A line-by-line translation

The Tempest

The Tempest Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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PROSPERO enters wearing his magic robes, with ARIEL.

PROSPERO

Now does my project gather to a head. My charms crack not, my spirits obey, and time Goes upright with his carriage. How’s the day?

PROSPERO

Now my plan is coming to its conclusion. My spells are not breaking, my spirits are obeying me, and everything is running smoothly. What time is it?

ARIEL

On the sixth hour, at which time, my lord,You said our work should cease.

ARIEL

It’s nearly six o'clock, my lord, which is when you said our work would be done.

PROSPERO

I did say so When first I raised the tempest. Say, my spirit, How fares the king and ’s followers?

PROSPERO

I did say that what I first created the storm at sea. Tell me, my spirit, how are the king and his followers?

ARIEL

Confined together In the same fashion as you gave in charge, Just as you left them, all prisoners, sir, In the line grove which weather-fends your cell. They cannot budge till your release. The king, His brother, and yours, abide all three distracted, And the remainder mourning over them, Brimful of sorrow and dismay. But chiefly Him that you termed, sir, “the good old Lord Gonzalo,” His tears run down his beard like winter’s drops From eaves of reeds. Your charm so strongly works 'em That if you now beheld them, your affections Would become tender.

ARIEL

Locked up together—exactly as you commanded and just as you left them. Sir, they are prisoners in the grove of lime trees that shields your hut from bad weather. They can’t budge until you release them. The king, his brother, and your brother are waiting, out of their wits. Everyone else is worried about them, and completely shocked and sad. The one you called “the good old lord Gonzalo” is the most upset. Tears run down his beard like melting snow from a thatched roof. Your magic has affected them so deeply that if you saw them now, you’d feel bad for them.

PROSPERO

Dost thou think so, spirit?

PROSPERO

Do you think so, spirit?

ARIEL

Mine would, sir, were I human.

ARIEL

I would, sir, if I were human.

PROSPERO

And mine shall. Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling Of their afflictions, and shall not myself, One of their kind, that relish all as sharply Passion as they, be kindlier moved than thou art? Though with their high wrongs I am struck to th' quick, Yet with my nobler reason 'gainst my fury Do I take part. The rarer action is In virtue than in vengeance. They being penitent, The sole drift of my purpose doth extend Not a frown further. Go release them, Ariel. My charms I’ll break, their senses I’ll restore, And they shall be themselves.

PROSPERO

As will I. If you, made of air, can feel slightly sorry for them, then I, a human like them who has experienced all the feelings they have, will be even more affected than you. Though I’m furious about the wrongs they've done to me, I'll let myself be guided by my reason rather than by my anger. It's nobler to act honorably than to seek vengeance. Since they are sorry for what they did, there's nothing else that I want. Go release them, Ariel. I’ll cut off my spells, return them to their normal senses, and they’ll be themselves again.

ARIEL

I’ll fetch them, sir.

ARIEL

I’ll get them, sir.

ARIEL exits.

PROSPERO

[tracing a circle on the ground] Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves, And ye that on the sands with printless foot Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him When he comes back; you demi-puppets that By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make, Whereof the ewe not bites; and you whose pastime Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid, Weak masters though ye be, I have bedimmed The noontide sun, called forth the mutinous winds, And ’twixt the green sea and the azured vault Set roaring war—to th' dread rattling thunder Have I given fire, and rifted Jove’s stout oak With his own bolt; the strong-based promontory Have I made shake, and by the spurs plucked up The pine and cedar; graves at my command Have waked their sleepers, oped, and let 'em forth By my so potent art. But this rough magic I here abjure, and when I have required Some heavenly music, which even now I do, To work mine end upon their senses that This airy charm is for, I’ll break my staff, Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, And deeper than did ever plummet sound I’ll drown my book.

