I’ve had this question for a long time, but I’m not sure I’ve ever brought it up for discussion here on the blog. We know the general plot of The Tempest — Prospero causes a shipwreck to strand his enemy, his brother Antonio who took Milan from him and stranded him here. On the boat is also Ferdinand, Miranda sees him and falls in love, and everybody sails back to Milan happily ever after. My question is and always has been, what exactly was Prospero really planning? Did the entire play go according to what he wanted? Did he know that Ferdinand was on the boat, and was it in his plan for his daughter to fall in love with him? Did he always plan the happy reunion we get at the end, or were his original plans for Antonio a bit…darker? I haven’t studied the text of this play as much as some others, I’ve only seen it a few times. I can’t really put my finger on a passage that clearly says one way or the other whether things go according to plan, or if he changes plans midstream.