Shakespeare For White Trash: The Tempest

October 3, 2010

(Index to the Series appears on Oct. 7, 2010 — )

Main Characters

Alonso — King of Naples

Sebastian — Alonso’s brother

Ferdinand — Alonso’s son

Prospero — former Duke of Milan, and a magician

Antonio — Prospero’s brother, and the usurping Duke of Milan

Miranda — Prospero’s daughter

Gonzalo — an honest old councilor of Naples

Adrian, Francisco — lords

Trinculo — a jester

Stephano — a drunken butler

Ariel — an airy spirit, and servant to Prospero

Iris, Ceres, Juno — spirits

Caliban — a deformed savage, and servant to Prospero

Master of a ship


Gist of the story: Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan and a self-taught magician, has been living on an island with his daughter, Miranda, ever since they were driven out of Milan twelve years before.  Prospero was usurped by his ambitious brother, Antonio, who conspired with Alonso, the King of Naples.  Now a ship bearing Antonio, Alonso, and Alonso’s brother, Sebastian, is sailing near the island.  Using his magic and his spirit servant, Ariel, Prospero creates a tempest that forces his enemies to the island.  Then he torments them to punish them for their crimes but spares their lives so that they might repent and make amends.  Prospero’s daughter, Miranda, and Alonso’s son, Ferdinand, fall in love.  Prospero’s final act of magic is to make fair weather so that everyone can return safely to Naples.  (It is widely believed that The Tempest was the inspiration for the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet, but Anne Francis, who starred in the movie, denied any connection in an interview on TVOntario.  Nevertheless, you will see some similarities between the play and the movie.)

Act 1, Scene 1.  On a ship at sea.  Thunder and lightning.  The Master of the ship and the Boatswain come in.

Master: Boatswain!  You better kick some butt with the crew, or we’ll go down in this storm!  Move it!

    (Master leaves.  Mariners come in.)

Boatswain: Take in the topsail!  Let out the mainsail!  Lower the jib!  Raise the foresail!  Secure the maintopmast staysail!

    (Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Ferdinand, Gonzalo and others come in.)

Alonso: Are we going to sink?  Where’s the master?

Boatswain: Get down below!   You’re in the way!

Gonzalo: Hey, we’re men of authority!  We’re VIP’s!

Boatswain: Well, that’s great.  Why don’t you use your authority to stop this storm?  Otherwise, get back to your cabins and leave the driving to us.  (He leaves.)

Gonzalo (To Antonio): You know, that guy doesn’t look like he was meant to drown.  Hang maybe, but not drown.

Antonio: Gee, that’s a comforting thought.  I feel better already.

Gonzalo: Right.  If he’s meant to be hanged, it’s got to be on land.  So that means we’ll be okay.

Antonio: That’s extremely logical.

    (Everyone leaves.  Then the Boatswain returns.)

Boatswain: Down with the topmast!  Lower!  Heave to with the mainsail!  (Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo return.)  Are you back again?  I told you to get lost!

Sebastian: I’m the brother of the King of Naples!

Boatswain: Good for you!  Why don’t you pick up a rope and do some work!

Antonio: I hope you hang!

Gonzalo: I told you this guy isn’t going to drown.

Boatswain: Away from the shore!  Keep her in open water!

    (A Mariner returns, all wet.)

Mariner: It’s no use!  We’re gonna be wrecked!

    (Mariner leaves.)

Boatswain: Fuck me.  I should’ve applied for that office job.

Gonzalo: We should pray.

Antonio: These people are drunken idiots.  We’re all going to die.

Gonzalo: No, we’re not.

    (Voices are heard within: “We’re breaking up!”  God help us!”  “It’s the end!”  “Goodbye, bro!”  Boatswain leaves.)

Antonio: I want to be with the King.

Sebastian: Me, too.

    (Antonio and Sebastian leave.)

Gonzalo: Give me some dry land.  Anything.  Even if it’s Devil’s Island, or Jurassic Island, or the Island of Doom, or the Island of Screaming Skulls, or someplace with Muslims.  At this point, I’m not going to be fussy.

    (He leaves.)

Act 1, Scene 2.  On the island.  In front of Prospero’s cell (something like a cabin).  Prospero and Miranda come in.

Miranda: Is this storm another piece of your magic, father?  I wish you’d make it stop.  There were people out there in that ship.  I hate to think of them drowning.  Just the thought of it makes me want to cry!

Prospero: Take it easy.  No one’s going to die.  Whatever I do is for your own good.  There’s a lot you don’t know.  You don’t know who you really are or who I really am.

Miranda: I never asked.

Prospero: Well, the time has come to tell you more.  (Takes off his robe.)  Sit down on my magic robe.  Stop worrying about that ship.  I’ve seen to it that none of those people would be harmed.  Now, pay attention.  Can you remember anything before we came here to this cell?  Probably not, because you weren’t even three yet.

Miranda: Yes, I can.  I vaguely remember there were four or five women looking after me.

Prospero: More than that, actually.  What else?  Can you remember how you came here?

Miranda: No.

Prospero: Twelve years ago I was the Duke of Milan.

Miranda: The Duke of Milan!  Then how did we end up here?

Prospero: We were driven out by wicked men, but heaven protected us so we could land here.

Miranda: I want to know everything that happened.

Prospero: My brother, Antonio — that’s your uncle — took advantage of me.  I let him run the state in my behalf.  I was more interested in my books.  I was studying many things — philosophy, history, the classics, and also what might be called occult subjects.  That is, mystical things.  Magic.  Ancient knowledge.  I should’ve been paying more attention to affairs of state, but I trusted Antonio to take care of all that.  Which he did.  All too well.  He got very connected with all the important people.  He built his own little empire.  And eventually he decided that he was really the Duke of Milan, not I.  And he decided to get rid of me.  So he made a deal with my enemy, the King of Naples.  He offered to pay him annual tribute and make Milan subservient to Naples if the King would drive me out and make Antonio Duke of Milan.

Miranda: That’s horrible!  I’m ashamed to have such an uncle!

Prospero: I know.  Let me finish.  The King of Naples gathered an army, and in the middle of the night, Antonio opened the gates of Milan and let them in.  His agents took us by force.  You were just a baby crying in my arms.

Miranda: Oh!  And why didn’t they kill us?

Prospero: Oh, they couldn’t get away with that.  I was still well-loved by the people.  Instead, they put us onto a ship and sailed us out about ten miles and then put us into a miserable boat and cast us adrift.  They figured they’d never see us again.  The only reason we survived, apart from divine help, was that a decent councilor of Naples took pity on us and gave us some food and water and clothing.  And he even gave me the most valuable books from my library.  His name was Gonzalo.  A good man.

Miranda: I wish I could thank him.

Prospero: Ever since we came here I’ve done my best to educate you.  I dare say you’re a better educated young lady than any of those back in Milan or Naples.

Miranda: I’m glad to hear that.  But you haven’t explained why you raised this storm.

