Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editors: Brent Whitted, Paul Yachnin
Peer Reviewed

The Tempest (Modern)


1945[5.1]
Enter Prospero, in his magic robes, and Ariel.
Prospero Now does my project gather to a head:
My charms crack not, my spirits obey, and time
Goes upright with his carriage. [To Ariel] How's the day?
1950Ariel On the sixth hour -- at which time, my Lord,
You said our work should cease.
Prospero
I did say so
When first I raised the tempest. Say, my spirit,
How fares the King and's followers?
1955Ariel
Confined together
In the same fashion as you gave in charge,
Just as you left them -- all prisoners, sir,
In the lime-grove which weather-fends your cell;
They cannot budge till your release. The King,
1960His brother, and yours abide, all three distracted,
And the remainder mourning over them,
Brimful of sorrow and dismay -- but chiefly
Him that you termed, sir, the good old lord Gonzalo:
His tears runs down his beard like winter's drops
1965From eaves of reeds. Your charm so strongly works 'em
That if you now beheld them, your affections
Would become tender.
Prospero
Dost thou think so, spirit?
Ariel
Mine would, sir, were I human.
1970Prospero
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 moved than thou art?
1975Though with their high wrongs I am struck 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
1980Not a frown further. Go, release them, Ariel:
My charms I'll break, their senses I'll restore,
And they shall be themselves.
Ariel
I'll fetch them, sir.
Exit [Ariel while Prospero traces a magic circle on the stage].
Prospero Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves,
1985And 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
1990Is to make midnight-mushrooms that rejoice
To hear the solemn curfew, by whose aid --
Weak masters though ye be -- I have bedimmed
The noontide sun, called forth the mutinous winds,
And 'twixt the green sea and the azured vault
1995Set roaring war; to the dread-rattling thunder
Have I given fire, and rifted Jove's stout oak
With his own bolt! The strong-based promontory
Have I made shake, and by the spurs plucked up
The pine and cedar. Graves at my command
2000Have waked their sleepers, ope'd, and let 'em forth
By my so potent art. But this rough magic
I here abjure, and when I have required
Some heavenly music, which even now I do,
To work mine end upon their senses that
2005This ayrie 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 2010gesture, attended by Gonzalo. Sebastian and Antonio enter in like manner, attended by Adrian and Francisco. They all enter the circle that Prospero has made, and there stand charmed. Prospero, observing, speaks.
[Aside to Gonzalo] A solemn ayre -- and the best comforter
2015To an unsettled fancy -- cure thy brains
(Now useless) boiled within thy skull. [To courtiers] There stand,
For you are spell-stopped.
[Aside to Gonzalo] Holy Gonzalo, honorable man,
Mine eyes, ev'n sociable to the show of thine,
2020Fall fellowly drops. [Aside] 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. [Aside to each character, in turn] O good Gonzalo,
2025My true preserver, and a loyal sir
To him thou follow'st, I will pay thy graces
Home both in word and deed. Most cruelly
Did thou, Alonso, use me and my daughter.
Thy brother was a furtherer in the act --
2030Thou art pinched for't now, Sebastian. Flesh and blood,
You, brother mine, that entertained ambition,
Expelled remorse and nature, whom, with Sebastian
(Whose inward pinches therefore are most strong)
Would here have killed your King, I do forgive thee,
2035Unnatural though thou art. [Aside] Their understanding
Begins to swell, and the approaching tide
Will shortly fill the reasonable shore
That now lies foul and muddy. Not one of them
That yet looks on me or would know me. Ariel,
2040Fetch me the hat and rapier in my cell;
I will discase me, and myself present
As I was sometime Milan. Quickly, spirit --
Thou shalt ere long be free.
Ariel [fetches the items, returns, then sings as he] helps to attire him.
2045Ariel 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.
2050Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.
Prospero Why, that's my dainty Ariel! I shall miss thee
But yet thou shalt have freedom. [Arranging his clothing.] So, so, so.
To the King's ship, invisible as thou art:
2055There 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.
Ariel I drink the air before me and return
2060Or ere your pulse twice beat!
Exit [Ariel].
