Open Source Shakespeare

The Tempest

• To print this text, click here
• To save this text, go to your browser's File menu, then select Save As


Act III, Scene 3

Another part of the island.



  • Gonzalo. By'r lakin, I can go no further, sir;
    My old bones ache: here's a maze trod indeed 1555
    Through forth-rights and meanders! By your patience,
    I needs must rest me.
  • Alonso. Old lord, I cannot blame thee,
    Who am myself attach'd with weariness,
    To the dulling of my spirits: sit down, and rest. 1560
    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.
  • Antonio. [Aside to SEBASTIAN] I am right glad that he's so 1565
    out of hope.
    Do not, for one repulse, forego the purpose
    That you resolved to effect.
  • Sebastian. [Aside to ANTONIO] The next advantage
    Will we take throughly. 1570
  • Antonio. [Aside to SEBASTIAN] Let it be to-night;
    For, now they are oppress'd with travel, they
    Will not, nor cannot, use such vigilance
    As when they are fresh.
  • Sebastian. [Aside to ANTONIO] I say, to-night: no more. 1575

[Solemn and strange music]

  • Alonso. What harmony is this? My good friends, hark!
  • Gonzalo. Marvellous sweet music!
    [Enter PROSPERO above, invisible. Enter several]
    strange Shapes, bringing in a banquet; 1580
    they dance about it with gentle actions of
    salutation; and, inviting the King, &c. to
    eat, they depart]
  • Alonso. Give us kind keepers, heavens! What were these?
  • Sebastian. A living drollery. Now I will believe 1585
    That there are unicorns, that in Arabia
    There is one tree, the phoenix' throne, one phoenix
    At this hour reigning there.
  • Antonio. I'll believe both;
    And what does else want credit, come to me, 1590
    And I'll be sworn 'tis true: travellers ne'er did
    Though fools at home condemn 'em.
  • Gonzalo. If in Naples
    I should report this now, would they believe me? 1595
    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 1600
    Many, nay, almost any.
  • Prospero. [Aside] Honest lord,
    Thou hast said well; for some of you there present
    Are worse than devils.
  • Alonso. I cannot too much muse 1605
    Such shapes, such gesture and such sound, expressing,
    Although they want the use of tongue, a kind
    Of excellent dumb discourse.
  • Prospero. [Aside]. Praise in departing.
  • Francisco. They vanish'd strangely. 1610
  • Sebastian. No matter, since
    They have left their viands behind; for we have stomachs.
    Will't please you taste of what is here?
  • Alonso. Not I.
  • Gonzalo. Faith, sir, you need not fear. When we were boys, 1615
    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 1620
    Good warrant of.
  • Alonso. 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. 1625
    [Thunder and lightning. Enter ARIEL, like a]
    harpy; claps his wings upon the table; and,
    with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes]
  • Ariel. You are three men of sin, whom Destiny,
    That hath to instrument this lower world 1630
    And what is in't, the never-surfeited sea
    Hath caused 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 valour men hang and drown 1635
    Their proper selves.
    [ALONSO, SEBASTIAN &c. 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 1640
    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 1645
    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 requit it,
    Him and his innocent child: for which foul deed 1650
    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:
    Lingering perdition, worse than any death 1655
    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-sorrow
    And a clear life ensuing. 1660
    [He vanishes in thunder; then, to soft music]
    enter the Shapes again, and dance, with
    mocks and mows, and carrying out the table]
  • Prospero. Bravely the figure of this harpy hast thou
    Perform'd, my Ariel; a grace it had, devouring: 1665
    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 1670
    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 drown'd,
    And his and mine loved darling.

[Exit above]

  • Gonzalo. I' the name of something holy, sir, why stand you
    In this strange stare?
  • Alonso. O, it is monstrous, monstrous:
    Methought the billows spoke and told me of it;
    The winds did sing it to me, and the thunder, 1680
    That deep and dreadful organ-pipe, pronounced
    The name of Prosper: it did bass my trespass.
    Therefore my son i' the ooze is bedded, and
    I'll seek him deeper than e'er plummet sounded
    And with him there lie mudded. 1685


  • Sebastian. But one fiend at a time,
    I'll fight their legions o'er.
  • Antonio. I'll be thy second.


  • Gonzalo. 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 1695
    May now provoke them to.
  • Adrian. Follow, I pray you.