Prospero: I raised it because I learned from my magic that my old enemies were on that ship you saw.  I had to force them to land here.  This is the only good chance I’ll ever get to change our situation for the better.  I have to make the most of it.  Now I think you’ve asked enough questions.  I think you’re getting sleepy.  Yes.  Your eyes are closing.  That’s it.  You’re going to have a nice nap.  That’s right.  Sleep…sleep.  (Miranda falls asleep.)  Yo!  Ariel!  My airy spirit!  Come on down!

    (Ariel comes in.)

Ariel: I’m here, boss.  Yours to command.  If there’s magic to it, Ariel can do it!

Prospero: Did you make that tempest exactly the way I asked you?

Ariel: I sure did, boss.  I did my St. Elmo’s fire, which is one of my specialties.  Oh, man, you should’ve seen it!  All those balls of lightning popping up and moving around.  The gentlemen passengers were so terrified they jumped over the side.  The King’s son, Ferdinand, was the first one to jump.  He thought I was the devil.

Prospero: Oh, great job!  But you did this when they were close to shore, right?

Ariel: Oh, yeah.  No problem.  Everyone made it to shore okay, but I made sure they were all spread out.  Ferdinand ended up by himself.

Prospero: And what about the ship and the crew?

Ariel: The ship is sitting in the harbor, and the crew are all below deck, fast asleep, thanks to the charm I put on them.  The escort ships got turned around, and they’re all headed back toward Naples.  As far as they know, the King’s ship was wrecked in the storm and everyone’s dead.

Prospero: Escellent.  But I still have more work for you to do.

Ariel: Work, work, work!  All I do is work!  Remember what you promised me.

Prospero: What’s that?

Ariel: My freedom!  After all I’ve done for you, and never any complaints, and never any mistakes.  You promised to reduce my term of service by one year.

Prospero: Have you forgotten where you were when I found you?

Ariel: No.

Prospero: I think you have.  So let me refresh your memory.  The evil witch Sycorax was banished from Algiers, and she was brought here pregnant and abandoned by the sailors.  You were her servant, but you refused to carry out her evil commands.  So she imprisoned you in a pine tree, and you were stuck in it for twelve years.  She died in the meantime, and you couldn’t get out.  There was no one else on this island except for the deformed child she gave birth to, whose name rhymes with Taliban.

Ariel: That would be Caliban.

Prospero: Correct.  Who is now my servant.  And you, you poor bastard, were stuck in that tree, moaning and aching and crying, until I arrived.  And I freed you with my superior white man’s magic.

Ariel: Yes.  I’m grateful for that.

Prospero: And if you keep bitching, I’ll stick you back in a tree, and you can howl away for another twelve years.

Ariel: I’m sorry, boss.  I’ll do whatever you say.

Prospero: That’s more like it.  Two more days of service, and you’re free.

Ariel: Wow!  You mean it?  Oh, great!  Oh, fabulous!  Two days!  Okay, anything you want!  I’ll do it!

Prospero: Okay.  I want you to assume the form of a sea nymph.

Ariel: Sea nymph.  Easy.  I do a great sea nymph.  What color?

Prospero: Doesn’t matter.  I want you to be invisible to everyone except me.  Understand?

Ariel: Right, boss!

Prospero: Now you go and do that and come back.  (Ariel leaves.)  Wake up, Miranda!  Wake up!

Miranda: Wow.  I just nodded off.

Prospero: Come on.  We’ll go call on that miserable slave of mine, Caliban.  He’s never learned how to talk to me in a polite way.

Miranda: He’s so ugly.  I think he must be a Tamil.

Prospero: You’ve never seen a Tamil, although I think he could pass for one.  But never mind.  Ugly or not, we need him.  He does all the dirty work that’s beneath us.–Hey, Caliban!  Hey, slave!

Caliban (Within): I already chopped enough wood.

Prospero: I have other work for you.  Hurry up.  (Ariel returns in the form of a sea nymph.)  Oh!  Brilliant!  Come here.  I have to whisper.  (He whispers in Ariel’s ear.)

Ariel: Right, boss!  I’ll do it!  (He leaves.)

Prospero: Caliban, you ugly visible minority!  Where the hell are you?

    (Caliban comes in.)

Caliban: May you be stricken with a loathesome tropical disease, you oppressor of the disadvantaged.

Prospero: Hey, I’m a magician.  I’ll give you diarrhea and cover your ass with bee stings so you can’t sit down.

Caliban: Aw, fuck off.  This island was mine before you got here.  You pretended to be my friend, and I showed you how to survive on this island.  And after that, you locked me into the earth with your magic.  It’s exactly the same as what all you white bastards have done to aboriginal people all over the world.

Prospero: Yeah, right.  Tell me some more bullshit.  Who took care of you and let you stay in my own cell — until I caught you trying to fuck my little girl?

Caliban: I only wanted to repopulate the island.

Prospero: You pathetic subhuman.  I tried to raise you up out of savagery, which is exactly what white men have always done with inferior people.  You couldn’t even speak until I taught you how.  I did my best to teach you, and you did learn a bit.  But your basic nature was so primitive, I had no choice but to confine you with my magic.

Caliban: You’re an ethnocentric bigot.

Prospero: Get me some more firewood.  And after that I have other work for you.  And be quick about it or I’ll make every nerve ending in your body hurt until you beg for mercy.

Caliban: Okay, okay.  (Aside) Fucking white European colonialist bastard.

Prospero: Go!

    (Caliban leaves.  Then Ferdinand comes in; also, the invisible Ariel, playing and singing.)

Ariel (Singing):

    We’re going to Blood Beach,

    That’s where the highway ends,

    We’re going to Blood Beach,

    That’s where we make new friends,

    The girls I like the most are always out of reach,

    But not at Blood Beach.

Ferdinand: Where’s that singing coming from?  I heard it on the beach while I was thinking about my poor dead father.  I’ve been following it all this way.  Oh, it’s stopped.  No, there it is.

Ariel (Singing):

    If you sail the seven seas,

    You can catch a strange disease,

    You can eat some cottage cheese,

    And watch the many fishies.

    You can pull your panties down,

    Drink some run and dance around,

    Watch out or you’ll run aground,

    Now you’re dead and never found.

Ferdinand: It makes me think of my poor father, who drowned.  This isn’t natural.  It must be some sort of witchcraft.

Prospero(Aside): Clever Ariel.  He knows what to do.  (To Miranda) Look, Miranda.  What do you see?

Miranda: Is it a spirit?  It’s so handsome it must be a spirit!

Prospero: No, silly.  This guy is from the ship that was caught in the storm.  He’s a good guy, but he’s full of grief because he lost all his companions and he’s looking for them.

Miranda: I’ve never seen anyone so handsome!

Ferdinand: Oh!  This must be a goddess!–Do you live here?  Tell me what I should do.  But are you a goddess or a lady?

Miranda: I’m a lady.

Ferdinand: Oh!  She speaks my language!  And where I come from, I speak it the best.

Prospero: Oh, really?  And what would the King of Naples say to that?

