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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

The Tempest Scenes


Scene 1

Before Prospero’s cell.

(Prospero; Ariel; Alonso; Gonzalo; Sebastian; Antonio; Adrian; Francisco; Ferdinand; Miranda; Master of a Ship; Boatswain; Caliban; Stephano; Trinculo)


Prospero learns where exactly everyone is. Ariel describes the pain the lords are in, as well as their followers, particularly Gonzalo. The spirit comments that were he a human he would have pity on them. Prospero decides to forgive them, and sends Ariel to release them. To the various spirits he has commanded Prospero swears to give up his magic. The noblemen are brought in and stand charmed in a circle. Prospero goes to dress himself in his old clothes as Duke of Milan. He reveals himself to them all, welcoming them, and Alonso, amazed, immediately gives up his claim to Milan. Prospero welcomes everybody, quietly warning Antonio and Sebastian that he knows about their treachery and could reveal it. Alonso tells Prospero that he is mourning his son, and Prospero comments that he himself has lost his daughter; Alonso laments and wishes that both were alive and married together. Prospero invites them into his cell and reveals Ferdinand and Miranda, alive and playing chess. Ferdinand is thrilled to see his father alive, while Miranda is exhilarated to discover the variety of human beings. Alonso agrees that they should marry while Gonzalo weeps for joy. Ariel brings in the ship’s crew, who are not only well but can confirm that the ship is in perfect shape. Prospero promises again that he will free Ariel, whom he sends to bring in Caliban and the others. They arrive, looking ridiculous. Prospero hands Stephano and Trinculo over to Alonso, while acknowledging that Caliban is his responsibility. Caliban, sober now, realizes what a fool he has been to follow the drunkards. Prospero invites everyone into his cell, to tell them the story of his life and of these last few hours. Then he promises Ariel that, once the spirit has given them a good breeze to sail them towards the royal fleet, he shall be free. ( line)

Enter Prospero in his magic robes, and Ariel.

PROS.

Now does my project gather to a head:

My charms crack not; my spirits obey; and Time

Goes upright with his carriage. How’s the day?

ARI.

On the sixt hour, at which time, my lord,

You said our work should cease.

PROS.

I did say so,

When first I rais’d the tempest. Say, my spirit,

How fares the King and ’s followers?

ARI.

Confin’d together

In the same fashion as you gave in charge,

Just as you left them; all prisoners, sir,

In the line-grove which weather-fends your cell;

They cannot boudge till your release. The King,

His brother, and yours, abide all three distracted,

And the remainder mourning over them,

Brimful of sorrow and dismay; but chiefly

Him that you term’d, sir, “the good old Lord Gonzalo,”

His tears runs down his beard like winter’s drops

From eaves of reeds. Your charm so strongly works ’em

That if you now beheld them, your affections

Would become tender.

PROS.

Dost thou think so, spirit?

ARI.

Mine would, sir, were I human.

PROS.

And mine shall.

Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling

Of their afflictions, and shall not myself,

One of their kind, that relish all as sharply

Passion as they, be kindlier mov’d than thou art?

Though with their high wrongs I am strook to th’ quick,

Yet, with my nobler reason, ’gainst my fury

Do I take part. The rarer action is

In virtue than in vengeance. They being penitent,

The sole drift of my purpose doth extend

Not a frown further. Go, release them, Ariel.

My charms I’ll break, their senses I’ll restore,

And they shall be themselves.

ARI.

I’ll fetch them, sir.

Exit.

Prospero traces a magic circle with his staff.

PROS.

Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves,

And ye that on the sands with printless foot

Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him

When he comes back; you demi-puppets that

By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make,

Whereof the ewe not bites; and you whose pastime

Is to make midnight mushrumps, that rejoice

To hear the solemn curfew: by whose aid

(Weak masters though ye be) I have bedimm’d

The noontide sun, call’d forth the mutinous winds,

And ’twixt the green sea and the azur’d vault

Set roaring war; to the dread rattling thunder

Have I given fire, and rifted Jove’s stout oak

With his own bolt; the strong-bas’d promontory

Have I made shake, and by the spurs pluck’d up

The pine and cedar. Graves at my command

Have wak’d their sleepers, op’d, and let ’em forth

By my so potent art. But this rough magic

I here abjure; and when I have requir’d

Some heavenly music (which even now I do)

To work mine end upon their senses that

This airy charm is for, I’ll break my staff,

Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,

And deeper than did ever plummet sound

I’ll drown my book.

