The Tempest Character Map: A Classic Guide to Shakespeare’s Play

The Tempest Character Map: A Classic Guide to Shakespeare's Play

Welcome to our comprehensive character map of “The Tempest,” one of William Shakespeare’s most beloved plays. Within this unique guide, we will navigate through the intricate relationships, charming personalities, and dramatic scenes that make up this timeless classic. From the powerful magician Prospero to the mystical spirit Ariel, each character brings their own humanity and depth to the story.

As we explore this character map, we will dive into the important role each character plays in the overall plot. Whether it’s the authoritative Alonso, the rebellious boatwain, or the tempestuous Caliban, each character offers a different perspective and adds to the complexity of the narrative. Furthermore, we will analyze the relationships between characters, uncovering the bonds that tie them together or push them apart.

One of the most prominent characters in “The Tempest” is Miranda, Prospero’s daughter. Her innocence and naivety provide a stark contrast to the political intrigue and dark magic surrounding her. Moreover, her relationship with Ferdinand, the young prince, is a central focus of the play. Together, they navigate the challenges brought forth by the tempests and Prospero’s machinations.

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In addition to examining the characters themselves, this character map will also provide important quotes and insightful analysis for each character. These quotes offer a glimpse into their motivations, fears, and desires, giving the reader a deeper understanding of their individual journeys. Whether you’re a student writing a review or someone simply looking to delve into this classic play, this character map is the perfect template to navigate “The Tempest.”

So, join us on this adventure through the mystical island, where witches, fairies, and magical creatures abound. Discover the intricate web of relationships, conflicts, and resolutions that Shakespeare masterfully weaves throughout the play. Whether you are familiar with “The Tempest” or just starting out, this character map will guide you through the stormy seas of Shakespeare’s imagination. Choose a character, find their lines, and let the magic of “The Tempest” unfold before your eyes!

The Tempest Characters

In the map of characters in “The Tempest”, there are several important figures who play significant roles in the play. These characters include:

  • Prospero: The main character of the play, Prospero is a powerful sorcerer who was once the Duke of Milan. He uses his magic and wit to create the tempest and manipulate the other characters.
  • Miranda: Prospero’s daughter and the only female character in the play, Miranda is portrayed as innocent and naive. She has a strong bond with her father and falls in love with Ferdinand.
  • Caliban: Half-human and half-monster, Caliban is the son of the witch Sycorax. He is enslaved by Prospero and often seen as a symbol of colonialism in the play.
  • Ariel: A spirit who serves Prospero, Ariel is portrayed as a magical being who can shape-shift and perform various tasks. Ariel’s loyalty and obedience towards Prospero are key elements of the play.
  • Antonio: Prospero’s brother, Antonio is portrayed as a power-hungry and deceitful character. He usurps Prospero’s throne and subsequently faces the consequences of his actions.
  • Gonzalo: A loyal and optimistic character, Gonzalo is one of the few who helps Prospero and Miranda when they are banished. His positive outlook and kind-heartedness make him an important figure in the play.
  • Alonso: The King of Naples, Alonso is portrayed as a remorseful and grieving character. He is manipulated by Prospero and suffers from guilt over his past actions.
  • Sebastian: Alonso’s brother, Sebastian is portrayed as a conniving and ambitious character. He conspires with Antonio to murder Alonso and take over the throne.
  • Stephano and Trinculo: Minor characters in the play, Stephano and Trinculo are comic relief figures who provide laughs and light-heartedness amidst the chaos.
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These characters, along with minor characters like the Boatswain and the other sailors, contribute to the overall plot and themes of “The Tempest”. Their relationships, actions, and lines enrich the play and provide a deeper understanding of the human experience.

Moreover, their roles in the play can be analyzed and interpreted in various ways, making “The Tempest” a classic that continues to charm and captivate audiences to this day.

Overview of The Tempest Characters

One of Shakespeare’s classic plays, “The Tempest” features a diverse cast of characters that contribute to the rich tapestry of the story. From the enigmatic wizard Prospero to the innocent and enchanting Ariel, each character brings their own unique traits and motivations to the play.


Prospero is the central character of “The Tempest,” and much of the play revolves around his actions and choices. As a powerful magician and former Duke of Milan, Prospero seeks to protect his daughter Miranda and seek revenge on those who wronged him. He can be seen as both a protagonist and antagonist, as he displays both benevolent and manipulative tendencies throughout the play.


Ariel serves as Prospero’s loyal and magical spirit, carrying out his every command. Despite being enslaved by Prospero, Ariel maintains a loving and complex relationship with his master. He is often described as ethereal and mischievous, using his powers to manipulate the other characters and create the tempest that sets the events of the play in motion.


Miranda is Prospero’s daughter, and one of the few female characters in the play. She represents innocence, purity, and humanity in a world filled with magic and manipulation. Miranda’s relationship with Prospero is central to the story, as he controls her actions and choices. She falls in love with the shipwrecked Ferdinand, a prince, leading to conflicts and challenges throughout the play.


