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A Daughter's Desperate Plea

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A Daughter's Desperate Plea

Comparing Image and Text

Tales from Shakespeare in Verse: "The Tempest". London, ca. 1880

A Daughter’s Desperate Plea


In this activity, you will compare the illustration above by Gertrude Demain Hammond with the text from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest that inspired it. Have a look at the drawing. Take a moment to study what is happening in the drawing. What do you see?


Now read the text below:


If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
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,
Dashed all to pieces.  O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart!  Poor souls, they perished.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth or ere
It should the good ship so have swallowed, and
The fraughting souls within her.
         (The Tempest , 1.2.1-13)


In this monologue, Miranda begs her father, Prospero, a magician, to calm the rage of the storm and sea. Can you see how the illustrator used the text to inform her picture? What words or phrases were used to describe the power of the storm and force of wind? The destruction of the ship?  What clues does the illustrator give you of Prospero’s ability to command the storm? Do you think Ms. Hammond did a good job?


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