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In the play, Adrian says, "Though this island seem to be desert . Prospero calls Caliban "thou tortoise" (1.2.316), while Trinculo wonders whether he is "a man or a fish" (2.2.25), and Stephano repeatedly calls him "moon-calf" (e.g., 2.2.106, 2.2.135-6).In both Strachey's account and The Tempest, much of the action once the parties safely reach shore involves conspiracies.A storm separated the Sea-Venture from the other ships, and the rest of the fleet continued on safely to Virginia, assuming that Gates had drowned. In both cases everybody on board made it safely ashore. perished: but see the goodnesse and sweet introduction of better hope, by our mercifull God given unto us" (13); "by the mercy of God unto us, making out our Boates, we had ere night brought all our men, women, and children, about the number of one hundred and fifty, safe into the Iland" (13).The situation in The Tempest is exactly parallel: the ship is part of a fleet on its way to Naples; it carries Alonso, King of Naples, and his entourage; a storm separates the ship from the rest of the fleet, which continues on to Naples, assuming Alonso has drowned: and for the rest o' th' fleet (Which I dispers'd), they have all met again, And are upon the Mediterranean float Bound sadly home for Naples, Supposing that they saw the King's ship wrack'd, And his great person perish. The sea swelled above the clouds, which gave battel unto heaven" (6-7). Strachey attributes this to the benevolence of God: "that night we must have . In The Tempest, the safe landing is attributed to the benevolence of Prospero: The direful spectacle of the wrack, which touch'd The very virtue of compassion in thee, I have with such provision in mine art So safely ordered that there is no soul-- No, not so much perdition as an hair Betid to any creature in the vessel.
Strachey mentions palm trees of which "so broad are the leaves, as an Italian Umbrello, a man may well defend his whole body under one of them, from the greatest storm raine that falls" (19). Strachey also mentions "Sparrowes" and "Owles" (22), both of which are mentioned in passing in the play (4.1.100, 5.1.90).The first of these, A Discovery of the Barmudas, came out in October; it was written by Sylvester Jourdain, who had been aboard the "Sea-Venture" and had returned to England with Gates.A month later A True Declaration of the Estate of the Colonie in Virginia was published.A ship carrying Governor Gates and others left Jamestown two months later and reached England in September; the news of their survival caused another public sensation.Several accounts of the wreck and survival of the "Sea-Venture" were rushed into print in the fall of 1610.
This was edited together from various documents as a piece of pro-Virginia propaganda on behalf of the Virginia Company, the consortium of investors who had underwritten the trip; the subtitle indicated that it included "a confutation of such scandalous reports as have tended to the disgrace of so worthy an enterprise." [note2] Shakespeare almost certainly read the two above pamphlets and used them in writing The Tempest, but more important than either was William Strachey's True Reportory of the Wrack, and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates Knight.