Solemn music.

Here enters Ariel before; then Alonso, with a frantic gesture, attended by Gonzalo; Sebastian and Antonio in like manner, attended by Adrian and Francisco.

They all enter the circle which Prospero had made, and there stand charm’d; which Prospero observing, speaks.

A solemn air, and the best comforter

To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains,

Now useless, boil’d within thy skull! There stand,

For you are spell-stopp’d.

Holy Gonzalo, honorable man,

Mine eyes, ev’n sociable to the show of thine,

Fall fellowly drops. The charm dissolves apace,

And as the morning steals upon the night,

Melting the darkness, so their rising senses

Begin to chase the ignorant fumes that mantle

Their clearer reason. O good Gonzalo,

My true preserver, and a loyal sir

To him thou follow’st! I will pay thy graces

Home both in word and deed. Most cruelly

Didst thou, Alonso, use me and my daughter;

Thy brother was a furtherer in the act.

Thou art pinch’d for’t now, Sebastian. Flesh and blood,

You, brother mine, that entertain’d ambition,

Expell’d remorse and nature, whom, with Sebastian

(Whose inward pinches therefore are most strong),

Would here have kill’d your king, I do forgive thee,

Unnatural though thou art.—Their understanding

Begins to swell, and the approaching tide

Will shortly fill the reasonable shores

That now lie foul and muddy. Not one of them

That yet looks on me, or would know me! Ariel,

Fetch me the hat and rapier in my cell.

Exit Ariel, and returns immediately.

I will discase me, and myself present

As I was sometime Milan. Quickly, spirit,

Thou shalt ere long be free.

Ariel sings and helps to attire him.

ARI.

Where the bee sucks, there suck I,

In a cowslip’s bell I lie;

There I couch when owls do cry.

On the bat’s back I do fly

After summer merrily.

Merrily, merrily shall I live now,

Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

PROS.

Why, that’s my dainty Ariel! I shall miss thee,

But yet thou shalt have freedom. So, so, so.

To the King’s ship, invisible as thou art;

There shalt thou find the mariners asleep

Under the hatches. The master and the boatswain

Being awake, enforce them to this place;

And presently, I prithee.

ARI.

I drink the air before me, and return

Or ere your pulse twice beat.

Exit.

GON.

All torment, trouble, wonder, and amazement

Inhabits here. Some heavenly power guide us

Out of this fearful country!

PROS.

Behold, sir King,

The wronged Duke of Milan, Prospero.

For more assurance that a living prince

Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body,

And to thee and thy company I bid

A hearty welcome.

ALON.

Whe’er thou beest he or no,

Or some enchanted trifle to abuse me

(As late I have been), I not know. Thy pulse

Beats as of flesh and blood; and since I saw thee,

Th’ affliction of my mind amends, with which

I fear a madness held me. This must crave

(And if this be at all) a most strange story.

Thy dukedom I resign, and do entreat

Thou pardon me my wrongs. But how should Prospero

Be living, and be here?

PROS.

To Gonzalo.

First, noble friend,

Let me embrace thine age, whose honor cannot

Be measur’d or confin’d.

GON.

Whether this be,

Or be not, I’ll not swear.

PROS.

You do yet taste

Some subtleties o’ th’ isle, that will not let you

Believe things certain. Welcome, my friends all!

Aside to Sebastian and Antonio.PROS.SEB.ANT.

But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded,

I here could pluck his Highness’ frown upon you

And justify you traitors. At this time

I will tell no tales.

SEB.

Aside.SEB.

The devil speaks in him.

PROS.

No.

For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother

Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive

Thy rankest fault—all of them; and require

My dukedom of thee, which perforce, I know

Thou must restore.

ALON.

If thou beest Prospero,

Give us particulars of thy preservation,

How thou hast met us here, whom three hours since

Were wrack’d upon this shore; where I have lost

(How sharp the point of this remembrance is!)

My dear son Ferdinand.

PROS.

I am woe for’t, sir.

ALON.