PROSPERO

[Drawing a large circle on the stage with his staff] All you elves of hills, streams, lakes, and forests; and you elves who leave no footprints on the sand, chasing the ocean waves as they draw down the beach and running from those same waves when they come back; you puppet-sized creatures that by the light of the moon make fairy-rings in the grass, which a sheep will refuse to eat; and you who like to make mushrooms at midnight, and who celebrate when you hear the bells signaling the arrival of night—with your help (though none of you are powerful) I've darkened the noon sun, summoned the rebellious winds, and made the green sea and blue sky war against each other. I've shot off the dreadful rumbling thunderbolt, and burned up Jupiter's strong oak with his own lightning. I've made the sturdy cliffs shake, and pulled up pine and cedar trees by the roots. With my strong magic, I've woken the dead and opened their graves to let them out. But now I reject this wild magic. And after I have conjured some heavenly music—as I’m doing now—to achieve my goal of affecting the senses of those at whom I aim my spell, I’ll break my staff. Then I'll bury it deep underground, and throw my book of magic into the sea so that it sinks farther than any anchor has ever reached.

Solemn music plays.

ARIEL enters, followed by ALONSO who is acting as if he is crazy and is tended to by GONZALO. SEBASTIAN and ANTONIO enter, also seeming crazy, and are tended to by ADRIAN and FRANCISCO. They all enter the circle that PROSPERO has drawn and stand still, under a spell. PROSPERO watches them, and then speaks.

PROSPERO

A solemn air and the best comforter To an unsettled fancy cure thy brains, Now useless, boiled within thy skull. There stand, For you are spell-stopped. Holy Gonzalo, honorable man, Mine eyes, ev'n sociable to the show of thine, Fall fellowly drops. The charm dissolves apace, And as the morning steals upon the night, Melting the darkness, so their rising senses Begin to chase the ignorant fumes that mantle Their clearer reason. O good Gonzalo, My true preserver and a loyal sir To him you follow’st, I will pay thy graces Home both in word and deed. Most cruelly Didst thou, Alonso, use me and my daughter. Thy brother was a furtherer in the act. Thou art pinched for ’t now, Sebastian. Flesh and blood, You brother mine, that entertained ambition, Expelled remorse and nature, whom, with Sebastian, Whose inward pinches therefore are most strong, Would here have killed your king—I do forgive thee, Unnatural though thou art. Their understanding Begins to swell, and the approaching tide Will shortly fill the reasonable shore That now lies foul and muddy. Not one of them That yet looks on me, or would know me. Ariel, Fetch me the hat and rapier in my cell. I will discase me, and myself present As I was sometime Milan. Quickly, spirit. Thou shalt ere long be free.

PROSPERO

Some solemn music is the best for comforting and curing restless minds, which right now are useless—burning with passions inside your skulls. All of you, stand there. You are under my spell.

[To GONZALO] Good Gonzalo, you honorable man, I sympathize with what your crying eyes show that you are feeling, and my eyes cry too.

[To himself] The spell is quickly dissipating, and like dawn sneaking up on the night and melting the darkness, their normal senses begin to creep up past the daze that right now clouds their minds. 

[To GONZALO] Oh, good Gonzalo—my true savior and a loyal lord to the king you follow—I’ll reward everything you've done, both with words and actions.

[To ALONSO] Alonso, you treated both my daughter and me cruelly, and your brother helped you do it.

[To SEBASTIAN] You’re being punished for it now, Sebastian.

[To ANTONIO] My brother, my flesh and blood, you followed your ambition and in so doing lost your goodness and compassion. It is because of you that Sebastian's guilty conscience is so strong, because you would have killed your king with him. But I forgive you, even though you are a monster.

[To himself] Their minds are starting to return to normal, and soon their reason will emerge from where it is now muddied by confusion. Not one of them would recognize me yet.

[To ARIEL] Ariel, get me the hat and sword from my hut. I’ll take off the magician's robes I’m wearing, and put on the clothes I used to wear in Milan. Quickly, spirit. Not long from now, you will be free.

ARIEL

[sings and helps to attire PROSPERO] Where the bee sucks, there suck I. In a cowslip’s bell I lie. There I couch when owls do cry. On the bat’s back I do fly After summer merrily. Merrily, merrily shall I live now Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

ARIEL

[Singing while helping PROSPERO dress]
Where the bee drinks, I do too.
In the cup of a cowslip flower is where I lie.
That's where I sleep when the owls hoot.
I fly on a bat’s back
Joyfully chasing summer around the Earth.
Happily, happily I will live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the branch.

PROSPERO

Why, that’s my dainty Ariel. I shall miss thee, But yet thou shalt have freedom.—So, so, so.— To the king’s ship, invisible as thou art. There shalt thou find the mariners asleep Under the hatches. The Master and the Boatswain Being awake, enforce them to this place, And presently, I prithee.

