List iconThe Tempest:
Act 5, scene 1
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The Tempest
Act 5, scene 1


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Scene 1
Enter Prospero in his magic robes, and Ariel.

 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?
 On the sixth hour, at which time, my lord,
5 You said our work should cease.
PROSPERO  I did say so
 When first I raised the tempest. Say, my spirit,
 How fares the King and ’s followers?
ARIEL  Confined
10 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,
15 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
20 His tears runs down his beard like winter’s drops
 From eaves of reeds. Your charm so strongly works

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 That if you now beheld them, your affections
 Would become tender.
PROSPERO 25 Dost thou think so, spirit?
 Mine would, sir, were I human.
PROSPERO  And mine shall.
 Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling
 Of their afflictions, and shall not myself,
30 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’
 Yet with my nobler reason ’gainst my fury
35 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,
40 And they shall be themselves.
ARIEL  I’ll fetch them, sir.
He exits.

Prospero draws a large circle on the stage with his staff.

 You elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves,
 And you that on the sands with printless foot
 Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him
45 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 mushrumps, that rejoice
 To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid,
50 Weak masters though you be, I have bedimmed
 The noontide sun, called forth the mutinous winds,
 And ’twixt the green sea and the azured vault

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 Set roaring war; to the dread rattling thunder
 Have I given fire, and rifted Jove’s stout oak
55 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
60 I here abjure, and when I have required
 Some heavenly music, which even now I do,
Prospero gestures with his staff.
 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,
65 And deeper than did ever plummet sound
 I’ll drown my book.Solemn music.

Here enters Ariel before; then Alonso with a frantic
gesture, attended by Gonzalo; Sebastian and Antonio in
like manner attended by Adrian and Francisco.
 They all
enter the circle which Prospero had made, and there
stand charmed;
 which Prospero observing, speaks.

 A solemn air, and the best comforter
 To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains,
 Now useless, boiled within thy skull. There stand,
70 For you are spell-stopped.—
 Holy Gonzalo, honorable man,
 Mine eyes, e’en sociable to the show of thine,
 Fall fellowly drops.—The charm dissolves apace,
 And as the morning steals upon the night,
75 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 thou follow’st, I will pay thy graces
80 Home, both in word and deed.—Most cruelly

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 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
85 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
90 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.
Ariel exits and at once returns
with Prospero’s ducal robes.

95 I will discase me and myself present
 As I was sometime Milan.—Quickly, spirit,
 Thou shalt ere long be free.
ARIEL sings, and helps to attire him. 

  Where the bee sucks, there suck I.
  In a cowslip’s bell I lie.
100  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 bow.

105 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
110 Being awake, enforce them to this place,
 And presently, I prithee.

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 I drink the air before me, and return
 Or ere your pulse twice beat.He exits.
 All torment, trouble, wonder, and amazement
115 Inhabits here. Some heavenly power guide us
 Out of this fearful country!
PROSPERO, to Alonso  Behold, sir king,
 The wrongèd Duke of Milan, Prospero.
 For more assurance that a living prince
120 Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body,
He embraces Alonso.
 And to thee and thy company I bid
 A hearty welcome.
ALONSO  Whe’er thou be’st he or no,
 Or some enchanted trifle to abuse me
125 (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.
130 Thy dukedom I resign, and do entreat
 Thou pardon me my wrongs. But how should
 Be living and be here?
PROSPERO, to Gonzalo  First, noble friend,
135 Let me embrace thine age, whose honor cannot
 Be measured or confined.
GONZALO  Whether this be
 Or be not, I’ll not swear.
PROSPERO  You do yet taste
140 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,

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 I here could pluck his Highness’ frown upon you
145 And justify you traitors. At this time
 I will tell no tales.
SEBASTIAN, aside  The devil speaks in him.
PROSPERO, aside to Sebastian No.
 To Antonio. For you, most wicked sir, whom to
150 call brother
 Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive
 Thy rankest fault, all of them, and require
 My dukedom of thee, which perforce I know
 Thou must restore.
ALONSO 155 If thou be’st 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!—
160 My dear son Ferdinand.
PROSPERO  I am woe for ’t, sir.
 Irreparable is the loss, and patience
 Says it is past her cure.
PROSPERO  I rather think
165 You have not sought her help, of whose soft grace,
 For the like loss, I have her sovereign aid
 And rest myself content.
ALONSO  You the like loss?
 As great to me as late, and supportable
170 To make the dear loss have I means much weaker
 Than you may call to comfort you, for I
 Have lost my daughter.
ALONSO A daughter?
 O heavens, that they were living both in Naples,
175 The King and Queen there! That they were, I wish
 Myself were mudded in that oozy bed

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 Where my son lies!—When did you lose your
 In this last tempest. I perceive these lords
180 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 howsoe’er you have
 Been justled from your senses, know for certain
185 That I am Prospero and that very duke
 Which was thrust forth of Milan, who most
 Upon this shore, where you were wracked, was
190 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,
195 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 you
 As much as me my dukedom.
Here Prospero discovers Ferdinand and Miranda,
playing at chess.

MIRANDA, to Ferdinand 
200 Sweet lord, you play me false.
FERDINAND  No, my dearest love,
 I would not for the world.
 Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,
 And I would call it fair play.
ALONSO 205 If this prove
 A vision of the island, one dear son
 Shall I twice lose.

