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The Isle is Full of Noises

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The Isle is Full of Noises

Island Soundscapes

The text below is a speech spoken by Caliban from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  Read the passage and take a moment to study what is happening in the text. See if you can identify the noises that Caliban hears on the island where he lives. 


Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,
I cried to dream again.
The Tempest 3.2.148-156

Now that you have read the passage, think about the sounds that Caliban hears on the island—twangling instruments, voices, rain. 

  • Are they good sounds? 
  • How does Caliban respond to the sounds? 
  • Do they help him to sleep more deeply?  


Next, decide who will read the passage aloud. This person will also conduct the sounds.


Then divide the students into three sections, representing each type of sound: Group A—twangling instruments, Group B—voices, and Group C—the rain. 

Ask the reader/conductor to practice with the groups by having   each group make their sound one at a time.


Finally, read speech and conduct the soundscape. 


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