Irreparable is the loss, and patience

Says, it is past her cure.

PROS.

I rather think

You have not sought her help, of whose soft grace

For the like loss I have her sovereign aid,

And rest myself content.

ALON.

You the like loss?

PROS.

As great to me as late, and supportable

To make the dear loss, have I means much weaker

Than you may call to comfort you; for I

Have lost my daughter.

ALON.

A daughter?

O heavens, that they were living both in Naples,

The King and Queen there! That they were, I wish

Myself were mudded in that oozy bed

Where my son lies. When did you lose your daughter?

PROS.

In this last tempest. I perceive these lords

At this encounter do so much admire

That they devour their reason, and scarce think

Their eyes do offices of truth, their words

Are natural breath; but howsoev’r you have

Been justled from your senses, know for certain

That I am Prospero, and that very duke

Which was thrust forth of Milan, who most strangely

Upon this shore (where you were wrack’d) was landed,

To be the lord on’t. No more yet of this,

For ’tis a chronicle of day by day,

Not a relation for a breakfast, nor

Befitting this first meeting. Welcome, sir;

This cell’s my court. Here have I few attendants,

And subjects none abroad. Pray you look in.

My dukedom since you have given me again,

I will requite you with as good a thing,

At least bring forth a wonder, to content ye

As much as me my dukedom.

Here Prospero discovers Ferdinand and Miranda playing at chess.

MIR.

Sweet lord, you play me false.

FER.

No, my dearest love,

I would not for the world.

MIR.

Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,

And I would call it fair play.

ALON.

If this prove

A vision of the island, one dear son

Shall I twice lose.

SEB.

A most high miracle!

FER.

Though the seas threaten, they are merciful;

I have curs’d them without cause.

Kneels.

ALON.

Now all the blessings

Of a glad father compass thee about!

Arise, and say how thou cam’st here.

MIR.

O wonder!

How many goodly creatures are there here!

How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world

That has such people in’t!

PROS.

’Tis new to thee.

ALON.

What is this maid with whom thou wast at play?

Your eld’st acquaintance cannot be three hours.

Is she the goddess that hath sever’d us,

And brought us thus together?

FER.

Sir, she is mortal;

But by immortal Providence she’s mine.

I chose her when I could not ask my father

For his advice, nor thought I had one. She

Is daughter to this famous Duke of Milan,

Of whom so often I have heard renown,

But never saw before; of whom I have

Receiv’d a second life; and second father

This lady makes him to me.

ALON.

I am hers.

But O, how oddly will it sound that I

Must ask my child forgiveness!

PROS.

There, sir, stop.

Let us not burden our remembrances with

A heaviness that’s gone.

GON.

I have inly wept,

Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you gods,

And on this couple drop a blessed crown!

For it is you that have chalk’d forth the way

Which brought us hither.

ALON.

I say amen, Gonzalo!

GON.

Was Milan thrust from Milan, that his issue

Should become kings of Naples? O, rejoice

Beyond a common joy, and set it down

With gold on lasting pillars: in one voyage

Did Claribel her husband find at Tunis,

And Ferdinand, her brother, found a wife

Where he himself was lost; Prospero, his dukedom

In a poor isle; and all of us, ourselves,

When no man was his own.

ALON.

To Ferdinand and Miranda.

Give me your hands.

Let grief and sorrow still embrace his heart

That doth not wish you joy!

GON.

Be it so, amen!

Enter Ariel, with the Master and Boatswain amazedly following.

O, look, sir, look, sir, here is more of us.

I prophesied, if a gallows were on land,

This fellow could not drown. Now, blasphemy,

That swear’st grace o’erboard, not an oath on shore?

Hast thou no mouth by land? What is the news?

BOATS.

The best news is, that we have safely found

Our king and company; the next, our ship—

Which, but three glasses since, we gave out split—

Is tight and yare, and bravely rigg’d as when

We first put out to sea.

ARI.

Aside to ProsperoARI.PROS.

Sir, all this service

Have I done since I went.

PROS.

Aside to ArielPROS.ARI.

My tricksy spirit!

ALON.

These are not natural events, they strengthen

From strange to stranger. Say, how came you hither?

BOATS.