Ferdinand: Oh, my poor father.  I believe he does hear me.  I saw his ship go down.  Now I’m the King, I guess.

Miranda: You poor man!

Ferdinand: And Antonio, the Duke of Milan.  He went down with the ship, too.  And many lords.

Prospero (Aside): Ha!  I’d set him straight about who is the Duke of Milan, but this isn’t the time.  It looks like love at first sight between these two.  (To Ferdinand) I think you’ve got your facts wrong, sonny.

Miranda: Don’t offend him.  I think I love him.

Prospero: Not so fast.  (Aside) I’ve got to make him work for it.–You’re not the King of Naples.  I think you’re a spy, and you came here to steal this island from me.

Ferdinand: No!  No!  I didn’t!

Miranda: He’s so handsome.  He must be good and kind and sweet as well.

Prospero (To Miranda): Don’t speak to him.  He’s a traitor.  (To Ferdinand) I’m going to lock you up and put you on an organic low-fat diet.

Ferdinand: No!  I will resist!  (He starts to draw his sword but is frozen by a charm.)

Miranda: Don’t hurt him, father.  He’s so noble.

Prospero (Waves his magic wand): Drop your sword.  (Ferdinand drops his sword.)

Miranda: Oh, please, father.

Prospero: Quiet, girl!  This is the first man you’ve ever seen besides me and Caliban, and you think he’s so great.  He’s nothing.

Miranda: Oh!  He’s scrumptious!

Ferdinand: If I could just look at this woman once a day, I could bear any hardship.

Prospero: You’re coming with me.  (To Ariel) Good work, Ariel!  Stand by for further orders.

Ariel: You’re the boss.

Miranda: Oh, don’t be afraid, sir.  My father’s not as cruel as he sounds.

Prospero (To Ferdinand): Come on, you spy.  (To Miranda) Don’t try to protect him.

    (All leave.)

Act 2, Scene 1.  Another part of the island.  Alsonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, Adrian, and Francisco come in.

Gonzalo: We made it, your Majesty!  We’re alive!  It’s a miracle!  We should have been drowned and lying dead on the bottom of the sea.  But instead we’re alive!  Alive!

Alonso: Yeah, yeah.

Adrian: Even though this island looks like a desert, it can’t all be like this.  Just smell the air.  Mmm.

Sebastian: Smells like a carcass.

Antonio: Or a swamp.

Gonzalo: I should think we have everything we need to live here.

Antonio: Except for a few minor things like food, water, and shelter.

Sebastian: Ha!

Gonzalo: Doesn’t the grass look green?

Antonio: It’s brown.

Sebastian: I see a small spot of green.

Gonzalo: But the most extraordinary thing — and this is almost beyond belief–

Sebastian: Most extraordinary things are almost beyond belief.

Gonzalo: –Is that our clothes are in perfect condition — even after being drenched in sea water.  In fact, they look just as good as when we put them on in Tunis at the wedding of the King’s daughter, Claribel, to the King of Tunis.

Sebastian: Yeah, it was a great wedding.  And the trip back has been just as much fun.

Alonso: I wish I’d never taken her there to be married!  Now my son is lost — probably drowned — and I’ll probably never see my daughter again either.

Francisco: Ferdinand could still be alive, sir.  He was swimming quite well toward the shore.  I think he made it.

Alonso: No, no.  He’s gone.

Sebastian: Blame yourself, sir.  You wouldn’t marry off your daughter in Europe among white people.  Oh, no!  You had to match her up with some Afro jigaboo.

Alonso: Don’t rub it in.

Sebastian: We begged you not to do it.  And she wasn’t that keen on it either.

Alonso: So much the worse.

Gonzalo: Stop making the King feel so bad, Sebastian.  You should try to be more encouraging.

Sebastian: Fine.

Gonzalo (To Alonso): Sir, when you feel bad, we all feel bad.

Sebastian (Aside to Antonio): Do we feel bad, Antonio?

Antonio (Aside to Sebastian): You bet.

Gonzalo: If I owned this island and I were king, I’ll tell you what I’d do.  For the sake of the common good, I’d do everything opposite to what’s considered normal.  There would be no imports or exports, no taxation, no police, no judges, no universities, no banks, no servants, no private property, no exploitation of natural resources, no pollution, no social classes, and no bosses.  Nobody would have to work.  We would all relax.  And the woman would all be innocent and pure.

Sebastian (To Antonio): But he would be king.

Gonzalo: And there would be no crime or war, because there would be no reason to steal or struggle.  Nature would give us everything we needed.

Antonio (To Sebastian): No sex?

Sebastian (To Antonio): Not if the women are all innocent and pure. 

Antonio (To Sebastian): It’s gonna be a dull island.

Gonzalo: I’d be king of a perfect kingdom — even better than the Golden Age of Greece.

Sebastian: Hail to the King!

Antonio: Long live King Gonzalo!

Gonzalo: And what else?–(To Alonso) Are you listening, sir?

Alonso: I wish you’d shut up.

Gonzalo: I was just trying to get a laugh out of these guys.

Antonio: Ha, ha.  You did.

    (Ariel comes in, invisible, playing solemn music.)

Gonzalo: I can see I’m wasting my wit on you guys.  I think I’ll get some sleep.

Antonio: You do that.

    (Everyone sleeps except Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio.)

Sebastian (To Alonso): Why don’t you get some sleep, too?  We’ll keep watch.

Alsonso: Thanks.  I will.

    (Alonso sleeps.  Ariel leaves.)

Antonio: Must be something in the air.

Sebastian: Then why are we still up?  I’m not sleepy at all.

Antonio: It’s like they were put to sleep by some sort of charm.  I wonder–no, never mind.  A funny thought just crossed my mind, seeing the King asleep.  I thought I saw a crown on your head.

Sebastian: What?  Are you dreaming?

Antonio: No, but I think you’re half asleep.  You’re not seeing your opportunity.

Sebastian: What are you getting at?

Antonio: You know what I’m getting at.

Sebastian: Say what you mean, why don’t you.

Antonio: Listen.  Regardless of what that dumb-ass Francisco says, there’s no way the King’s son is alive.

Sebastian: Okay, so he drowned.  I’m sure he did.

Antonio: So?  Don’t you see what this means for you?  Who’s next in line after the King if Ferdinand is dead?

Sebastian: Claribel.

Antonio: Right.  Except that she’s very far away from here.  And it’ll be a long time before she gets any news from Naples.  Meanwhile, here we are in a position to act.  Don’t you get it?  You’re his brother.  With him out of the way, you’ll rule Naples. 

Sebastian: Well….Now that I think of it, you did steal Milan from your brother, Prospero.

Antonio: Yes.  Now I rule Milan.

Sebastian: Don’t you have a guilty conscience about that?

Antonio: Conscience?  Fuck.  I feel a guilty conscience less than I’d feel a blister.  Here’s your brother sleeping.  I could do him with my knife, and you could do Gonzalo.  When the others wake up, they’re not going to do anything about it.  Why should they?  We’re on a fucking desert island.  We’ll tell them it was for the best, and they’ll go along with it.  Of course, Gonzalo wouldn’t, so he has to go, too.

