A line-by-line translation

The Tempest

The Tempest Translation Act 3, Scene 3

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ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, GONZALO, ADRIAN, FRANCISCO, and others enter.

GONZALO

[to ALONSO] By 'r lakin, I can go no further, sir. My old bones ache. Here’s a maze trod indeed Through forthrights and meanders. By your patience, I needs must rest me.

GONZALO

[To ALONSO] I swear on the Virgin Mary, I can’t go any further, sir. My old bones are aching. It's like we're walking in a maze, with some paths straight and some crooked. If it's all right with you, I need to rest.

ALONSO

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 Whom thus we stray to find, and the sea mocks Our frustrate search on land. Well, let him go.

ALONSO

Old lord, I can’t blame you, since I’m so tired that I'm becoming sad. Sit down and rest. In this spot I'm going to give up all hope. The one whom we're trying to find—and getting ourselves lost in the process—is drowned. The sea is laughing at us as we search for him on land. It's time to let him go.

ANTONIO

[aside to SEBASTIAN] I am right glad that he’s so out of hope.Do not, for one repulse, forego the purposeThat you resolved t' effect.

ANTONIO

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SEBASTIAN

[aside to ANTONIO] The next advantageWill we take throughly.

SEBASTIAN

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ANTONIO

[aside to SEBASTIAN] Let it be tonight, For now they are oppressed with travel. They Will not, nor cannot, use such vigilance As when they are fresh.

ANTONIO

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Solemn and strange music plays.

PROSPERO enters above the stage, invisible.

SEBASTIAN

[aside to ANTONIO] I say, tonight. No more.

SEBASTIAN

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ALONSO

What harmony is this? My good friends, hark!

ALONSO

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GONZALO

Marvelous sweet music!

GONZALO

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Several strange shapes enter, bringing in a table and food and then dancing around it with graceful gestures of welcome. The shapes invite the king and the others to eat, then exit.

ALONSO

Give us kind keepers, heavens! What were these?

ALONSO

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SEBASTIAN

A living drollery. Now I will believe That there are unicorns, that in Arabia There is one tree, the phoenix' throne, one phoenix At this hour reigning there.

SEBASTIAN

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ANTONIO

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, Though fools at home condemn 'em.

ANTONIO

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GONZALO

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— Who, 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.

GONZALO

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PROSPERO

[aside] Honest lord,Thou hast said well, for some of you there presentAre worse than devils.

PROSPERO

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ALONSO

I cannot too much muse Such shapes, such gesture, and such sound, expressing, Although they want the use of tongue, a kind Of excellent dumb discourse.

ALONSO

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PROSPERO

[aside] Praise in departing.

PROSPERO

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FRANCISCO

They vanished strangely.

FRANCISCO

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SEBASTIAN

No matter, sinceThey have left their viands behind, for we have stomachs.Will ’t please you taste of what is here?

SEBASTIAN

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ALONSO

Not I.

ALONSO

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GONZALO

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 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 Good warrant of.

GONZALO

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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.

ALONSO

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A clap of thunder sounds and lightning flashes.

ARIEL enters in the form of a harpy. ARIEL flaps his wings on the table, and by means of some kind of device on stage, the food disappears from the table.

ARIEL

[to ALONSO, ANTONIO, and SEBASTIAN] 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 Where man doth not inhabit, you ’mongst men Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad, And even with suchlike valor men hang and drown Their proper selves. [ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, and ANTONIO draw their swords] You fools, I and my fellows Are ministers of fate. The elements Of 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, Your 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 requit it, Him 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 Lingering 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 hearts' sorrow And a clear life ensuing.

ARIEL

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ARIEL vanishes as thunder sounds.

As quiet music plays, the shapes enter again and dance, making mocking gestures and nasty faces, they carry out the banquet table.

PROSPERO

[aside] Bravely the figure of this harpy hast thou Performed, 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 And 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.

PROSPERO

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PROSPERO exits from his place above the stage.

GONZALO

[to ALONSO] I' th' name of something holy, sir, why stand youIn this strange stare?

GONZALO

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ALONSO

Oh, it is monstrous, monstrous. Methought the billows spoke and told me of it, The winds did sing it to me, and the thunder, That 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.

ALONSO

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ALONSO exits.

SEBASTIAN

But one fiend at a time,I’ll fight their legions o'er.

SEBASTIAN

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ANTONIO

I’ll be thy second.

ANTONIO

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SEBASTIAN and ANTONIO exit.

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 May now provoke them to.

GONZALO

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ADRIAN

Follow, I pray you.

ADRIAN

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They all exit.

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Ben florman
About the Translator: Ben Florman

Ben is a co-founder of LitCharts. He holds a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, where as an undergraduate he won the Winthrop Sargent prize for best undergraduate paper on a topic related to Shakespeare.