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  • 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)

    Enter Prospero, in his magic robes, and Ariel.
    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?
    On the sixth hour -- at which time, my Lord,
    You said our work should cease.
    I did say so
    When first I raised the tempest. Say, my spirit,
    How fares the King and's followers?
    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.
    Dost thou think so, spirit?
    Mine would, sir, were I human.
    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.
    I'll fetch them, sir.
    Exit [Ariel while Prospero traces a magic circle on the stage].
    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.
    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.
    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.
    I drink the air before me and return
    2060Or ere your pulse twice beat!
    Exit [Ariel].
    All torment, trouble, wonder, and amazement
    Inhabits here! Some heavenly power guide us
    Out of this fearful country!
    [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.
    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?
    [To Gonzalo] First, noble friend,
    Let me embrace thine age, whose honor cannot
    Be measured or confined.
    Whether this be
    Or be not, I'll not swear.
    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.
    The devil speaks in him.
    [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.
    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.
    I am woe for't, sir.
    Irreparable is the loss, and patience
    Says it is past her cure.
    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.
    You the like loss?
    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.
    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?
    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.
    Sweet Lord, you play me false!
    No, my dearest love,
    2145I would not for the world.
    Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,
    And I would call it fair play.
    If this prove
    A vision of the island, one dear son
    2150Shall I twice lose.
    A most high miracle!
    [Ferdinand sees Alonso and the others.]
    Though the seas threaten, they are merciful;
    I have cursed them without cause.
    Now all the blessings
    2155Of a glad father compass thee about:
    Arise, and say how thou cam'st here.
    O wonder!
    How many goodly creatures are there here!
    How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
    2160That has such people in't!
    'Tis new to thee.
    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?
    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.
    I am hers.
    But oh, how oddly will it sound that I
    Must ask my child forgiveness.
    There, sir, stop.
    Let us not burden our remembrances with
    2180A heaviness that's gone.
    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.
    I say amen, 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.
    [To Ferdinand and Miranda] Give me your hands:
    Let grief and sorrow still embrace his heart
    That doth not wish you joy.
    Be it so, amen.
    2200Enter 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?
    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.
    [Aside to Prospero] Sir, all this service
    Have I done since I went.
    My tricksy spirit!
    These are not natural events; they strengthen
    From strange to stranger: say, how came you hither?
    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.
    Wast well done?
    Bravely, my diligence; thou shalt be free.
    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.
    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.
    [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!
    [Sees Prospero and the others.] If these be true spies which I wear in my head, here's a goodly sight!
    O Setebos, these be brave spirits indeed!
    2255How fine my master is; I am afraid
    He will chastise me.
    Ha, ha!
    What things are these, my Lord Antonio?
    Will money buy 'em?
    Very like -- one of them
    Is a plain fish and no doubt marketable.
    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.
    I shall be pinched to death!
    Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler?
    He is drunk now -- 2275where had he wine?
    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?
    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.
    Why, how now, Stephano?
    O touch me not; I am not Stephano, but a cramp.
    You'd be king o'the isle, sirrah?
    I should have been a sore one then.
    This is a strange thing as e'er I looked on.
    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.
    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!
    Go to: away!
    [To Stephano and Trinculo] Hence, and bestow your luggage where you found it.
    Or stole it rather.
    [Exeunt Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo.]
    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.
    I long
    To hear the story of your life, which must
    Take the ear strangely.
    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.