The word tempest is defined as a "violent windstorm, frequently accompanied by rain, snow, or hail" or "furious agitation, commotion, or tumult; an uproar"("Tempest"). William Shakespeare's The Tempest is about tempests both literally and figuratively. A literal tempest on a ship takes place in the first scene of the first act. A violent storm causes a ship to split in half and throw everyone into the sea. Indirectly, Prospero causes the tempest that sinks the ship. He does this by ordering a spirit named Ariel to create a storm and sink the ship. Prospero asks Ariel if he has "perform"d to point the tempest that I bade thee? (1.2.195)." On the other hand, the figurative tempest occurs between Prospero and his brother, the king from the shipwrecked boat. There is a tempest between Prospero and his brother because Prospero's brother tried to have him killed. Luckily, Prospero was able to escape to an island not far from where his brother's ship sinks. Prospero and his brother are related by blood. When Prospero's brother attempts fratricide it clearly displays his lost sense of humanity. By using sense, Shakespeare may be trying to influence the reader to believe that Prospero's brother is evil and greedy for power. This is also an example of madness. Prospero gives his dukedom to his brother. Even after gaining so much power, Prospero's brother displays madness by attempting to kill Prospero. Another example of madness is when Prospero makes his books and learning a priority over being duke. A duke should devote all of his time to being duke and should not be distracted by books or entertainment. It is madness how Prospero tries to quench his thirst for knowledge rather than rule as duke. .
Virtually opposite of madness is the form in which Shakespeare writes The Tempest. Almost every line contains ten syllables or pentameter. Shakespeare uses pentameter to tie relations between characters and their lines.