The Tempest

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Stephano Character Analysis

Alonso's butler. Stephano is a comical character who spends the whole play drunk. When Caliban mistakes him for a god because he gives Caliban wine and gets him drunk, Stephano begins to fancy himself a king. Caliban's plot to murder Prospero is therefore very appealing to him, as are the showy garments Prospero and Ariel lay out to trap him.

Stephano Quotes in The Tempest

The The Tempest quotes below are all either spoken by Stephano or refer to Stephano. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Loss and Restoration Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of The Tempest published in 2004.
Act 3, scene 2 Quotes
Give me thy hand. I am sorry I beat thee. But while thou liv'st, keep a good tongue in thy head.
Related Characters: Stephano (speaker), Trinculo
Page Number: 3.2.121-123
Explanation and Analysis:

Stephano, Trinculo, and Caliban have all been getting drunk together. Stephano has declared himself Lord of the Island and promises Caliban the position of his Lieutenant. Trinculo, meanwhile, has mocked Caliban, leading Stephano to threaten to hang him. However, once Caliban has told them about Prospero and Miranda, the three resolve to kill Prospero and seize power, and agree to end their disputes.

Once again, this scene exists as a humorous diversion, a comic double of Antonio's more plausible and sinister plot to murder Alonso (as well as his original betrayal of Prospero, which landed Prospero on the island in the first place). However, the foolish fighting and reconciliations between the three drunk characters nonetheless exposes the fickle, deceitful element of human nature. 

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Stephano Character Timeline in The Tempest

The timeline below shows where the character Stephano appears in The Tempest. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, scene 2
Power Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
Stephano, the Alonso's butler, enters, drinking and singing very badly. Whether because of Stephano's singing or... (full context)
Power Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
...owners of such a marvelous liquid must be gods. Kneeling in worship, Caliban declares himself Stephano's subject. Stephano enjoys the admiration of the "monster" (as Trinculo repeatedly calls Caliban) and relishes... (full context)
Loss and Restoration Theme Icon
Power Theme Icon
Caliban volunteers to show them around the island and expresses a hope that Stephano might be able to deliver him from servitude to Prospero. Stephano, meanwhile, fantasizes about becoming... (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
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Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo continue to get drunk. Stephano who now calls himself "Lord of the Island,"... (full context)
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Magic, Illusion, and Prospero as Playwright Theme Icon
...enters just as Caliban begins to describe Prospero's ill treatment of him and to ask Stephano to avenge this wrong. Ariel calls out "Thou liest." But because he is invisible, the... (full context)
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Magic, Illusion, and Prospero as Playwright Theme Icon
...or cut his wezand with they knife" (3.2.80-83). But it is vital, he says, for Stephano to seize Prospero's books, which are the source of his power. He entices Stephano by... (full context)
Loss and Restoration Theme Icon
Power Theme Icon
Magic, Illusion, and Prospero as Playwright Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
...in celebration but cannot recall the tune they want to sing. Ariel supplies it, throwing Stephano and Trinculo into a fright. Caliban reassures them, delivering a lyrical speech about the island's... (full context)
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Colonization Theme Icon
Stephano exults that he will soon be the lord of such a wonderful island "where I... (full context)
Act 4, scene 1
Loss and Restoration Theme Icon
Power Theme Icon
Magic, Illusion, and Prospero as Playwright Theme Icon
Suddenly, Prospero recalls Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo's conspiracy to kill him. He calls an abrupt end to the festivities and... (full context)
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Magic, Illusion, and Prospero as Playwright Theme Icon
Stephano and Trinculo complain about the smell and the loss of their wine in the swamp.... (full context)
Act 5, scene 1
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Colonization Theme Icon
...find the ship miraculously restored to perfect condition. Next, Prospero asks Ariel to release Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo from their spell and bring them forward in their stolen absurd clothes. Prospero... (full context)
Loss and Restoration Theme Icon
Power Theme Icon
Colonization Theme Icon
The courtiers and Prospero mock Stephano and Trinculo for their drunken state and foiled ambitions. Prospero orders Caliban to take the... (full context)