Gonzalo All torment, trouble, wonder, and amazement
Inhabits here! Some heavenly power guide us
Out of this fearful country!
Prospero
[To Alonso] Behold, Sir King,
2065The wrongèd Duke of Milan, Prospero.
For more assurance that a living prince
Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body, [Embraces Alonso.]
And to thee and thy company I bid
A hearty welcome.
2070Alonso
Whe'er thou be'st 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
2075I 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?
2080Prospero
[To Gonzalo] First, noble friend,
Let me embrace thine age, whose honor cannot
Be measured or confined.
Gonzalo
Whether this be
Or be not, I'll not swear.
2085Prospero
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] But you, my brace of Lords, were I so minded,
I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you
2090And justify you traitors. At this time
I will tell no tales.
Sebastian
The devil speaks in him.
Prospero No!
[To Antonio] For you, most wicked sir -- whom to call brother
2095Would 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.
Alonso
If thou be'st Prospero,
2100Give us particulars of thy preservation,
How thou hast met us here, whom three hours since
Were wracked upon this shore, where I have lost
(How sharp the point of this remembrance is!)
My dear son Ferdinand.
2105Prospero
I am woe for't, sir.
Alonso Irreparable is the loss, and patience
Says it is past her cure.
Prospero
I rather think
You have not sought her help, of whose soft grace
2110For the like loss I have her sovereign aid,
And rest myself content.
Alonso
You the like loss?
Prospero As great to me, as late; and supportable
To make the dear loss have I means much weaker
2115Than you may call to comfort you; for I
Have lost my daughter.
Alonso A daughter?
O heavens, that they were living both in Naples,
The King and Queen there! That they were, I wish
2120Myself were mudded in that oozy bed
Where my son lies. When did you lose your daughter?
Prospero In this last tempest. [Aside] I perceive these Lords
At this encounter do so much admire,
That they devour their reason, and scarce think
2125Their eyes do offices of truth, their words
Are natural breath. [To courtiers] But howsoe'er you have
Been jostled from your senses, know for certain
That I am Prospero and that very Duke
Which was thrust forth of Milan, who most strangely
2130Upon this shore, where you were wracked, 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. [To Alonso] Welcome, sir.
2135This 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
2140As much as me my dukedom.
Here Prospero discovers Ferdinand and Miranda playing at chess.
Miranda
Sweet Lord, you play me false!
Ferdinand
No, my dearest love,
2145I would not for the world.
Miranda Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,
And I would call it fair play.
Alonso
If this prove
A vision of the island, one dear son
2150Shall I twice lose.
Sebastian
A most high miracle!
[Ferdinand sees Alonso and the others.]
Ferdinand Though the seas threaten, they are merciful;
I have cursed them without cause.
Alonso
Now all the blessings
2155Of a glad father compass thee about:
Arise, and say how thou cam'st here.
Miranda
O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
2160That has such people in't!
Prospero
'Tis new to thee.
Alonso What is this maid with whom thou wast at play?
Your eld'st acquaintance cannot be three hours.
Is she the goddess that hath severed us
2165And brought us thus together?
Ferdinand
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
2170Is daughter to this famous Duke of Milan,
Of whom so often I have heard renown,
But never saw before, of whom I have
Received a second life, and second father
This lady makes him to me.
2175Alonso
I am hers.
But oh, how oddly will it sound that I
Must ask my child forgiveness.
Prospero
There, sir, stop.
Let us not burden our remembrances with
2180A heaviness that's gone.
Gonzalo
I have inly wept,
Or should have spoke ere this: look down, you gods,
And on this couple drop a blessèd crown,
For it is you that have chalked forth the way
2185Which brought us hither.
Alonso
I say amen, Gonzalo.
Gonzalo Was Milan thrust from Milan that his issue
Should become kings of Naples? O rejoice
Beyond a common joy, and set it down
2190With 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,
2195When no man was his own.
Alonso
[To Ferdinand and Miranda] Give me your hands:
Let grief and sorrow still embrace his heart
That doth not wish you joy.
Gonzalo
Be it so, amen.
2200
Enter Ariel, with the [Ship]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. [To Boatswain] Now, blasphemy,
2205That swear'st grace o'erboard -- not an oath on shore?