Sebastian: Okay.  I’m willing.  If you kill Alonso, Milan won’t have to pay any more tribute to Naples.  I’ll be King of Naples, and we’ll be allies.

Antonio: Right.  Okay, draw your knife.  You do Gonzalo.  (They draw their knives.)  On the count of three. 

    (Invisible Ariel comes in with music.)

Sebastian: Wait a sec.

Ariel (Aside): The boss doesn’t want Gonzalo to die or it’ll upset his plans.  (Sings in Gonzalo’s ear.)

    Wake up, wake up, sleepyhead,

    Nasty people want you dead,

    Wake up now or else you’ll feel

    Three cold inches of stainless steel.

Antonio: Hurry!

Gonzalo (Wakes up): God save the King!

    (The others wake up.)

Alonso: What?  Hey!  What’s with the knives?  Why are you looking at me like that?

Gonzalo: What’s going on?

Sebastian: We heard what sounded like wild animals.  Didn’t it wake you up?

Alonso: I didn’t hear anything.

Antonio: Oh, it was loud!  It must have been lions!

Alonso: Did you hear anything, Gonzalo?

Gonzalo: I heard a strange humming in my ear.  And then I woke up and saw these guys with their knives out.  I don’t think we should stay here.

Alonso: Yeah, let’s get out of here.  I want to look for Ferdinand.

Gonzalo: I hope he doesn’t get attacked by any lions.

Alonso: Let’s go.  You lead the way.

Ariel (Aside): Prospero will be glad to hear I’ve done what he ordered.  Okay, King, go search for your son.  You might get lucky.

    (All leave.)

Act 2, Scene 2.  Another part of the island.  Caliban is carrying a load of wood.  Thunder is heard.

Caliban: I hope that son of a bitch catches some disease that makes his dick turn green and fall off.  He’s got his spirits after me all the time, bothering me, and there’s nothing I can do about it.  Him and his fucking spirits.  (Trinculo comes in.)  This must be one of them.  Probably here to torment me because I’m too slow bringing in this wood.  Maybe if I lie flat on the ground he won’t notice me.  (Caliban lies down.)

Trinculo: Another goddamn storm, and there’s no place to take shelter.  I’m probably gonna get soaked….Hey, what’s this?  Is it a man or a fish?  Is it dead or alive?  Phew!  Smells like a dead fish.  Man, if I were to put this thing on display in England, I could make money on it.  Those sick limeys love anything disgusting.  I could call it the Monster Fish of Devil’s Island.  Hey, it’s got arms and legs!  Wait a minute!  This isn’t a fish.  It’s a person.  It’s a native of the island.  He must have got struck by lightning.  (Sound of thunder.)  Oh, hell, I’d better crawl under this guy’s coat until the storm is over.

    (He creeps under Caliban’s coat.  Then Stephano comes in, holding a bottle and singing.)

Stephano (Singing):

    Oh, there’s nothing like an English whore

    To make a horny sailor roar,

    She’ll fuck him good and ask for more,

    And after all that’s what she’s for.

    (Drinks from bottle.)

Ah, that’s good.  (Sings)

    I like ’em big, I like ’em small,

    I like ’em short, I like ’em tall,

    With lots of hair or none at all,

    And always ready when I call.

    (Drinks from bottle.)

Caliban: Go away, spirit.

Stephano: Hey, what’s this?  Some kind of monster with four legs!

Caliban: Go away, spirit.  Leave me alone.

Stephano: This monster is sick.  He must have a fever.  But how did he learn to speak our language?  I should try to cure him and take him back to Naples.  A monster like this could be worth a lot of money.

Caliban: Leave me alone.  I’ll bring the wood home faster.

Stephano: He’s having delusions.  He needs a drink.

Caliban: You’re getting ready to hurt me.  I know.  Prospero is going to make you do it.

Stephano: Hey, monster.  Open your mouth.  This’ll do you good.  (Gives Caliban a drink of wine.)

Trinculo: I know that voice.  It’s–no, it can’t be.  He would’ve drowned.  Then these are both devils!  Help!  Help!

Stephano: What a monster this is!  Four legs and two voices!  I’d better give the other mouth some wine, too.

Trinculo: Stephano!

Stephano: Holy shit!  This monster knows my name!  I’d better run!

Trinculo: Stephano!  If that’s you, touch me!  It’s your friend Trinculo!

Stephano: Trinculo!  (He pulls Trinculo by the legs out from under Caliban’s coat.)  Trinculo!  What the hell are you doing glued to this monster’s ass?

Trinculo: I thought he was struck by lightning and I wanted to take shelter from the storm.  But you’re not drowned!  Thank God!  Stephano!  We’re both alive!  (He jumps up and takes Stephano by the coat and whirls him around.)  Alive!  Alive!

Stephano: Oh, please.  My stomach.

Caliban (Aside): These aren’t spirits.  That one must be a god.  I’ll worship him.  I’ll be his servant.

Stephano: How did you escape?  How did you get here?  I got ashore by hanging on to a barrel of wine.  I found this bottle, too.

Trinculo: I swam.  I’m a great swimmer.

Stephano: Good for you.  Have another drink.

Caliban: I swear to be your true servant.  That liquor is like nothing I ever tasted in my life.

Trinculo (Drinks): Wow!  Got any more of this stuff?

Stephano: Hell, yes.  The whole barrel.  I’ve got it in a cave.–Hey, you monster.  Feeling any better?

Caliban (Getting up): You’re a god, aren’t you — dropped from heaven.

Stephano: You’re damned right, I am!  I used to be the Man in the Moon.

Caliban: I recognize you.  Now you’re my god.  I’ll worship you.

Stephano: Okay, I’ll hold you to that.  Have another drink.  (Gives Caliban a drink.)

Trinculo: This is not much of a monster, now that I get a good look at him.  And you’re the Man in the Moon, are you?  Ha!

Caliban: Please be my god, okay?  I’ll show you where all the good stuff is on the island.  I’ll kiss your foot.

Stephano: Okay, do it.

    (Caliban kisses Stephano’s foot.)

Trinculo: This monster is so pathetic I’d beat him if he wasn’t so drunk.

Caliban: I’ll show you where the best water is, and the best fruit, and fish, and I’ll get wood for you.  To hell with that bastard Prospero!  I’m not serving him any more.  From now on you’re my god.

Trinculo: A drunkard is his god.  Brilliant.

Caliban: I know where the best crabs are, and the best nuts, and birds of all kinds.  I’ll catch animals for you.  I’ll even club baby seals, and you can make soup out of their flippers.

Stephano: Enough already.  Lead the way and show us everything.–Trinculo, we’ll claim this island as our own, since the King and everyone else drowned.  I’m king of this island now.

Caliban: Oh, happy day!  Happy day!  Caliban has a new master!  Freedom!  Freedom!  Freedom!

Stephano: Yes, yes.  Good monster.  Let’s go.

    (All leave.)