PROSPERO

Why, that’s my dainty Ariel singing. I will miss you, but I will still give you your freedom. Yes, yes, yes. Go to the king’s ship, remaining invisible as you are right now. There you’ll find the sailors asleep below deck. The Master and Boatswain will be awake. Lead them here immediately, please.

ARIEL

I drink the air before me, and returnOr ere your pulse twice beat.

ARIEL

I’ll speed through the air in front of me, and I'll be back before your heart beats twice.

ARIEL exits.

GONZALO

All torment, trouble, wonder, and amazementInhabits here. Some heavenly power guide usOut of this fearful country!

GONZALO

This is a place of suffering, trouble, awe, and amazement. May some heavenly power guide us out of this terrifying country!

PROSPERO

[to ALONSO] Behold, sir King, The wrongèd Duke of Milan, Prospero. For more assurance that a living prince Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body. And to thee and thy company I bid A hearty welcome. [embraces ALONSO]

PROSPERO

[To ALONSO] Look, noble King, I am Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, who was wronged. To prove to you that it's a real live person speaking to you, I will hug you. And I wish a warm welcome to you and to those with you. [He hugs ALONSO]

ALONSO

Whe'er thou beest he or no, Or some enchanted trifle to abuse me, As late I have been, I not know. Thy pulse Beats as of flesh and blood. And since I saw thee, Th' affliction of my mind amends, with which I fear a madness held me. This must crave— An if this be at all—a most strange story. Thy dukedom I resign and do entreat Thou pardon me my wrongs. But how should Prospero Be living and be here?

ALONSO

I don’t know whether or not you’re actually him, or if this is some magic trick designed to make me suffer, like I just was. Your heart beats like you are a flesh-and-blood man. And as soon as I saw you, the madness affecting my mind has eased. If it's actually true, then all of this requires an extraordinary explanation. I hereby give up ownership of your dukedom, and beg you to forgive me for the wrongs I did to you. But how is it possible that Prospero is alive and on this island?

PROSPERO

[to GONZALO] First, noble friend,Let me embrace thine age, whose honor cannotBe measured or confined.

PROSPERO

[To GONZALO] First, my noble old friend, let me hug you. Your honor is so great it can't be measured or contained.

GONZALO

Whether this beOr be not, I’ll not swear.

GONZALO

I can't tell if any of this is real or not.

PROSPERO

You do yet taste Some subtleties o' th' isle, that will not let you Believe things certain. Welcome, my friends all. [aside to SEBASTIAN and ANTONIO] But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded, I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you And justify you traitors. At this time I will tell no tales.

PROSPERO

You’re still affected by the magic and illusions of this island, which make it hard for you to believe that anything is real. Welcome to all of you, my friends.

[To SEBASTIAN and ANTONIO so that only they can hear] But if I wanted to, I could prove that the two of you were traitors. And then you'd face the King's anger. But at the moment I won’t say anything.

SEBASTIAN

The devil speaks in him.

SEBASTIAN

The devil is speaking through him.

PROSPERO

No.— [to ANTONIO] For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive Thy rankest fault, all of them, a nd require My dukedom of thee, which perforce, I know, Thou must restore.

PROSPERO

No.

[To ANTONIO]
For you, wicked sir, whom I couldn't call my brother without making myself sick, I forgive even your worst sin—and every sin as well. All I require is for you to return my dukedom to me—which, of course, I know you have to give me.

ALONSO

If thou beest Prospero, Give us particulars of thy preservation, How thou hast met us here, whom three hours since Were wracked upon this shore, where I have lost— How sharp the point of this remembrance is! My dear son Ferdinand.

ALONSO

If you are Prospero, tell us the details of how you survived, and how you met us here when just three hours ago we were shipwrecked and I lost my dear son Ferdinand. How sharp the pain of this memory is!

PROSPERO

I am woe for ’t, sir.

PROSPERO

I’m sorry about that, sir.

ALONSO

Irreparable is the loss, and patienceSays it is past her cure.

ALONSO

The loss can never be repaired, and patiently waiting for the pain to fade is not going to work.

PROSPERO

I rather think You have not sought her help, of whose soft grace For the like loss I have her sovereign aid, And rest myself content.

PROSPERO

I think that you haven't actually tried patience, which has helped me get through a similar loss and find eventual happiness.

ALONSO

You the like loss?

ALONSO

You've faced a loss like mine?

PROSPERO

As great to me as late. And, supportable To make the dear loss, have I means much weaker Than you may call to comfort you, for I Have lost my daughter.

PROSPERO

Yes, as great and as recent. And, to make the loss more profound, I have much less to comfort me than you do, because I lost my daughter.

ALONSO

A daughter? O heavens, that they were living both in Naples, The king and queen there! That they were, I wish Myself were mudded in that oozy bed Where my son lies.—When did you lose your daughter?

ALONSO

A daughter? Oh God, I wish that they were both living in Naples, as king and queen of the country! To make that happen, I’d sacrifice my own life and lie in the muddy bed beneath the ocean. When did you lose your daughter?

PROSPERO

In this last tempest. I perceive these lords At this encounter do so much admire That they devour their reason and scarce think Their eyes do offices of truth, their words Are natural breath. But howsoev'r you have Been justled from your senses, know for certain That I am Prospero and that very duke Which was thrust forth of Milan, who most strangely Upon this shore where you were wracked, was landed, To be the lord on ’t. No more yet of this, For ’tis a chronicle of day by day, Not a relation for a breakfast, nor Befitting this first meeting. [to ALONSO] Welcome, sir. This cell’s my court. Here have I few attendants And subjects none abroad. Pray you, look in. My dukedom since you have given me again, I will requite you with as good a thing, At least bring forth a wonder to content ye As much as me my dukedom.

PROSPERO

In the recent storm. It seems to me that these lords are so amazed to see me that they're standing there with their mouths open. They have lost use of their reason, don't believe their eyes, and can't speak. Whatever has shocked you out of your senses, know for certain that I am Prospero. I am the duke who was thrown out of Milan and landed on this same island where you were shipwrecked, and became the lord of it. That's enough of this story, because it's a tale that would take days to tell. It's not something you can describe over breakfast, and it's not appropriate to discuss during this first meeting.

[To ALONSO]  Welcome, sir. This hut is my royal court. I have just a few servants here, and none elsewhere on the island. Please, take a look around. Since you’ve returned my dukedom to me, I’ll give to you something just as nice in return. I’ll show you a wonder that will please you as much as my dukedom pleases me.

PROSPERO pulls back a curtain to reveal FERDINAND and MIRANDA playing chess.

MIRANDA

[to FERDINAND] Sweet lord, you play me false.

MIRANDA

[To FERDINAND] Sweet lord, you’re cheating.

FERDINAND

No, my dearest love,I would not for the world.

FERDINAND

No, my dearest love, I would never do that, not for anything in the world.

MIRANDA

Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,And I would call it fair play.

MIRANDA

Well, you should do everything you can to win. Even if it was to gain just twenty kingdoms, I'd say you were right to do it.

ALONSO

If this proveA vision of the Island, one dear sonShall I twice lose.

ALONSO

If this is just another of the illusions produced by this island, then I’ll lose my dear son twice.

SEBASTIAN

A most high miracle!

SEBASTIAN

An incredible miracle!

FERDINAND

[seeing ALONSO and kneeling] Though the seas threaten, they are merciful.I have cursed them without cause.

FERDINAND

[Seeing ALONSO and kneeling] Though the seas threaten us sometimes, they are merciful because they let you survive. I was wrong to curse them.

ALONSO

Now all the blessings Of a glad father, compass thee about. Arise, and say how thou camest here.

ALONSO

May all the blessings of a happy father surround you. Stand up, and tell me how you ended up here.

MIRANDA

Oh, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in ’t!

MIRANDA

Oh, it's wonderful! Look how many beautiful creatures there are here! Mankind is so beautiful! Oh, splendid new world, that has such people in it!

PROSPERO

'Tis new to thee.

PROSPERO

It’s new to you.

ALONSO

[to FERDINAND] What is this maid with whom thou wast at play? Your eld’st acquaintance cannot be three hours. Is she the goddess that hath severed us And brought us thus together?

ALONSO

[To FERDINAND] Who is this young woman with whom you were playing chess? You can’t have known her for more than three hours. Is she the goddess that separated us and then brought us back together?

FERDINAND

Sir, she is mortal. But by immortal providence, she’s mine. I chose her when I could not ask my father For his advice, nor thought I had one. She Is daughter to this famous Duke of Milan, Of whom so often I have heard renown But never saw before, of whom I have Received a second life. And second father This lady makes him to me.

