Now my charms are all o'erthrown,
And what strength I have's mine own,
Which is most faint. Now, ’tis true
I must be here confined by you
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,(5)
Since I have my dukedom got,
And pardoned the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell;
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands:(10)
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,(15)
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so, that it assaults
Mercy itself, and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardoned be,
Let your indulgence set me free.(20)


  1. Prospero has freed Ariel, forgiven those who betrayed him, given up his magic, and even set conditions for Caliban to earn his own freedom. Now, in this final scene, he humbly asks the audience for his own freedom, which is curious considering that he has been the one who controlled and enslaved others. If this speech is meant to serve as Shakespeare’s own farewell to theater (as many believe), then the desire for release from the audience is more understandable: the “charms” serve as a playwright’s skill and “with the help of your good hands” refers to the applause of the audience. As it applies to Prospero and the play, the speech serves as a declaration of the restoration of the natural order and hierarchy of power and the dissolution of any remaining plots.

    — Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor