Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Tempest (Modern)
  • Editors: Brent Whitted, Paul Yachnin
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-370-0

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editors: Brent Whitted, Paul Yachnin
    Peer Reviewed

    The Tempest (Modern)

    A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard. Enter a Shipmaster and a Boatswain.
    Shipmaster 5Boatswain!
    Boatswain Here, master. What cheer?
    Shipmaster Good. Speak to the mariners. Fall to it yarely or we run ourselves aground. Bestir! Bestir!
    Exit [Shipmaster].
    Enter Mariners.
    Boatswain Heigh, my hearts! Cheerly, cheerly, my hearts! Yare, yare. Take in the topsail! Tend to the master's whistle. [To the storm] Blow till thou burst thy wind if room enough!
    Enter Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Ferdinand, Gonzalo, and others.
    Alonso Good boatswain, have care. Where's the master? Play the men.
    Boatswain I pray now, keep below.
    20Antonio Where is the master, boatswain?
    Boatswain Do you not hear him? You mar our labor. Keep your cabins! You do assist the storm.
    Gonzalo Nay, good, be patient.
    Boatswain When the sea is. Hence! What cares these 25roarers for the name of King? To cabin! Silence: trouble us not.
    Gonzalo Good, yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
    Boatswain None that I more love than myself. You are a counselor -- if you can command these elements to 30silence and work the peace of the present, we will not hand a rope more. Use your authority; if you cannot, give thanks you have lived so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour if it so hap. [To Mariners] Cheerly, good hearts! [To Courtiers] Out of our 35way, I say!
    Exit [Boatswain].
    Gonzalo I have great comfort from this fellow. Methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good Fate, to his hanging. Make the rope of his destiny our cable, for our 40own doth little advantage. If he be not born to be hanged, our case is miserable.
    Exit [Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo].
    Enter Boatswain.
    Boatswain Down with the topmast! Yare: lower, lower. Bring her to try with main-course!
    A cry within. Enter Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo.
    Boatswain A plague upon this howling; they are louder than the weather or our office. Yet again? What do you here? Shall we give over and drown? Have you a mind to sink?
    Sebastian A pox on your throat, you bawling, 50blasphemous, uncharitable dog!
    Boatswain Work you, then!
    Antonio Hang, cur. Hang, you whoreson, insolent noisemaker! We are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.
    Gonzalo I'll warrant him for drowning, though the 55ship were no stronger than a nutshell and as leaky as an unstanched wench.
    Boatswain Lay her ahold, ahold: set her two courses off to sea again. Lay her off!
    Enter Mariners, wet.
    60Mariners All lost! To prayers, to prayers! All lost!
    Boatswain What, must our mouths be cold?
    Gonzalo The King and prince at prayers. Let's assist them, for our case is as theirs.
    Sebastian I am out of patience.
    65Antonio We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards. This wide-chopped rascal! [To Boatswain] Would thou mightst lie drowning the washing of ten tides.
    Gonzalo He'll be hanged yet,
    Though every drop of water swear against it
    70And gape at wid'st to glut him.
    A confused noise within
    Mercy on us!
    Mariners We split, we split! Farewell, my wife and children!
    Farewell, brother! We split, we split, we split!
    Antonio Let's all sink wi'th' King.
    75Sebastian Let's take leave of him.
    Exit [Antonio and Sebastian].
    Gonzalo Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground -- long heath, brown furze, anything. The wills above be done, but I would fain die a dry death.