, that they were living both in Naples, The king and queen there! That they were, I wish Myself were mudded in that oozy bed Where my son lies.—When did you lose your daughter?

ALONSO

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PROSPERO

In this last tempest. I perceive these lords At this encounter do so much admire That they devour their reason and scarce think Their eyes do offices of truth, their words Are natural breath. But howsoev'r you have Been justled from your senses, know for certain That I am Prospero and that very duke Which was thrust forth of Milan, who most strangely Upon this shore where you were wracked, was landed, To be the lord on ’t. No more yet of this, For ’tis a chronicle of day by day, Not a relation for a breakfast, nor Befitting this first meeting. [to ALONSO] Welcome, sir. This cell’s my court. Here have I few attendants And subjects none abroad. Pray you, look in. My dukedom since you have given me again, I will requite you with as good a thing, At least bring forth a wonder to content ye As much as me my dukedom.

PROSPERO

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PROSPERO pulls back a curtain to reveal FERDINAND and MIRANDA playing chess.

MIRANDA

[to FERDINAND] Sweet lord, you play me false.

MIRANDA

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FERDINAND

No, my dearest love,I would not for the world.

FERDINAND

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MIRANDA

Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,And I would call it fair play.

MIRANDA

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ALONSO

If this proveA vision of the Island, one dear sonShall I twice lose.

ALONSO

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SEBASTIAN

A most high miracle!

SEBASTIAN

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FERDINAND

[seeing ALONSO and kneeling] Though the seas threaten, they are merciful.I have cursed them without cause.

FERDINAND

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ALONSO

Now all the blessings Of a glad father, compass thee about. Arise, and say how thou camest here.

ALONSO

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MIRANDA

Oh, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in ’t!

MIRANDA

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PROSPERO

'Tis new to thee.

PROSPERO

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ALONSO

[to FERDINAND] What is this maid with whom thou wast at play? Your eld’st acquaintance cannot be three hours. Is she the goddess that hath severed us And brought us thus together?

ALONSO

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FERDINAND

Sir, she is mortal. But by immortal providence, she’s mine. I chose her when I could not ask my father For his advice, nor thought I had one. She Is daughter to this famous Duke of Milan, Of whom so often I have heard renown But never saw before, of whom I have Received a second life. And second father This lady makes him to me.

FERDINAND

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ALONSO

I am hers.But oh, how oddly will it sound that IMust ask my child forgiveness!

ALONSO

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PROSPERO

There, sir, stop.Let us not burden our remembrances withA heaviness that’s gone.

PROSPERO

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GONZALO

I have inly wept, Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you gods, And on this couple drop a blessèd crown, For it is you that have chalked forth the way Which brought us hither.

GONZALO

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ALONSO

I say, amen, Gonzalo.

ALONSO

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GONZALO

Was Milan thrust from Milan, that his issue Should become kings of Naples? O, rejoice Beyond a common joy, and set it down With gold on lasting pillars. In one voyage Did Claribel her husband find at Tunis; And Ferdinand, her brother, found a wife Where he himself was lost; Prospero, his dukedom In a poor isle; and all of us, ourselves When no man was his own.

GONZALO

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ALONSO

[to FERDINAND and MIRANDA] Give me your hands.Let grief and sorrow still embrace his heartThat doth not wish you joy.

ALONSO

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GONZALO

Be it so. Amen.

GONZALO

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ARIEL enters, with the MASTER and BOATSWAIN following behind, amazed.

GONZALO

Oh, look, sir, look, sir! Here is more of us. I prophesied if a gallows were on land, This fellow could not drown. [To BOATSWAIN] Now, blasphemy, That swear’st grace o'erboard, not an oath on shore? Hast thou no mouth by land? What is the news?

GONZALO

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BOATSWAIN

The best news is that we have safely found Our king and company. The next, our ship— Which, but three glasses since, we gave out split— Is tight and yare and bravely rigged as when We first put out to sea.

BOATSWAIN

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ARIEL

[aside to PROSPERO] Sir, all this serviceHave I done since I went.

ARIEL

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PROSPERO

[aside to ARIEL] My tricksy spirit!

PROSPERO

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ALONSO

These are not natural events. They strengthenFrom strange to stranger.— [to BOATSWAIN] Say, how came you hither?

ALONSO

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BOATSWAIN

If I did think, sir, I were well awake, I’d strive to tell you. We were dead of sleep And—how, we know not—all clapped under hatches, Where but even now with strange and several noises Of roaring, shrieking, howling, jingling chains, And more diversity of sounds, all horrible, We were awaked, straightway at liberty, Where we, in all her trim, freshly beheld Our royal, good, and gallant ship, our Master Capering to eye her. On a trice, so please you, Even in a dream were we divided from them And were brought moping hither.

