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The Tempest Scenes

Scene 3

Another part of the island.

(Alonso; Sebastian; Antonio; Gonzalo; Adrian; Francisco; Prospero; Shapes; Ariel)

Gonzalo is too weary to carry on walking, and Alonso is losing hope of finding Ferdinand. Antonio and Sebastian plan to kill them that night. Suddenly they hear music, and spirits bring in a marvelous banquet, dancing for them. Unaware that Prospero is looking on, invisible, the noblemen approach to eat, but as they reach the table thunder rolls and Ariel appears in the shape of a harpy. The feast vanishes and Ariel castigates them for deposing Prospero. He vanishes, and the spirits dance mockingly for the lords. The three guilty men are distracted, Antonio and Sebastian rushing out with drawn swords to fight whatever fiends they meet while Alonso, keenly feeling his guilt and now certain that Ferdinand is dead, goes to drown himself. Gonzalo sends the other men after the three to stop them from doing anything foolish. (126 lines)

Enter Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, Adrian, Francisco, etc.


By’r lakin, I can go no further, sir,

My old bones aches. Here’s a maze trod indeed

Through forth-rights and meanders! By your patience,

I needs must rest me.


Old lord, I cannot blame thee,

Who am myself attach’d with weariness

To th’ dulling of my spirits. Sit down, and rest.

Even here I will put off my hope, and keep it

No longer for my flatterer. He is drown’d

Whom thus we stray to find, and the sea mocks

Our frustrate search on land. Well, let him go.


Aside to Sebastian

I am right glad that he’s so out of hope.

Do not for one repulse forgo the purpose

That you resolv’d t’ effect.


Aside to Antonio

The next advantage

Will we take throughly.


Aside to Sebastian

Let it be tonight,

For now they are oppress’d with travail, they

Will not, nor cannot, use such vigilance

As when they are fresh.


Aside to Antonio

I say tonight. No more.

Solemn and strange music.

Prospero on the top, invisible.


What harmony is this? My good friends, hark!


Marvelous sweet music!

Enter several strange Shapes, bringing in a banquet; and dance about it with gentle actions of salutations; and inviting the King, etc., to eat, they depart.


Give us kind keepers, heavens! What were these?


A living drollery. Now I will believe

That there are unicorns; that in Arabia

There is one tree, the phoenix’ throne, one phoenix

At this hour reigning there.


I’ll believe both;

And what does else want credit, come to me,

And I’ll be sworn ’tis true. Travelers ne’er did lie,

Though fools at home condemn ’em.


If in Naples

I should report this now, would they believe me?

If I should say I saw such islanders

(For, certes, these are people of the island),

Who though they are of monstrous shape, yet note

Their manners are more gentle, kind, than of

Our human generation you shall find

Many, nay, almost any.



Honest lord,

Thou hast said well; for some of you there present

Are worse than devils.


I cannot too much muse

Such shapes, such gesture, and such sound expressing

(Although they want the use of tongue) a kind

Of excellent dumb discourse.



Praise in departing.


They vanish’d strangely.


No matter, since

They have left their viands behind; for we have stomachs.

Will’t please you taste of what is here?


Not I.


Faith, sir, you need not fear. When we were boys,

Who would believe that there were mountaineers,

Dew-lapp’d, like bulls, whose throats had hanging at ’em

Wallets of flesh? Or that there were such men

Whose heads stood in their breasts? Which now we find

Each putter-out of five for one will bring us

Good warrant of.


I will stand to, and feed,

Although my last, no matter, since I feel

The best is past. Brother, my lord the Duke,

Stand to, and do as we.

Thunder and lightning.

Enter Ariel, like a harpy, claps his wings upon the table, and with a quaint device the banquet vanishes.


You are three men of sin, whom Destiny,

That hath to instrument this lower world

And what is in’t, the never-surfeited sea

Hath caus’d to belch up you; and on this island

Where man doth not inhabit—you ’mongst men

Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad;

And even with such-like valor men hang and drown

Their proper selves.

Alonso, Sebastian, etc. draw their swords.

You fools! I and my fellows

Are ministers of Fate. The elements,

Of whom your swords are temper’d, may as well

Wound the loud winds, or with bemock’d-at stabs

Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish

One dowle that’s in my plume. My fellow ministers

Are like invulnerable. If you could hurt,

Your swords are now too massy for your strengths,

And will not be uplifted. But remember

(For that’s my business to you) that you three

From Milan did supplant good Prospero,

Expos’d unto the sea (which hath requit it)

Him, and his innocent child; for which foul deed

The pow’rs, delaying (not forgetting), have

Incens’d the seas and shores—yea, all the creatures,

Against your peace. Thee of thy son, Alonso,

They have bereft; and do pronounce by me

Ling’ring perdition (worse than any death

Can be at once) shall step by step attend

You and your ways, whose wraths to guard you from—

Which here, in this most desolate isle, else falls

Upon your heads—is nothing but heart’s sorrow,

And a clear life ensuing.

He vanishes in thunder; then, to soft music, enter the Shapes again, and dance, with mocks and mows, and carrying out the table.


Bravely the figure of this harpy hast thou

Perform’d, my Ariel; a grace it had, devouring.

Of my instruction hast thou nothing bated

In what thou hadst to say; so with good life,

And observation strange, my meaner ministers

Their several kinds have done. My high charms work,

And these, mine enemies, are all knit up

In their distractions. They now are in my pow’r;

And in these fits I leave them, while I visit

Young Ferdinand, whom they suppose is drown’d,

And his and mine lov’d darling.

Exit above.


I’ th’ name of something holy, sir, why stand you

In this strange stare?


O, it is monstrous! Monstrous!

Methought the billows spoke, and told me of it;

The winds did sing it to me, and the thunder,

That deep and dreadful organ-pipe, pronounc’d

The name of Prosper; it did base my trespass.

Therefore my son i’ th’ ooze is bedded; and

I’ll seek him deeper than e’er plummet sounded,

And with him there lie mudded.



But one fiend at a time,

I’ll fight their legions o’er.


I’ll be thy second.

Exeunt Sebastian and Antonio.


All three of them are desperate: their great guilt

(Like poison given to work a great time after)

Now gins to bite the spirits. I do beseech you

(That are of suppler joints) follow them swiftly,

And hinder them from what this ecstasy

May now provoke them to.


Follow, I pray you.

Exeunt omnes.


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