Act 3, Scene 1.  In front of Prospero’s cell.  Ferdinand comes in carrying a log.

Ferdinand: Jesus Christ.  I have to pile up a thousand logs — her father’s orders.  Well, I don’t mind.  I just keep thinking…of her.  That gorgeous creature..

    (Miranda comes in, followed by Prospero, who stays hidden.)

Miranda: I hate to see you work so hard.  Why don’t you take a rest.  My father’s with his books for the next three hours.

Ferdinand: Oh, hell, I won’t be finished before sundown.

Miranda: I’ll carry some of the logs while you rest.

Ferdinand: Oh, no, I couldn’t let you do that.  You’re too good for that kind of labour.

Miranda: But you look so tired.  I’d be happy to help you.

Ferdinand: What’s your name?

Miranda: Miranda–Oops!  I wasn’t supposed to tell you.

Ferdinand: Miranda!  Ahh, Miranda!  I’ve known plenty of women, and all of them were beautiful in one way or another.  But none was as perfect as you.

Miranda: Well, I’ve never met any other women.  And you’re the first man I’ve met, other than my father.  I have no idea what people look like in the rest of the world.  But you’re all I could hope for.

Ferdinand: Listen to me, Miranda.  I’m a prince.  I may even be a king if my father’s dead, which I hope he isn’t.  I’d never do this dirty work except that I loved you the moment I laid eyes on you.  For your sake, I’d do any boring, horrible work your father made me do.

Miranda: Do you really love me?

Ferdinand: I swear that I love you.

Miranda: Oh!  You’re making me cry.

Ferdinand: Why are you crying?

Miranda: I’m sure I’m not worthy of you.  But never mind.  I’ll be your wife if you’ll have me.  Otherwise, I’ll just be your servant and live out the rest of my life as a virgin.

Ferdinand: I’m so touched, I hardly know what to say.

Miranda: Then you’ll marry me?

Ferdinand: Yes!

Miranda: Then I give you my heart.  But I have to go now.  I’ll be back soon.

Ferdinand: I’ll wait for you forever if I have to.

    (They leave in different directions.)

Prospero: They’re so happy right now.  And I’m almost as happy.  But I’ve got to get back to my books.  I’ve got things to do before dinner.

    (He leaves.)

Act 3, Scene 2.  Another part of the island.  Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo come in.

Stephano: We’re not drinking water until the wine runs out.  Come on, servant monster, drink to me.

Trinculo: There’s only five people on this island, and we’re three of them.  If the other two are like us, this place is going downhill for sure.

Stephano: Some on, monster, drink up.–Boy, he’s really wasted.–Come on, monster.  You can be my lieutenant or my flag-bearer.

Trinculo: You’re both wasted.

Stephano: Say something, you gargoyle.

Caliban: I’ll lick your shoes but not his.  He’s not a hero like you.

Trinculo: What do you mean?  I could punch a sergeant-at-arms if I felt like it.  And I could drink either one of you under the table, you ugly fish.

Caliban: Are you going to let him insult me like that, my lord?

Trinculo: Lord?  What an idiot!

Caliban: There!  He insulted me again!

Stephano: Knock it off, Trinculo.  Otherwise I’ll hang you.

Caliban: Thank you, my lord.  Now, I was telling you something before.  Can I explain it to you again?

Stephano: Yes, yes.

    (Ariel comes in, invisible.)

Caliban: As I was telling you before, I’m the slave of a cruel tyrant and sorcerer who stole this island from me.

Ariel: You’re a liar.

Caliban (To Trinculo): I’m no liar!  You’re a liar, you monkey!

Stephano: Trinculo, don’t offend him any more or I’ll smack you.

Trinculo: I didn’t say anything.

Stephano: Just shut up.–Now, you were saying.

Caliban: Yes.  He stole this island from me by sorcery.  If you wanted to get revenge on him — and I know you would, even if this jerk wouldn’t —

Stephano: That’s for sure.

Caliban: –You’d be ruler of the island, and I’d serve you.

Stephano: And how would we go about this?  Can you take me to him?

Caliban: For sure.  I’ll take you to him when he’s sleeping, and you can pound a nail into his head.

Ariel: No, you can’t, you liar.

Caliban (To Trinculo): You asshole!–Master, punch him out.

Stephano: Trinculo, I told you to knock it off!  If you shoot your mouth off again, I’ll knock your teeth out!

Trinculo: I didn’t say a word!  Jeez.  Let me step away.

Stephano: Didn’t you call him a liar?

Ariel: You’re a liar.

Stephano: I’m a liar?  Take that!  (He punches Trinculo.)  Call me a liar again, and I’ll punch you even harder.

Trinculo: I didn’t call you a liar!  You’re crazy!  You’ve had too much to drink.  And this guy can go fuck himself.

Caliban: No, you can!

Stephano (To Caliban): I want to hear more about your plan.  (To Trinculo) And you just step away….Further.

Caliban: As I was saying, this tyrant likes to take a nap in the afternoon.  First you have to steal his books.  He’s nothing without them.  They have all his sorcery secrets.  Then you can bash his brains in.  You can burn the books and keep all his furniture and other stuff.  And you can marry his daughter.  She’s a beauty.

Stephano: Sounds good to me.  I’ll kill him and marry his daughter.  We’ll be King and Queen of the island.  And you and Trinculo can be lords.–What to you think of that, Trinculo?

Trinculo: I’m all for it.

Stephano: I’m sorry I hit you.  Just don’t push my button.

Caliban: He’ll be sleeping in a half hour.  So you’ll do it?

Stephano: I sure will.

Ariel (Aside): I’ll have to inform Prospero.

Caliban: Oh!  I’m so happy I could just sing!

    (Ariel plays music on a pipe.)

Stephano: Whoa!  Where’s that music coming from?

Trinculo: It’s coming out of thin air!

Stephano: Show yourself!  Who are you?

Caliban: Oh, don’t be afraid.  This island is full of strange noises.  Sometimes I hear a thousand instruments playing.  It’s the fairies that do it.

Stephano: Oh, yeah?  Hey, free music.  I’ll bet even a lot of kings don’t get free music.

Trinculo: It’s going away.  Let’s follow it and see where it goes.

Stephano: Yeah, let’s follow it.  Come on, monster.  You lead the way.  We’ll take care of your problem later.

    (Caliban hesitates, looking annoyed.)

Trinculo (To Caliban): Well?  Come on.  You lead.  I’ll follow Stephano.

    (Caliban leads them out.)

Act 3, Scene 3.  Another part of the island.  Alonso, Sebastian, Gonzalo, Adrian, and Francisco come in.

Gonzalo: I’m exhausted after walking through this maze.  I have to rest.

Alonso: Me, too.  I need a break.  We’re wasting our time searching for Ferdinand.  It’s hopeless.

Antonio (Aside to Sebastian): Remember what we agreed to do.

Sebastian (Aside to Antonio): Next chance we get.

Antonio (Aside to Sebastian): We’ll do it tonight.  They’ll be too tired to be on their guard.

