The Tempest: by the numbers

The Tempest

So here’s the numerical breakdown…

  • 2039 total lines; much shorter than the average (play: 2768; romance: 2658); second-shortest play in the Canon (only The Comedy of Errors has fewer lines)
  • Act One, Scene Two is the longest of its kind in the Canon (502 lines).
  • None of its scenes are the shortest of their kinds in the Canon.
  • Act One: 568 lines; slightly shorter than average (play: 582; romance: 572)
  • Act Two: 511 lines; shorter than average play (567), longer than average romance (493)
  • Act Three: 358 lines; much shorter than average (play: 576, romance: 451)
  • Act Four: 266 lines; much shorter than average (play: 560, romance: 610)
  • Act Five: 336 lines; much shorter than average (play: 484, romance: 533)
  • 442 lines of prose (21.7% of total lines, which is less than the average play (26.32%), but more than the average romance (19.74%); compare with The Comedy of Errors: 13.31%, Titus Andronicus: 1.39%, The Taming of the Shrew: 20.82%, 1HenryVI: 0.37%, 2HenryVI: 16.64%, 3HenryVI: 0.14%, Richard III: 2.89%, Love’s Labor’s Lost: 35.08%, The Two Gentlemen of Verona: 26.81%, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 19.75%, Romeo and Juliet: 14.18%, King John: 0.0%, The Merchant of Venice: 21.79%, Richard II: 0%, 1HenryIV: 44.7%, 2HenryIV: 50.36%, HenryV: 40.89%, Merry Wives: 88.20%, As You Like It: 56.12%, Much Ado: 77.78%, Caesar: 7.47%, Twelfth: 64.44%, Hamlet: 27.33%, Troilus: 32.30%, All’s Well: 48.20%, Measure: 41.40%, Othello: 19.96%, King Lear: 26.28%, Macbeth: 8.19%, Antony and Cleopatra: 10.92%, Timon: 25.56%, Pericles: 25.56%, Coriolanus: 22.96%, Cymbeline: 12.8%, and Winter’s: 26.5%)
  • 152 rhyming lines (7.45% of total lines, which is less than the average [play: 8.35% and romance: 8.6%]; compare with Comedy: 20.10%, Titus: 2.42%, Taming: 3.93%, 1HenryVI: 9.79%, 2HenryVI: 3.16%, 3HenryVI: 5.37%, Richard III: 7.55%, LLL: 40.86%, 2Gents: 35.08%, Midsummer: 43.5%, Romeo: 16.61%, King John: 6.19%, Merchant: 5.16%, Richard II: 18.95%, 1HenryIV: 1.04%, 2HenryIV: 2.32%, HenryV: 1.80%, Merry Wives: 3.79%, As You Like It: 10.87%, Much Ado: 2.43%, Caesar: 0.41%, Twelfth: 6.09%, Hamlet: 4.91%, and Troilus: 5.40%, All’s Well: 9.05%, Measure: 3.16%, Othello: 3.09%, King Lear: 4.02%, Macbeth: 12.58%, Antony and Cleopatra: 0.99%, Timon: 5.33%, Pericles: 19.02%, Coriolanus: 1.17%, Cymbeline: 4.08%, and Winter’s: 3.22%)
  • 10 scenes; much less than average (plays: 21; romance: 20; only Love’s Labor’s Lost and A Midsummer Night’s Dream have fewer [9])
  • 21 characters; fewer than average (plays: 36; romance: 35)

Check out our “by the numbers” breakdown as an infographic!

Numerical breakdown of The Tempest (thumbnail jpg; click for full size)
Numerical breakdown of The Tempest (thumbnail jpg; click for full size)

[download the pdf (2.8 mb)]

 

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