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)

    Enter Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, 1515Adrian, Francisco, and others.
    By'r lakin, I can go no further, sir;
    My old bones aches. Here's a maze trod indeed
    Through fourth-rights and meanders. By your patience,
    I needs must rest me.
    Old lord, I cannot blame thee,
    Who am myself attached 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 drowned
    1525Whom 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 resolved t'effect.
    [Aside to Antonio] The next advantage
    Will we take throughly.
    [Aside to Sebastian] Let it be tonight,
    For now they are oppressed with travail; they
    Will not nor cannot use such vigilance
    As when they are fresh.
    [Aside to Antonio] I say tonight. No more.
    1535Solemn and strange music, and Prospero on the top [i.e., on the upper stage], invisible. Enter several strange shapes bringing in a banquet, and dance about it with gentle actions of salutations, and, inviting the King [and others] to eat, they depart.
    What harmony is this, my good friends? Hark!
    Marvelous sweet music!
    Give us kind keepers, heavens! What were these?
    A living drollery! Now I will believe
    That there are unicorns, that in Arabia
    1545There 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,
    1550Though 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),
    1555Who, 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.
    [Aside] Honest Lord,
    1560Thou 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
    1565Of excellent dumb discourse.
    [Aside] Praise in departing.
    They vanished strangely.
    No matter, since
    They have left their viands behind, for we have stomachs.
    1570Will'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
    Dewlapped like bulls, whose throats had hanging at 'em
    1575Wallets 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,
    1580Although 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 1585banquet 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 caused to belch up you; and on this island,
    1590Where 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, and others draw their swords.]
    You fools! I and my fellows
    Are ministers of Fate. The elements
    1595Of whom your swords are tempered may as well
    Wound the loud winds, or with bemocked-at stabs
    Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish
    One dowl that's in my plume. My fellow ministers
    Are like invulnerable; if you could hurt,
    1600Your 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,
    Exposed unto the sea (which hath requite it)
    1605Him and his innocent child, for which foul deed
    The powers (delaying, not forgetting) have
    Incensed the seas and shores (yea, all the creatures!)
    Against your peace. Thee of thy son, Alonso,
    They have bereft, and do pronounce by me:
    1610Ling'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
    1615And 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
    1620Performed, 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,
    1625And these, mine enemies, are all knit up
    In their distractions. They now are in my power,
    And in these fits I leave them while I visit
    Young Ferdinand (whom they suppose is drowned)
    And his and mine loved darling.
    I'th'name of something holy, sir, why stand you
    In this strange stare?
    Oh, it is monstrous, monstrous!
    Methought the billows spoke and told me of it;
    The winds did sing it to me, and the thunder,
    1635That deep and dreadful organ pipe, pronounced
    The name of Prosper -- it did bass 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.
    Exit [Alonso].
    But one fiend at a time,
    I'll fight their legions o'er.
    I'll be thy second.
    Exit [Sebastian, Antonio, and Francisco].
    All three of them are desperate. Their great guilt
    (Like poison given to work a great time after)
    1645Now '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.
    [To remaining others] Follow, I pray you.
    Exeunt omnes.