Sebastian (Aside to Antonio): Right.

    (Strange music is heard.  Prospero, invisible, is above.  Strange-looking spirits come in, bearing the makings of a banquet.  They dance and gesture to the party, inviting them to eat.  Then they leave.)

Alonso: Whoa!  Who delivers food out here?  Did you see that?

Gonzalo: Yes!  And there’s music coming out of nowhere!

Alonso: That sure as hell wasn’t Domino’s Pizza.  What were they — angels?

Sebastian: Beats me.  But after this I’ll believe anything.

Antonio: They’ll never believe this back in Milan — assuming we ever get back.

Gonzalo: They wouldn’t believe it in Naples either.  But we saw it.  These beings — whatever they were — didn’t look human.  But they acted more graciously than most people I’ve ever known.

Prospero (Aside): That’s because so many of your acquaintances are more like devils than people.

Alonso: They communicated so gracefully, without even speaking.

Francisco: And then they just vanished.

Sebastian: And the best thing of all is, they didn’t leave a bill.  So!  We’ve got free food.  And I sure as hell am hungry.

Alonso: I’m not going to eat it.  I don’t know where it came from.

Gonzalo: Oh, it doesn’t matter.  Look, we’ve all heard strange stories from travelers returning from far-away places.  So this will be our strange story to tell when we get back.

Alonso: You think so?  All right.  Whatever.  I might as well eat, then, even if it’s the last meal I ever have.  At this point I don’t care any more.

    (Thunder and lightning.  Ariel comes in, in the form of a harpy.  He claps his wings on the table, and the food disappears.)

Antonio: Hey, I had a pork chop in front of me!

Sebastian: Where’s my meat ball?

Alonso: Where’s my bagel?

Ariel: You are three wicked men, Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian.  Fate made the tempest that wrecked you upon this island, so that you would go mad and kill yourselves.  (Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian draw their swords.)  Ha!  Your swords are useless.  We are agents of Fate.  You can’t hurt us.  Even now your swords are so heavy you can’t even lift them.  I have come to remind you that you drove Prospero out of Milan, and all the elements of nature are against you.  Alonso, they have claimed your son, and you yourself shall meet a terrible end unless you repent of your wicked crime and make up for it.

    (Ariel vanishes in thunder.  Then, as soft music is heard, the strange shapes return, dancing around with mocking gestures, and carry away the banquet table.)

Prospero: That was the best fucking harpy I ever saw outside of the Feminist Studies Deapartment at the university.  Between Ariel and all the little spirits and my superb magic, I’ve got these sons of bitches so confused and out of their minds, they’re totally in my power.  Now I think I’ll go check on Ferdinand, who they all think drowned, and my daughter. 

    (Prospero goes out, above.)

Gonzalo: My lord, what’s the matter?

Alonso: A voice spoke to me.  It spoke the name of Prospero.  It knew what I did.  I’ve been punished.  My son is dead.  Wherever he is, I’m going to join him.  Ferdinand!

    (Alonso runs out.)

Sebastian: I’ll fight them!  I don’t care if they’re spirits!

Antonio: I’ll fight them, too!

    (Sebastian and Antonio run out.)

Gonzalo: We’ve got to go after them before they get into big trouble!

Adrian and Francisco: Right!  Okay!

    (All three run out.)

Act 4, Scene 1.  In front of Prospero’s cell.  Prospero, Ferdinand, and Miranda come in.

Prospero: I had to punish you the way I did to test you to see if you really loved my daughter.  Now that you’ve proven yourself, I’m happy to let you marry her.  The only condition is that she can’t lose her virginity before the wedding, otherwise the whole marriage will be cursed.

Ferdinand: No problem.

Prospero: Good.  You two sit and talk.  I’ve got to call my servant.–Ariel!  Ariel!

    (Ariel comes in.)

Ariel: I’m here, boss.

Prospero: Hey, that was a really great act you and your little gang put on with that disappearing food.  Fucking hilarious! 

Ariel: Thanks, boss.

Prospero: Now go round up your little spirit buddies and bring them here.  We’ve got a young couple who just got engaged, and I want to put on a little show for them.

Ariel: Right away, boss.

    (Ariel leaves.  Then Prospero catches Ferdinand and Miranda kissing.)

Prospero: Don’t get too carried away.  Remember what I said.

Ferdinand: It’s okay.  I won’t get a hard-on thinking about how pure she is.

Prospero: Whatever.–Okay, Ariel, bring your spirits.–Quiet, everyone.  You out there, no talking.  Just watch.  This is fucking poetic.

    (Soft music.  A spirit comes in as the goddess Iris.)

Iris: O Ceres, goddess of grain and harvests, leave that great organic supermarket in the sky and come down and play with me, Iris, your goddess of the rainbow.

    (Ceres comes in.)

Ceres: Hail, rainbow goddess, who waters my flowers and grains with multicoloured rains.  O messenger of our supreme goddess, Juno, why are we called to be here?

Iris: To celebrate a marriage and give gifts to the young couple.

Ceres: And who is with Juno now?  Is it Venus and her son, Cupid?–because I’m not talking to them any more, ever since they helped Pluto abduct my daughter, Proserpine.

Iris: No, no.  I saw them going to Paphos.  They thought they could work some mischief here, but Cupid changed his mind and broke his arrows.

    (Juno descends to the ground.)

Ceres: It’s Juno, Queen of the Gods!

Juno: How’s it going, sister?  Let’s bless the married couple-to-be.

    (Juno and Ceres sing.)

    May you have a bed of roses,

    And nothing smelly in your noses,

    Find an upscale neighbourhood,

    And have a lot of luxury goods,

    Food and wine and recreation,

    Little crime and low taxation,

    No rats or bugs or alligators,

    No anarchists or demonstrators,

    Pleasant weather, warm and sunny,

    Mutual funds that make you money,

    Brilliant children who excel,

    And go to Harvard or to Yale,

    Good health and luck and happiness,

    All your projects great success,

    Good sex till you’re eighty-two —

    All these things we wish for you.

Ferdinand: This is wonderful!  And are these spirits?

Prospero: Yes.  This island is full of spirits, and I make them do whatever I want with my magic.

Ferdinand: Then this must be paradise.  I want to live here forever.

    (Juno and Ceres whisper, then give an instruction to Iris.)

Prospero: Wait.  There’s more.  You out there, quiet!

Iris: Juno commands all the water spirits to appear.  (Water spirits appear.)  And now reapers from the fields.  Come and dance, all together.

    (Reapers appear.  They dance with the water spirits.  After an interval of dancing, Prospero starts suddenly and says “Stop!”  There is a confused noise signifying the breaking of the spell, and all the spirit characters leave reluctantly.)

Prospero (Aside): I completely forgot!  That beast Caliban and his two friends intend to kill me.  (To the spirits) Well done!  Thanks!  Party’s over.  Sorry.

Ferdinand (To Miranda): What’s with your father?

Miranda: I don’t know.  I never saw him like this before.

