Prospera (Helen Mirren), the duchess of Milan, is usurped by her brother Antonio (Chris Cooper) and is cast off on a raft to die with her four-year-old daughter Miranda (Felicity Jones). They survive, finding themselves stranded on an island where the beast Caliban (Djimon Hounsou) is the sole inhabitant. Prospera enslaves Caliban and claims the island. After 12 years, Alonso (David Strathairn), the king of Naples, sails back to his kingdom from the marriage of his daughter to the prince of Tunisia, accompanied by his son Ferdinand (Reeve Carney) and Antonio. Prospera, apprehending her chance for revenge, causes a tempest, wrecking the ship and stranding those on board on her island.