Caliban is a complex and controversial character in “The Tempest.” He is an island native and Prospero’s slave, often described as a “savage” or “monster.” However, Caliban also possesses a deep sense of intelligence, poeticism, and yearning for freedom. His presence challenges the audience’s perception of morality and raises questions about the treatment of indigenous people by colonizers.

Other Characters

In addition to these central characters, “The Tempest” also features a range of minor characters who contribute to the plot and themes of the play. These characters include Alonso, the King of Naples; Antonio, Prospero’s treacherous brother; Gonzalo, a wise and compassionate councilor; and Sebastian, Alonso’s brother. Each of these characters plays a significant role in the story and adds depth to the overall narrative.

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ProsperoA powerful magician seeking revenge and protecting his daughter Miranda
ArielProspero’s loyal and magical spirit, capable of manipulation
MirandaProspero’s innocent daughter, falls in love with Ferdinand
CalibanAn island native and Prospero’s slave, challenges audience perceptions
AlonsoThe King of Naples
AntonioProspero’s treacherous brother
GonzaloA wise and compassionate councilor
SebastianAlonso’s brother
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Each character in “The Tempest” brings their own unique perspective, motivations, and challenges to the play. Whether it’s Prospero’s desire for revenge, Ariel’s magical charm, or Caliban’s struggle for freedom, their interactions and conflicts drive the plot forward. Understanding the complexities and dynamics of these characters enhances the reader’s appreciation and analysis of this classic Shakespearean play.

Key Tempest Characters and their Roles

Prospero: Prospero, the central character in the play, is a complex and multidimensional character. He is a powerful magician who was banished from Milan and stranded on an island. Throughout the play, Prospero uses his magic to manipulate the other characters and seek revenge on his enemies. He also serves as a father figure to Miranda and controls the tempest that shipwrecks Alonso and his followers.

Miranda: Miranda is Prospero’s daughter and represents innocence and purity. She has lived her whole life on the island and has never seen any other humans besides her father. Miranda’s discovery of other people, particularly Ferdinand, sparks her awakening to love and humanity.

Caliban: Caliban is a native of the island and is described as a “savage and deformed slave.” He resents Prospero for taking control of the island and treats him as a tyrant. However, Caliban’s relationship with Prospero is complex, as Prospero initially taught him language and promised to educate him.

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Ariel: Ariel is a spirit and Prospero’s loyal servant. He has supernatural powers and can change his form at will. Ariel plays a crucial role in carrying out Prospero’s plans and helps to orchestrate the events on the island.

Alonso: Alonso is the King of Naples and is one of Prospero’s enemies. Alonso carries guilt for his past actions and is tormented by thoughts of his son’s death. Prospero uses Alonso’s guilt to manipulate him and lead him towards redemption.

Antonio: Antonio is Prospero’s treacherous brother and the usurper of his title as Duke of Milan. Antonio’s betrayal is one of the main reasons Prospero is stranded on the island. Throughout the play, Antonio shows no remorse for his actions.

Gonzalo: Gonzalo is an old and loyal councilor to Alonso. He is the only character who shows genuine kindness and compassion towards those who are shipwrecked on the island. Gonzalo’s optimistic and hopeful nature provides a contrast to the darker aspects of the play.

These characters, along with others such as Stephano and Trinculo, play important roles in the plot and themes of The Tempest. Their interactions and relationships drive the story forward and provide ample opportunity for analysis and interpretation. Whether you are a fan of classic plays or just enjoy a good story, The Tempest offers a wealth of memorable characters and thought-provoking themes that continue to charm and captivate audiences to this day.

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Who are the main characters in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest?

The main characters in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest include Prospero, Miranda, Ariel, Caliban, and Ferdinand.

What is the role of Prospero in The Tempest?

Prospero is the central character in The Tempest. He is the rightful Duke of Milan who was overthrown by his brother and exiled to a remote island. Throughout the play, Prospero uses his magical powers to manipulate events and seek revenge on his enemies.

Can you explain the relationship between Miranda and Prospero in The Tempest?

Miranda is the daughter of Prospero, and their relationship is a central theme in the play. Miranda is fiercely loyal to her father and relies on him for guidance and protection. Prospero, in turn, adores his daughter and has raised her in isolation on the island.

What is the significance of Ariel in The Tempest?

Ariel is a spirit who serves Prospero and acts as his magical assistant. Ariel’s presence represents the power of nature and supernatural forces. Throughout the play, Ariel helps Prospero carry out his plans and seeks his freedom in return.

What role does Caliban play in The Tempest?

Caliban is a native of the island and initially serves as a slave to Prospero. His character represents the themes of colonization and the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized. Caliban resents Prospero’s control over him and eventually seeks to overthrow him.

Who are the main characters in “The Tempest”?

The main characters in “The Tempest” are Prospero, Miranda, Caliban, Ariel, Alonso, and Antonio.

What is the story of “The Tempest” about?

The story of “The Tempest” revolves around a powerful magician named Prospero who uses his magic to create a storm and shipwreck his enemies on an island. He seeks revenge on his brother Antonio, who seized his dukedom, as well as on Alonso, the current King of Naples. The play explores themes of betrayal, forgiveness, and the power of magic.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.