If I did think, sir, I were well awake,

I’ld strive to tell you. We were dead of sleep,

And (how we know not) all clapp’d under hatches,

Where, but even now, with strange and several noises

Of roaring, shrieking, howling, jingling chains,

And more diversity of sounds, all horrible,

We were awak’d; straightway, at liberty;

Where we, in all our trim, freshly beheld

Our royal, good, and gallant ship; our master

Cap’ring to eye her. On a trice, so please you,

Even in a dream, were we divided from them,

And were brought moping hither.

ARI.

Aside to ProsperoARI.PROS.

Was’t well done?

PROS.

Aside to ArielPROS.ARI.

Bravely, my diligence. Thou shalt be free.

ALON.

This is as strange a maze as e’er men trod,

And there is in this business more than nature

Was ever conduct of. Some oracle

Must rectify our knowledge.

PROS.

Sir, my liege,

Do not infest your mind with beating on

The strangeness of this business. At pick’d leisure,

Which shall be shortly, single I’ll resolve you

(Which to you shall seem probable) of every

These happen’d accidents; till when, be cheerful

And think of each thing well.

Aside to Ariel.PROS.ARI.

Come hither, spirit.

Set Caliban and his companions free;

Untie the spell.

Exit Ariel.

How fares my gracious sir?

There are yet missing of your company

Some few odd lads that you remember not.

Enter Ariel, driving in Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo in their stol’n apparel.

STE.

Every man shift for all the rest, and let no man take care for himself; for all is but fortune. Coraggio, bully-monster, coraggio!

TRIN.

If these be true spies which I wear in my head, here’s a goodly sight.

CAL.

O Setebos, these be brave spirits indeed!

How fine my master is! I am afraid

He will chastise me.

SEB.

Ha, ha!

What things are these, my Lord Antonio?

Will money buy ’em?

ANT.

Very like; one of them

Is a plain fish, and no doubt marketable.

PROS.

Mark but the badges of these men, my lords,

Then say if they be true. This misshapen knave—

His mother was a witch, and one so strong

That could control the moon, make flows and ebbs,

And deal in her command without her power.

These three have robb’d me, and this demi-devil

(For he’s a bastard one) had plotted with them

To take my life. Two of these fellows you

Must know and own, this thing of darkness I

Acknowledge mine.

CAL.

I shall be pinch’d to death.

ALON.

Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler?

SEB.

He is drunk now. Where had he wine?

ALON.

And Trinculo is reeling ripe. Where should they

Find this grand liquor that hath gilded ’em?

How cam’st thou in this pickle?

TRIN.

I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last that I fear me will never out of my bones. I shall not fear fly-blowing.

SEB.

Why, how now, Stephano?

STE.

O, touch me not, I am not Stephano, but a cramp.

PROS.

You’ld be king o’ the isle, sirrah?

STE.

I should have been a sore one then.

ALON.

This is a strange thing as e’er I look’d on.

Pointing to Caliban.

PROS.

He is as disproportion’d in his manners

As in his shape. Go, sirrah, to my cell;

Take with you your companions. As you look

To have my pardon, trim it handsomely.

CAL.

Ay, that I will; and I’ll be wise hereafter,

And seek for grace. What a thrice-double ass

Was I to take this drunkard for a god,

And worship this dull fool!

PROS.

Go to, away!

ALON.

Hence, and bestow your luggage where you found it.

SEB.

Or stole it, rather.

Exeunt Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo.

PROS.

Sir, I invite your Highness and your train

To my poor cell, where you shall take your rest

For this one night; which, part of it, I’ll waste

With such discourse as, I not doubt, shall make it

Go quick away—the story of my life,

And the particular accidents gone by

Since I came to this isle. And in the morn

I’ll bring you to your ship, and so to Naples,

Where I have hope to see the nuptial

Of these our dear-belov’d solemnized,

And thence retire me to my Milan, where

Every third thought shall be my grave.

ALON.

I long

To hear the story of your life, which must

Take the ear strangely.

PROS.

I’ll deliver all,

And promise you calm seas, auspicious gales,

And sail so expeditious, that shall catch

Your royal fleet far off.

Aside to Ariel.PROS.ARI.

My Ariel, chick,

That is thy charge. Then to the elements

Be free, and fare thou well!—Please you draw near.

Exeunt omnes.

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