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ACT 5. SC. 1

SEBASTIAN  A most high miracle!
FERDINAND, seeing Alonso and coming forward 
 Though the seas threaten, they are merciful.
210 I have cursed them without cause.He kneels.
ALONSO  Now, all the
 Of a glad father compass thee about!
 Arise, and say how thou cam’st here.
Ferdinand stands.
MIRANDA, rising and coming forward 215 O wonder!
 How many goodly creatures are there here!
 How beauteous mankind is! O, brave new world
 That has such people in ’t!
PROSPERO  ’Tis new to thee.
ALONSO, to Ferdinand 
220 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?
FERDINAND  Sir, she is mortal,
225 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,
230 But never saw before, of whom I have
 Received a second life; and second father
 This lady makes him to me.
ALONSO  I am hers.
 But, O, how oddly will it sound that I
235 Must ask my child forgiveness!
PROSPERO  There, sir, stop.
 Let us not burden our remembrances with
 A heaviness that’s gone.
GONZALO  I have inly wept

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ACT 5. SC. 1

240 Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you
 And on this couple drop a blessèd crown,
 For it is you that have chalked forth the way
 Which brought us hither.
ALONSO 245 I say “Amen,” 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
250 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.
ALONSO, to Ferdinand and Miranda 255 Give me your
 Let grief and sorrow still embrace his heart
 That doth not wish you joy!
GONZALO  Be it so. Amen.

Enter Ariel, with the Master and Boatswain
amazedly following.

260 O, look, sir, look, sir, here is more of us.
 I prophesied if a gallows were on land,
 This fellow could not drown. Now, blasphemy,
 That swear’st grace o’erboard, not an oath on
265 Hast thou no mouth by land? What is the news?
 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
270 We first put out to sea.

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ACT 5. SC. 1

ARIEL, aside to Prospero  Sir, all this service
 Have I done since I went.
PROSPERO, aside to Ariel  My tricksy spirit!
 These are not natural events. They strengthen
275 From strange to stranger.—Say, how came you
 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
280 hatches,
 Where, but even now, with strange and several
 Of roaring, shrieking, howling, jingling chains,
 And more diversity of sounds, all horrible,
285 We were awaked, straightway at liberty,
 Where we, in all her trim, freshly beheld
 Our royal, good, and gallant ship, our master
 Cap’ring to eye her. On a trice, so please you,
 Even in a dream were we divided from them
290 And were brought moping hither.
ARIEL, aside to Prospero  Was ’t well done?
PROSPERO, aside to Ariel 
 Bravely, my diligence. Thou shalt be free.
 This is as strange a maze as e’er men trod,
 And there is in this business more than nature
295 Was ever conduct of. Some oracle
 Must rectify our knowledge.
PROSPERO  Sir, my liege,
 Do not infest your mind with beating on
 The strangeness of this business. At picked leisure,
300 Which shall be shortly, single I’ll resolve you,
 Which to you shall seem probable, of every
 These happened accidents; till when, be cheerful

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 And think of each thing well. Aside to Ariel.
 Come hither, spirit;
305 Set Caliban and his companions free.
 Untie the spell. Ariel exits. How fares my gracious
 There are yet missing of your company
 Some few odd lads that you remember not.

Enter Ariel, driving in Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo
in their stolen apparel.

STEPHANO 310Every man shift for all the rest, and let no
 man take care for himself, for all is but fortune.
 Coraggio, bully monster, coraggio.
TRINCULO If these be true spies which I wear in my
 head, here’s a goodly sight.
CALIBAN 315O Setebos, these be brave spirits indeed! How
 fine my master is! I am afraid he will chastise me.
 What things are these, my Lord Antonio?
 Will money buy ’em?
ANTONIO 320 Very like. One of them
 Is a plain fish and no doubt marketable.
 Mark but the badges of these men, my lords,
 Then say if they be true. This misshapen knave,
 His mother was a witch, and one so strong
325 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
330 Must know and own. This thing of darkness I
 Acknowledge mine.
CALIBAN  I shall be pinched to death.
 Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler?

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ACT 5. SC. 1

SEBASTIAN He is drunk now. Where had he wine?
335 And Trinculo is reeling ripe. Where should they
 Find this grand liquor that hath gilded ’em?
 To Trinculo. How cam’st thou in this pickle?
TRINCULO I have been in such a pickle since I saw you
 last that I fear me will never out of my bones. I
340 shall not fear flyblowing.
SEBASTIAN Why, how now, Stephano?
STEPHANO O, touch me not! I am not Stephano, but a
PROSPERO You’d be king o’ the isle, sirrah?
STEPHANO 345I should have been a sore one, then.
ALONSO, indicating Caliban 
 This is as strange a thing as e’er I looked on.
 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
350 To have my pardon, trim it handsomely.
 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!
PROSPERO 355 Go to, away!
ALONSO, to Stephano and Trinculo 
 Hence, and bestow your luggage where you found it.
SEBASTIAN Or stole it, rather.
Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo exit.
 Sir, I invite your Highness and your train
 To my poor cell, where you shall take your rest
360 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

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ACT 5. SC. 1

 And the particular accidents gone by
 Since I came to this isle. And in the morn
365 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.
ALONSO 370 I long
 To hear the story of your life, which must
 Take the ear strangely.
PROSPERO  I’ll deliver all,
 And promise you calm seas, auspicious gales,
375 And sail so expeditious that shall catch
 Your royal fleet far off. Aside to Ariel. My Ariel,
 That is thy charge. Then to the elements
 Be free, and fare thou well.—Please you, draw near.
They all exit.