FERDINAND

Sir, she’s human. But by God's blessing, she’s mine. I chose her to be my wife when I couldn't ask my father for his advice, and in fact no longer thought I had a father. She’s the daughter of this famous Duke of Milan, about whom I had heard such good things but had never seen before. I've been given a second life from him, and marrying her makes him a second father to me.

ALONSO

I am hers.But oh, how oddly will it sound that IMust ask my child forgiveness!

ALONSO

And that makes me her father too. But oh, how strange it is that I have to ask my child to forgive me!

PROSPERO

There, sir, stop.Let us not burden our remembrances withA heaviness that’s gone.

PROSPERO

Please, sir, no more of that. Let’s not weigh down our memories with a sadness that should be all in the past.

GONZALO

I have inly wept, Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you gods, And on this couple drop a blessèd crown, For it is you that have chalked forth the way Which brought us hither.

GONZALO

I've just been crying to myself, or else I would have said something before now. Dear gods, look down from the sky and place a blessed crown on this couple, since it was you who led us on the path that brought us here.

ALONSO

I say, amen, Gonzalo.

ALONSO

Yes, I say amen to that, Gonzalo.

GONZALO

Was Milan thrust from Milan, that his issue Should become kings of Naples? O, rejoice Beyond a common joy, and set it down With gold on lasting pillars. In one voyage Did Claribel her husband find at Tunis; And Ferdinand, her brother, found a wife Where he himself was lost; Prospero, his dukedom In a poor isle; and all of us, ourselves When no man was his own.

GONZALO

Was the Duke of Milan thrown out of Milan so that his descendants could become kings of Naples? Oh, we should celebrate this extraordinary joy, and commemorate it in gold letters, etching them into columns that will last forever. In just one journey, Claribel found a husband in Tunis; Ferdinand, her brother, found a wife in the place where he was shipwrecked; Prospero found his dukedom on a deserted island; and all of us found ourselves when we could not control our own minds.

ALONSO

[to FERDINAND and MIRANDA] Give me your hands.Let grief and sorrow still embrace his heartThat doth not wish you joy.

ALONSO

[To FERDINAND and MIRANDA] Give me your hands. May grief and sorrow always grip the heart of anyone who does not wish you joy.

GONZALO

Be it so. Amen.

GONZALO

So be it. Amen.

ARIEL enters, with the MASTER and BOATSWAIN following behind, amazed.

GONZALO

Oh, look, sir, look, sir! Here is more of us. I prophesied if a gallows were on land, This fellow could not drown. [To BOATSWAIN] Now, blasphemy, That swear’st grace o'erboard, not an oath on shore? Hast thou no mouth by land? What is the news?

GONZALO

Oh, look, sir, look, sir! More of us are here. I predicted that so long as there were gallows where a man could be hanged on land, this man would never drown.

[To BOATSWAIN] Hey, you offensive man, who swore so much it was as if you threw God overboard—aren't you going to swear now that you're on land? What news do you have?

BOATSWAIN

The best news is that we have safely found Our king and company. The next, our ship— Which, but three glasses since, we gave out split— Is tight and yare and bravely rigged as when We first put out to sea.

BOATSWAIN

The best news is that we’ve found our king and his men alive and safe. The next best news is that our ship—which we thought had split in half just three hours ago—is as well-constructed, seaworthy, and well-supplied as it was when we first set sail.

ARIEL

[aside to PROSPERO] Sir, all this serviceHave I done since I went.

ARIEL

[To PROSPERO so that only he can hear] Sir, all of what he describes is the work I’ve done since I left you.

PROSPERO

[aside to ARIEL] My tricksy spirit!

PROSPERO

[To ARIEL so that only he can hear] My ingenious spirit!

ALONSO

These are not natural events. They strengthenFrom strange to stranger.— [to BOATSWAIN] Say, how came you hither?

ALONSO

These events are not natural. They keep getting stranger and stranger.

[To BOATSWAIN] Tell me, how did you get here?