BOATSWAIN

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ARIEL

[aside to PROSPERO] Was ’t well done?

ARIEL

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PROSPERO

[aside to ARIEL] Bravely, my diligence. Thou shalt be free.

PROSPERO

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ALONSO

This is as strange a maze as e'er men trod, And there is in this business more than nature Was ever conduct of. Some oracle Must rectify our knowledge.

ALONSO

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PROSPERO

Sir, my liege, Do not infest your mind with beating on The strangeness of this business. At picked leisure Which shall be shortly, single I’ll resolve you— Which to you shall seem probable—of every These happened accidents. Till when, be cheerful And think of each thing well. [aside to ARIEL] Come hither, spirit. Set Caliban and his companions free. Untie the spell.

PROSPERO

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ARIEL exits.

PROSPERO

How fares my gracious sir? There are yet missing of your company Some few odd lads that you remember not.

PROSPERO

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ARIEL enters, pushing in CALIBAN, STEPHANO, and TRINCULO wearing their stolen clothes.

STEPHANO

Every man shift for all the rest and let no man take care for himself, for all is but fortune. Coraggio, bully-monster, coraggio!

STEPHANO

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TRINCULO

If these be true spies which I wear in my head, here’s a goodly sight.

TRINCULO

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CALIBAN

O Setebos, these be brave spirits indeed! How fine my master is! I am afraid He will chastise me.

CALIBAN

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SEBASTIAN

Ha, ha!What things are these, my lord Antonio?Will money buy 'em?

SEBASTIAN

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ANTONIO

Very like. One of themIs a plain fish, and no doubt marketable.

ANTONIO

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PROSPERO

Mark but the badges of these men, my lords, Then say if they be true. [indicates CALIBAN] This misshapen knave, His mother was a witch, and one so strong That could control the moon, make flows and ebbs, And deal in her command without her power. These three have robbed me, and this demi-devil— For he’s a bastard one—had plotted with them To take my life. Two of these fellows you Must know and own. This thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine.

PROSPERO

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CALIBAN

I shall be pinched to death.

CALIBAN

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ALONSO

Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler?

ALONSO

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SEBASTIAN

He is drunk now. Where had he wine?

SEBASTIAN

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ALONSO

And Trinculo is reeling ripe. Where should they Find this grand liquor that hath gilded 'em?— How camest thou in this pickle?

ALONSO

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TRINCULO

I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last that,I fear me, will never out of my bones. I shall not fearflyblowing.

TRINCULO

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SEBASTIAN

Why, how now, Stephano?

SEBASTIAN

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STEPHANO

O, touch me not. I am not Stephano, but a cramp.

STEPHANO

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PROSPERO

You’d be king o' th' isle, sirrah?

PROSPERO

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STEPHANO

I should have been a sore one then.

STEPHANO

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ALONSO

[indicating CALIBAN] This is a strange thing as e'er I looked on.

ALONSO

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PROSPERO

He is as disproportioned in his manners As in his shape.— [to CALIBAN] Go, sirrah, to my cell. Take with you your companions. As you look To have my pardon, trim it handsomely.

PROSPERO

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CALIBAN

Ay, that I will. And I’ll be wise hereafter And seek for grace. What a thrice-double ass Was I, to take this drunkard for a god And worship this dull fool!

CALIBAN

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PROSPERO

Go to, away.

PROSPERO

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ALONSO

[to STEPHANO and TRINCULO] Hence, and bestow your luggage where you found it.

ALONSO

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SEBASTIAN

Or stole it, rather.

SEBASTIAN

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CALIBAN, STEPHANO, and TRINCULO exit.

PROSPERO

Sir, I invite your highness and your train To my poor cell, where you shall take your rest For this one night, which—part of it—I’ll waste With such discourse as, I not doubt, shall make it Go quick away: the story of my life And the particular accidents gone by Since I came to this isle. And in the morn I’ll bring you to your ship and so to Naples, Where I have hope to see the nuptial Of these our dear-belovèd solemnized, And thence retire me to my Milan, where Every third thought shall be my grave.

PROSPERO

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ALONSO

I longTo hear the story of your life, which mustTake the ear strangely.

ALONSO

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PROSPERO

I’ll deliver all, And promise you calm seas, auspicious gales, And sail so expeditious that shall catch Your royal fleet far off.— [aside to ARIEL] My Ariel, chick, That is thy charge. Then to the elements Be free, and fare thou well!— Please you, draw near.

PROSPERO

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They all exit.

The tempest
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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.