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The major theme of The Tempest is charity and reconciliation. First, Gonzalo helps Prospero by providing him with food, drink, and books on magic. When Alonso laments the supposed death of his son, it is Gonzalo who consoles Alonso by saying that the island may yet be kind to him and his men. In addition to the charity of Gonzalo, Prospero is compassionate and forgiving. After making his enemies repent for their sins, Prospero shows no vengeance, but graciously and mercifully forgives them. Ferdinand and Miranda, the young lovers in the play, act as the instruments of reconciliation.
The minor themes of the play include nature versus civilization, submission to one another and authority, and the illusion versus reality.
The main mood of the play is enchanting and light. The magical island gives way to sudden music and a general expectation that anything can happen. The love between Ferdinand and Miranda reinforces the light and lovely mood. At times, however, the mood becomes more serious, as when the murderous plot between Sebastian and Antonio is born. At other times, the mood becomes comical, as when Stephano comes upon Trinculo hidden in Caliban's cloak.