This is a quote from "The Tempest" by Ariel:

My master through his art foresees the danger That you, his friend, are, and sends me forth— For else his project dies—to keep them living. [sings in GONZALO’s ear] While you here do snoring lie, Open-eyed conspiracy His time doth take. If of life you keep a care, Shake off slumber and beware. Awake! Awake!

I want to ask for whom "his" has been used there. And shouldn't there be "conspirator" instead of "conspiracy"? Mind you, "time" has been used here in the sense of "favourable opportunity".

1 Answer 1


The line is personifying the abstract "conspiracy", and referring to it as "he".

  • 1
    It's true that "conspiracy" is being personified here, as indicated by the modifier "open-eyed." However, your answer would be a bit stronger if you edited it to point out that in the early seventeenth century, "his" was the standard possessive form of the third-person neuter pronoun "it," and was used even when personification was not intended. (Also, "he" doesn't appear in the quoted passage.)
    – Nanigashi
    Jun 6, 2019 at 17:46
  • True, @Nanigashi, I had forgotten that.
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 6, 2019 at 17:57

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