BOATSWAIN

If I did think, sir, I were well awake, I’d strive to tell you. We were dead of sleep And—how, we know not—all clapped under hatches, Where but even now with strange and several noises Of roaring, shrieking, howling, jingling chains, And more diversity of sounds, all horrible, We were awaked, straightway at liberty, Where we, in all her trim, freshly beheld Our royal, good, and gallant ship, our Master Capering to eye her. On a trice, so please you, Even in a dream were we divided from them And were brought moping hither.

BOATSWAIN

Sir, if I thought that I was actually awake, I’d try to tell you. We were fast asleep and—we don’t know how—we were below decks, when we heard all these different, strange noises: roaring, shrieking, howling, jingling chains, and more. All of these noises were so horrible that they woke us up. Immediately we were free, and we saw our courageous ship. The master danced with joy when he saw it. An instant later, as if in a dream, we were separated from the others and brought here in a daze.

ARIEL

[aside to PROSPERO] Was ’t well done?

ARIEL

[To PROSPERO so that only he can hear] Was the job well done?

PROSPERO

[aside to ARIEL] Bravely, my diligence. Thou shalt be free.

PROSPERO

[To ARIEL so that only he can hear] Magnificently done, my hard-working spirit. You’ll get your freedom.

ALONSO

This is as strange a maze as e'er men trod, And there is in this business more than nature Was ever conduct of. Some oracle Must rectify our knowledge.

ALONSO

This is as strange an experience as men have ever had. And it’s clear that there's more to what happened than natural causes can explain. We need some priest or prophet to explain what happened.

PROSPERO

Sir, my liege, Do not infest your mind with beating on The strangeness of this business. At picked leisure Which shall be shortly, single I’ll resolve you— Which to you shall seem probable—of every These happened accidents. Till when, be cheerful And think of each thing well. [aside to ARIEL] Come hither, spirit. Set Caliban and his companions free. Untie the spell.

PROSPERO

Sir, my king, don’t waste your time obsessing about the strangeness of what's happened. At the right time, which will be soon, I myself will explain—and it will be an explanation that you'll think is reasonable—about everything that's occurred. Until then, be cheerful and be generous in your thoughts about each thing that's happened.

[To ARIEL so that only he can hear] Come here, spirit. Set Caliban and his companions free. Undo the spell that binds them.

ARIEL exits.

PROSPERO

How fares my gracious sir? There are yet missing of your company Some few odd lads that you remember not.

PROSPERO

How are you, my king? There are a few men who were on your ship that are still missing—a few odd boys that you don't remember.

ARIEL enters, pushing in CALIBAN, STEPHANO, and TRINCULO wearing their stolen clothes.

STEPHANO

Every man shift for all the rest and let no man take care for himself, for all is but fortune. Coraggio, bully-monster, coraggio!

STEPHANO

Every man help everyone else, and don’t look out only for yourself, because everything that happens is just a product of blind luck. Courage, you noble monster, courage!

TRINCULO

If these be true spies which I wear in my head, here’s a goodly sight.

TRINCULO

If I can trust my eyes, this is a beautiful sight.

CALIBAN

O Setebos, these be brave spirits indeed! How fine my master is! I am afraid He will chastise me.

CALIBAN

Oh, Setebos, these are really beautiful spirits! How amazing my master is! I’m afraid he’ll punish me.

SEBASTIAN

Ha, ha!What things are these, my lord Antonio?Will money buy 'em?

SEBASTIAN

Ha, ha! What are these things here that we're seeing, my lord Antonio? Can you buy them with money?

ANTONIO

Very like. One of themIs a plain fish, and no doubt marketable.

ANTONIO

Certainly. One of them looks exactly like a fish, and must therefore be marketable.

PROSPERO

Mark but the badges of these men, my lords, Then say if they be true. [indicates CALIBAN] This misshapen knave, His mother was a witch, and one so strong That could control the moon, make flows and ebbs, And deal in her command without her power. These three have robbed me, and this demi-devil— For he’s a bastard one—had plotted with them To take my life. Two of these fellows you Must know and own. This thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine.

PROSPERO

Take a look at the badges they wear indicating for whom they work, then tell me if they are honest. This ugly monster [He points at CALIBAN] had a mother who was a witch so powerful that she could control the moon and the tides. These three have stolen from me. And this half-devil—only half-devil because he's a bastard—plotted with them to kill me. You must recognize two of these men, and accept responsibility for them. I admit that this dark monster is mine.

CALIBAN

I shall be pinched to death.

CALIBAN

He’ll torture me to death.

