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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

[To SEBASTIAN so that only he can hear] I’m very glad he’s lost all hope. Don’t give up on the plan we agreed to carry out just because we failed in our first attempt.

SEBASTIAN

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

SEBASTIAN

[To ANTONIO so that only he can hear] When we get another opportunity, we'll take it.

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

[To SEBASTIAN so that only he can hear] Let’s do it tonight, because the men are so exhausted from traveling. They won't, or can't, be as careful as they are when they have more energy.

Solemn and strange music plays.

PROSPERO enters above the stage, invisible.

SEBASTIAN

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

SEBASTIAN

[To ANTONIO so that only he can hear] Agreed. Tonight it is. Now be quiet.

ALONSO

What harmony is this? My good friends, hark!

ALONSO

What is that music? My good friends, listen!

GONZALO

Marvelous sweet music!

GONZALO

What marvelous, beautiful music!

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

May your angels protect us, heaven! What were those things?

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

A puppet show with living actors. Now that I've seen that, I’ll believe that unicorns exist, and that there’s a tree in Arabia where the phoenix lives, with a phoenix sitting in it right now.

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

I'll believe both those things too. And if there's anything else that seems like it can't be real, just come to me and I’ll swear it’s true. Travelers have never told lies, even if fools back home accuse them of making things up.

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

If I described this back in Naples, would they believe me? Would they believe it if I told them that I saw native islanders such as these—because they must certainly be natives of the island—who despite their unnatural shape have more grace and better manners than you can find among many—actually, almost any—human beings?

PROSPERO

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

PROSPERO

[To himself] You honest lord, what you've said is true, since some of you right there are worse than devils.

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

I can’t stop wondering about those shapes and their movements and sounds, which expressed—even without being able to speak—a kind of incredible mute language.

PROSPERO

[aside] Praise in departing.

PROSPERO

[To himself] Don't offer your praise until you've seen the whole performance.

FRANCISCO

They vanished strangely.

FRANCISCO

They disappeared in a strange way.

SEBASTIAN

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

SEBASTIAN

It doesn't matter, since they left their food behind, and we have hungry stomachs. Would you like to taste some of the food?

ALONSO

Not I.

ALONSO

Not me.

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

I promise you, sir, you have nothing to fear. When we were boys, who would have believed that there were people who lived in the mountains that had pouches of skin hanging down from their necks, as cattle do? Or that there were men who had their heads in their chests? And now every traveler returns with word that such things are real.

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

I’ll take the risk and eat. Even if this turns out to be my last meal, that's all right, since I know the best part of my life is in the past. Brother, my lord Duke, please have some food as well.

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

[To ALONSO, ANTONIO, andSEBASTIAN] The three of you are sinners. Destiny—which controls the earth and everything in it—caused the sea to throw you up onto this uninhabited island, because you are unfit to live among other people. I have driven you crazy, and men with the reckless courage given by insanity often hang or drown themselves. [ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, and ANTONIO draw their swords] You fools, my fellow harpies and I are the agents of Fate. Your swords would be no more useful for injuring the whistling winds or stabbing the water—always closing up around the hole your sword makes in it—than they would be for cutting off even one of my feathers. My comrades are just as indestructible. And even if you could hurt us, I’ve made your swords too heavy for you to lift. But remember—because reminding you of this is why I’m here—that in Milan the three of you overthrew Prospero, and abandoned him in the ocean with his innocent child. Now the ocean has paid you back for your evil actions. The gods—delaying their punishment, not forgetting it—have raised up the seas, the land, and every creature against you and any hope you may have had of peace. From you, Alonso, they’ve taken your son, and have commanded that I inflict upon you a slow ruin that follows you step-by-step, and is worse than a quick death. The only way to protect yourself from the anger of the gods—which here, on this deserted island, will otherwise fall on your heads—is for you to feel truly sorry in your heart for what you’ve done, and from now on to live good and moral lives.

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

[To himself] You’ve put on a great show of being a harpy, my Ariel. The performance had grace, and yet also a fierce consuming power. You followed my instructions and left out nothing that I asked you to say. With a unique attention to detail, even my less powerful servants have performed their different roles with excellent realism. My magic spells are working, and my enemies are all caught up in their bewilderment. They are now under my control, and I'll leave them stuck here in their confusion while I visit young Ferdinand—whom they think has drowned—and the darling girl both he and I love.

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

[To ALONSO] In the name of all that is holy, sir, why do you stand there staring strangely around?

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

Oh, it’s awful, awful. I thought the clouds spoke to me; the winds sang to me; and the thunder roared like the deep and terrible sound of an organ—all of them said the name of Prospero. Singing in a deep note, the voice spoke of the bad things I've done, and told me that, because of what I did, my son now sleeps on the ocean floor. Now I'll go search for him deeper than an anchor has ever sank, and lie with him in the mud.

ALONSO exits.

SEBASTIAN

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

SEBASTIAN

I’ll fight their entire army of devils, one at a time.

ANTONIO

I’ll be thy second.

ANTONIO

I’ll support you.

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

All three of them are desperate. Their guilt—like a poison given time to work in their bodies—now begins to bite at their consciences. Those who are lively and energetic, I beg you, quickly follow them and stop them from doing whatever this fit of insanity is pushing them to do.

ADRIAN

Follow, I pray you.

ADRIAN

Follow them, please.

They all exit.

The tempest
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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.