Hast thou no mouth by land? What is the news?
Boatswain The best news is that we have safely found
Our King and company; the next, our ship,
2210Which but three glasses since we gave out split,
Is tight and yare and bravely rigged as when
We first put out to sea.
Ariel
[Aside to Prospero] Sir, all this service
Have I done since I went.
2215Prospero
My tricksy spirit!
Alonso These are not natural events; they strengthen
From strange to stranger: say, how came you hither?
Boatswain If I did think, sir, I were well awake,
I'd strive to tell you: we were dead of sleep
2220And (how we know not) all clapped 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 awaked, straightway at liberty,
2225Where 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.
2230Ariel
Wast well done?
Prospero Bravely, my diligence; thou shalt be free.
Alonso 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
2235Must rectify our knowledge.
Prospero
Sir, my liege,
Do not infest your mind with beating on
The strangeness of this business. At picked leisure,
Which shall be shortly single, I'll resolve you,
2240Which to you shall seem probable, of every
These happened accidents. Till when, be cheerful
And think of each thing well. [To Ariel] Come hither, spirit:
Set Caliban and his companions free;
Untie the spell. [To Alonso] How fares my gracious sir?
2245There are yet missing of your company
Some few odd lads that you remember not.
Enter Ariel, driving in Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo in their stolen apparel.
Stephano [To Trinculo and Caliban] Every man shift for all the rest, and let
2250No man take care for himself, for all is
But fortune. Coraggio, bully-monster, corragio!
Trinculo [Sees Prospero and the others.] If these be true spies which I wear in my head, here's a goodly sight!
Caliban O Setebos, these be brave spirits indeed!
2255How fine my master is; I am afraid
He will chastise me.
Sebastian Ha, ha!
What things are these, my Lord Antonio?
Will money buy 'em?
2260Antonio
Very like -- one of them
Is a plain fish and no doubt marketable.
Prospero 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
2265That could control the moon, make flows and ebbs,
And deal in her command without her power.
These three have robbed me, and this demi-devil
(For he's a bastard one) had plotted with them
To take my life. [To Alonso] Two of these fellows you
2270Must know and own; this thing of darkness I
Acknowledge mine.
Caliban
I shall be pinched to death!
Alonso Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler?
Sebastian He is drunk now -- 2275where had he wine?
Alonso And Trinculo is reeling ripe -- where should they
Find this grand liquor that hath gilded 'em?
[To Trinculo] How cam'st thou in this pickle?
Trinculo I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last
2280That I fear me will never out of my bones.
I shall not fear flyblowing.
Sebastian
Why, how now, Stephano?
Stephano O touch me not; I am not Stephano, but a cramp.
Prospero You'd be king o'the isle, sirrah?
2285Stephano I should have been a sore one then.
Alonso This is a strange thing as e'er I looked on.
Prospero He is as disproportioned in his manners
As in his shape. [To Caliban] Go, sirrah, to my cell:
Take with you your companions. As you look
2290To have my pardon, trim it handsomely.
Caliban Ay, that I will; and I'll be wise hereafter
And seek for grace. [Aside] What a thrice-double ass
Was I to take this drunkard for a god
And worship this dull fool!
2295Prospero
Go to: away!
Alonso [To Stephano and Trinculo] Hence, and bestow your luggage where you found it.
Sebastian Or stole it rather.
[Exeunt Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo.]
Prospero Sir, I invite your highness and your train
To my poor cell, where you shall take your rest
2300For 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
2305I'll bring you to your ship, and so to Naples,
Where I have hope to see the nuptial
Of these, our dear-belovèd, solemnized;
And thence retire me to my Milan, where
Every third thought shall be my grave.
2310Alonso
I long
To hear the story of your life, which must
Take the ear strangely.
Prospero
I'll deliver all,
And promise you calm seas, auspicious gales,
2315And sail so expeditious that shall catch
Your royal fleet far off. [Aside to Ariel] My Ariel, chick,
That is thy charge: then to the elements
Be free, and fare thou well. [To courtiers] Please you, draw near.
Exeunt omnes.