Prospero: Don’t be upset, kids.  We had a nice show, and it’s over.  These were just spirits, so of course they vanished into thin air.  And so will we someday, and the whole world, for that matter.  That’s life.  Here and gone — poof!  Anyway, don’t worry about me.  It’s just old age.  I’ll take a little walk and then I’ll feel better.  You two can go inside and relax–uh, you know what I mean.

Ferdinand and Miranda: Okay.  (They leave, into the cell.)

Prospero: Hey, Ariel!

    (Ariel comes in.)

Ariel: Yes, boss.

Prospero: We have to get ready for Caliban.

Ariel: Right.  I should have reminded you sooner, but once the show started, I didn’t want to spoil your mood.

Prospero: It’s okay.  So where did you leave those morons?

Ariel: As I told you before, they were totally shit-faced drunk.  So when I made my music they ran after me, and I led them through all the worst terrain — bogs, thorn bushes, rocks, all that stuff — and right into that big pool of mud beyond your cell.  You should’ve seen them, all covered in that stinking awful muck.  It was so funny!

Prospero: Perfect.  I want you to stay invisible.  Now go into my cell and bring out the fancy clothes, and we’ll use them as bait for those suckers.

Ariel: Right, boss!  (He leaves.)

Prospero: That fucking retarded Caliban.  What a hopeless case.  I don’t know why I ever tried to make a civilized person out of him.  He’s as stupid as he is ugly.  I’m going to fix all of them.  (Ariel returns with a lot of fancy clothes.)  Hang them on the clothesline.  We’ll both be invisible.  This’ll be fun!

    (Ariel hangs the clothes.  Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo come in, wet and muddy.)

Caliban: We gotta tiptoe so we don’t wake him up.  We’re right outside his cell.

Stephano: I thought you said the fairies were friendly.  Look at us.  We’re soaking wet.

Trinculo: And I smell like horse piss.

Caliban: I’m sorry.  Just be patient, and I’ll help you kill that old bastard like I promised.  Only keep your voices down.

Trinculo: Fuck, man, we lost our wine in the pool.

Stephano: Yeah, man.  We’re not only wet and smell like piss, we gotta go without wine.  That’s pretty dishonourable for men of our social standing.

Caliban: Shh!  See here?  It’s the entrance to his cell.  Just go in and be real quiet, and then just do him, and the island is yours.

Stephano: Yeah, I’ll be King Stephano!

Trinculo: Hey, look at these clothes hanging out here!  Hey, these are cool duds!  King Stephano, you gotta look good if you’re gonna be King.

Caliban: Forget about that stuff.  It’s junk.

Trinculo: What do you mean — junk?  Don’t tell us what’s junk.  We’ve been in more Indian bargain stores than you have.  (Shows off a gown.)  Oh, King Stephano, look at me!

Stephano: Gimme that!

Trinculo: By all means.  Please yourself, your Majesty.

Caliban: Will you guys knock it off!  Forget that shit!  We came here to kill the guy!  If he wakes up and catches us, he’ll turn us into toads!

Stephano: Aw, shut up.–Now here’s a great-looking jacket.  Do I rule in this jacket or not, Trinculo?

Trinculo: That jacket is you!

Stephano: And these pants go with it perfectly.  I’ll be a regular fashion plate.  Ooh, look, I’m on the runway!  Hey, I’ll create my own label — Stephano of Fairyland.

Trinculo: I get a percentage.–Come on, monster, take some of these clothes.

Caliban: No way!  We’re wasting time!  Forget all this shit!

Stephano: You’re my servant, so you carry this stuff for me.

Trinculo: And this stuff, too.

    (Sounds of hunters are heard — shots and the barking of hounds.  Spirits in the shapes of hounds come in, as Prospero and Ariel urge them on.)

Prospero: Go get ’em, Blackie!

Ariel: Get ’em, Tiger!

    (Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo run out in terror, as the spirit hounds chase them.)

Prospero: Goodbye, rubberheads!  So long, boobs!

Ariel: Go blow up some inner tubes!

Prospero: I’ve got all my enemies right where I want them now.  Pretty soon I’ll be finished with them, and you, my clever spirit of the air, will get your freedom.  Come on.  Follow me.

    (They leave.)

Act 5, Scene 1.  In front of Prospero’s cell.  Prospero comes in, in his magic robes, with Ariel.

Prospero: We’re almost through with this business.  How are the King and his friends doing?

Ariel: They’re tied up in the woods nearby, exactly as you ordered.  The King, Sebastian, and Antonio are in the worst shape.  They’re practically out of their minds.  The others are trying to comfort them.  Gonzalo feels especially bad for them.  Your magic is so powerful, I think even you’d feel sorry for them.

Prospero: Well, I do.  It’s true that they did wicked things against me, and they deserve to feel some pain for that.  But the point is to force them to admit to their crimes and show remorse.  Go release them, and I’ll stop my magic and give them a chance to recover.

Ariel: Right, boss!  (He leaves.)

Prospero: For all these years on this island I’ve worked my magic on all the beasts and spirits, and all the elements of the earth, the sea, and the sky.  I’ve conjured up amazing phenomena — awe-inspiring, and sometimes destructive.  But all that will soon be over with.  There’ll be no more magic.  I’ll break my magic wand and throw away my books.  Instead, I’ll rely on heaven’s help to set my enemies straight in their hearts and bring my business to a good outcome.

    (Solemn music is heard.  Ariel comes in, followed by Alonso, who is attended by Gonzalo; then Sebastian and Antonio, who are attended by Adrian and Francisco.  They stand within a magic circle made by Prospero and are in a charmed state.)

Prospero:  Well, well.  Here are my enemies with their scrambled brains.  You’re full of pity for them, aren’t you, Gonzalo?  That’s because you have a good heart.  When we get home, I won’t forget your kindness from many years ago.  Well, it appears the spell is wearing off, and these fellows will soon be back to normal.–You, Alonso, King of Naples.  You and your brother, Sebastian, were very cruel to me and my daughter.  And you, Antonio, my own brother, got carried away with your ambition.  And what’s more, you and Sebastian would have killed your own King.  I forgive you, despite your disloyalty.  Ah!  It’s all sinking is, isn’t it?  Now you three are finally understanding your sins.–Ariel, go get my hat and sword and my ducal clothing.  I’m going to wear what I wore when I was Duke of Milan.

    (Ariel goes out and returns quickly with the items and helps Prospero put them on.)

Ariel: Looking good, boss!  And you’re going to set me free, right?

Prospero: Very soon.  And I’ll miss you.  But right now, go to the King’s ship — stay invisible, mind you — and you’ll find the crew still asleep.  Wake up the master and the boatswain and bring them here.  And make it fast.

Ariel: I’m zooming!  (He leaves.)

Gonzalo: This island must be controlled by supernatural forces!  God get us out of here!

Prospero: Look at me, Alonso.  Recognize me?  Prospero — the Duke of Milan.  In the flesh.  If you don’t believe your eyes, let me embrace you.  (Embraces Alonso.)  Welcome, all of you, to my humble island.