ALONSO

Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler?

ALONSO

Isn’t this Stephano, my drunken butler?

SEBASTIAN

He is drunk now. Where had he wine?

SEBASTIAN

He’s drunk right now. Where did he get wine?

ALONSO

And Trinculo is reeling ripe. Where should they Find this grand liquor that hath gilded 'em?— How camest thou in this pickle?

ALONSO

And Trinculo is so drunk that he's staggering. Where did they find the powerful liquor that has made them so drunk?

[To TRINCULO] How did you get so drunk?

TRINCULO

I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last that,I fear me, will never out of my bones. I shall not fearflyblowing.

TRINCULO

I’ve been so drunk since I last saw you that I fear I’ll never get the alcohol out of my bones. But at least I won't have to fear rotting, since the alcohol will keep me so well-preserved.

SEBASTIAN

Why, how now, Stephano?

SEBASTIAN

Well, how are you, Stephano?

STEPHANO

O, touch me not. I am not Stephano, but a cramp.

STEPHANO

Oh, don’t touch me. I’m not Stephano, I’m just a cramp on two legs.

PROSPERO

You’d be king o' th' isle, sirrah?

PROSPERO

You wanted to be king of the island, sir?

STEPHANO

I should have been a sore one then.

STEPHANO

I would’ve been a dreadful king, then.

ALONSO

[indicating CALIBAN] This is a strange thing as e'er I looked on.

ALONSO

[Pointing to CALIBAN] This is the strangest thing I've ever seen.

PROSPERO

He is as disproportioned in his manners As in his shape.— [to CALIBAN] Go, sirrah, to my cell. Take with you your companions. As you look To have my pardon, trim it handsomely.

PROSPERO

He’s as ugly in his manners as in his appearance.

[To CALIBAN] Go, sir, to my hut. Take your companions with you. If you hope for my forgiveness, clean it well.

CALIBAN

Ay, that I will. And I’ll be wise hereafter And seek for grace. What a thrice-double ass Was I, to take this drunkard for a god And worship this dull fool!

CALIBAN

Yes, I'll do that. And from now on I'll be smart and always try to be good. What a magnificent jackass I was, to think this drunkard was a god and worship the dumb fool!

PROSPERO

Go to, away.

PROSPERO

Get going, go.

ALONSO

[to STEPHANO and TRINCULO] Hence, and bestow your luggage where you found it.

ALONSO

[To STEPHANO and TRINCULO] Go, and return that trash you're wearing to where you found it.

SEBASTIAN

Or stole it, rather.

SEBASTIAN

Or stole it, rather.

CALIBAN, STEPHANO, and TRINCULO exit.

PROSPERO

Sir, I invite your highness and your train To my poor cell, where you shall take your rest For this one night, which—part of it—I’ll waste With such discourse as, I not doubt, shall make it Go quick away: the story of my life And the particular accidents gone by Since I came to this isle. And in the morn I’ll bring you to your ship and so to Naples, Where I have hope to see the nuptial Of these our dear-belovèd solemnized, And thence retire me to my Milan, where Every third thought shall be my grave.

PROSPERO

Sir, I invite your Highness and your men to my little hut, where you can sleep tonight. I'll spend part of the night telling you a tale that will make the time pass quickly—the story of my life, and everything that happened since I first arrived on this island. And in the morning I’ll bring you to your ship and we'll all go to Naples, where I hope to see the wedding of our two beloved children. From there, with my work completed, I will retire to Milan, where I’ll spend my time contemplating my coming death.

ALONSO

I longTo hear the story of your life, which mustTake the ear strangely.

ALONSO

I can't wait to hear the story of your life, which must be an extraordinary thing to hear.

PROSPERO

I’ll deliver all, And promise you calm seas, auspicious gales, And sail so expeditious that shall catch Your royal fleet far off.— [aside to ARIEL] My Ariel, chick, That is thy charge. Then to the elements Be free, and fare thou well!— Please you, draw near.

PROSPERO

I’ll tell everything, and I promise to give you calm seas, favorable winds, and a journey so fast that you’ll catch up with the now distant royal navy before you reach Milan.

[To ARIEL so that only he can hear] My Ariel, little one, making all that I've just said happen is your responsibility. Once that is done, you are free to go where you wish, and farewell!

[To all the others] Please, all of you, come close.

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.