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Can I use the simple past (as used by Shakespeare) to refer to the initial relationship between Prospero and Caliban? I added a few more sentences.

1) One day Caliban tried to rape Miranda, so Prospero gave up taking care of him.
2) At the beginning Prospero taught Caliban the names of the sun and the moon but now he pens him up in a cave like an animal.
3) Criminals aren't only prevented from causing death but they are also ...
Or Criminals are not only...
4) There are two tpes of magic, maleficent and beneficent. Sykorax's magic tends to harm its victims, whereas Prospero's is used only for good purposes.
5) The source of Prospero's magic is found in his books, his robe, and his wand, the instrument of his power.

  • English -

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/composition/literature.htm
    I always refer to the paragraph just below the chart discussing quotations and margins. The directions in that paragraph are clear and easy to follow. Once you get all that, then you're ready to use your best judgment.

    1. Since I haven't read this play in about 20 years, you'll have to decide. Did the actions in #1 happen before the play opens? If so, then I'd say that past tense is all right.

    2. Did the actions in #2 happen during the play? If so, then all needs to be in present tense.

    3. Both phrasings are fine; I prefer the second, but both are correct.

    4. types <~~sp? The sentences are fine.

    5. OK

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