Alonso: Is it really you, or an apparition?  I don’t know what to think.  But you seem real.  You feel real.  And my mind feels normal again.  I can’t explain any of this.  But I give up the dukedom of Milan.  I return it to you.  Forgive me for the wrongs I’ve done.

Gonzalo: Am I dreaming all this?

Prospero: I don’t blame you for wondering.  There are a lot of strange things on this island.  Anyway, we’re all on good terms now.  (Aside to Sebastian and Antonio) And I won’t tell the King that you guys intended to kill him.  You, Sebastian, are a scumbag, and I’m glad you’re not my brother.  But I forgive you anyway.  And you’ll see to it, of course, that I get my dukedom back.

Alonso: If you’re Prospero, how did you end up here?  How did you know we were shipwrecked?  Listen, I lost my son, Ferdinand.

Prospero: I’m sorry to hear it.  I lost my daughter.

Alonso: That’s terrible.  I wish they were both alive.  I wish they were the King and Queen of Naples.  I’d gladly take my dead son’s place at the bottom of the sea to make it so.  When did you lose your daughter?

Prospero: In the last storm.  I can tell that your friends still don’t know what to think.–It’s true, you guys.  I’m Prospero.  I was expelled from Milan.  By good luck I ended up here with my daughter.  But never mind.  It’s a long story.  (To Alonso) This is my cell, sir.  And there’s a little surprise in it for you.  Let me show you.  Since you’re returning my dukedom to me, the least I can do is return something to you.

    (Prospero opens a curtain, revealing Ferdinand and Miranda playing chess.)

Ferdinand: Rook takes pawn.  Check.

Miranda: Ooh!  What comes after check?

Ferdinand: If you don’t defend yourself, I’ll mate you.

Miranda: Mate me?  Ooh, how thrilling!

Alonso: Oh!  Oh!  Is it really my son?  Alive?

Ferdinand: Father!

Miranda: Ooh, look at all these handsome men!  Imagine what the outside world must be like to have such handsome men!

Prospero: You’ll find out.

Alonso: Who is this girl?  Is she a goddess?

Ferdinand: Only to me.  I’m going to marry her.  She’s the daughter of the Duke of Milan.

Alonso: Oh.  Then I must ask her forgiveness as well.

Prospero: Forget it.  We’re through all that.

Gonzalo: Bless this couple!  The gods arranged all this.

Alonso: Amen.

Gonzalo: Think of it.  The Duke of Milan was expelled, and now his daughter will someday be the Queen of Naples.  In one voyage Claribel found a husband in Tunis, and her brother found a wife here, where he was shipwrecked.  And Prospero has regained his dukedom.  And we’ve all found ourselves alive when we should have been dead.

Alonso (To Ferdinand and Miranda): Give me your hands.  We all wish you happiness forever.

    (Ariel, who is still invisible to everyone except Prospero, comes in, with the Master and Boatswain following in rapt amazement.)

Gonzalo: Look who’s here!  I told you this boatswain would never drown.  You should’ve heard him cursing when we were in the storm.  Now he’s dumbstruck.–What’s the matter, Boatswain, can’t you speak on dry land?  What can you tell us?

Boatswain: I’m glad to see you all alive.  The ship is okay, believe it or not.  We thought it was wrecked, but like magic, it’s in perfect shape.

Ariel (Aside to Prospero): How’d I do, boss?

Prospero (Aside to Ariel): Brilliant.

Alonso: Boy, things just get stranger and stranger around here.  How did you two find your way here?

Boatswain: I’m not sure, sir.  I’m still rather groggy.  We were fast asleep below deck, and I can’t even explain that.  And then there were all these weird sounds like howling and screaming and clanking chains, and we woke up, and we couldn’t believe the ship wasn’t smashed to pieces.  And then something led us here like in a dream.  It’s totally crazy.

Alonso: This is some kind of supernatural stuff.  We’d need a wise man or a prophet to explain it.

Prospero: Don’t worry about it.  I’ll explain everything to you later.  It’s all good.  Trust me. (Aside to Ariel) Now’s the time to set Caliban and his companions free.  Break the spell.  (Ariel leaves.)  Now, let’s see.  There are still a couple of your people left to be accounted for.  And, speak of the devil, here they are.

    (Ariel returns, driving in Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo in their stolen clothes.)

Stephano: We have to stick together or we’re done for.  Be brave, monster!

Trinculo: Whoa!  Am I seeing right?  I sure hope so!

Caliban: It’s my master.  Uh, oh.  I hope I’m not in deep shit.

Sebastian: What the fuck?  Look at these strange creatures, Antonio.  Think they’re worth anything?

Antonio: I think so.  We could certainly sell that big, ugly fish.

Prospero: Take a good look at these guys, my lords.  They’re wearing their badges of honour — as thieves.  This awful brute belongs to me.  The other two I believe you know.  All three of them stole my clothes, and they were plotting to kill me.

Caliban: Fuck me.  I’m dead.

Alonso: This is Stephano, my drunken butler.  And Trinculo, my jester.  He’s just as drunk.–How’d you guys end up like this?

Trinculo: We’ve been like this since we last saw you.  And to tell the truth, I don’t mind if I stay this way.

Sebastian: How do you feel, Stephano?

Stephano: Don’t touch me!  My whole body has a hangover — not just my head.

Prospero: And you would’ve been king of the island, would you?

Stephano: I would’ve been a mean one.

Alonso: Your ugly guy is like nothing I ever saw before.

Prospero: Believe me, he’s as fucked up mentally as he looks physically.–Hey, Caliban.  Go to my cell and take your buddies with you and clean every square inch of the place if you want me to forgive you.

Caliban: I will, master.  I’ll be good from now on.  I must have been crazy to worship this drunk like a god.

    (Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo leave.)

Prospero: Your Majesty, you and your party will stay in my cell tonight.  I’ll tell you the whole story about my life on this island.  And in the morning, we’ll go to your ship and return to Naples, and the kids will get married.  After that, I’ll go back to Milan and live out the rest of my life.

Alonso: I certainly want to hear your story.

Prospero: I’ll tell you everything.  And I can promise you we’ll have perfect weather and favourable winds for the trip back.  (Aside to Ariel) That’s your job.  See to it.  And that’ll be the last thing you ever have to do for me.  After that, you’re free.  (To the others) And now, everyone, gather round.

    (All leave.)

    EPILOGUE (Spoken by Prospero)

    For those who crashed upon our shores

    The only magic left is yours.

    My spells, I’ve thrown them all away,

    And I shall charm no more.

        Our safe return depends on you.

        Treat us as you would have us do

        If places were reversed — please think

        Of Ferdinand and Miranda, too.

    Forgive as you would be forgiven,

    That all of us might go to heaven,

    For we’re all players on a stage —

    By fateful winds we’re driven.

        We send you out into the night.

        We hope we’ve given you delight.

        Now show us with your kind applause

        That we have got it right.


    Copyright@ 2010 by Crad Kilodney.  E-mail:   



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