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Act 2, Scene 2 Notes from The Tempest

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The Tempest Act 2, Scene 2

The curtain rises on another part of the island. Caliban enters the stage carrying wood and cursing Prospero. Thunder claps, and he assumes that it is Prospero listening. He describes the many ways that Prospero tortures him. Trinculo, a servant of King Alonso, enters the stage. Caliban thinks that he is a spirit sent by Prospero so he hides on the ground underneath his cloak. Trinculo has heard sounds come from this direction and looks around. When he sees the cloak on the ground he is not quite sure what he has found. He says that Caliban smells like a fish:

"Were I in England now, as I once was, and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver. There would this monster make a man - any strange beast there makes a man. When they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian." Act 2, Scene 2, lines 27 - 32.

Trinculo hears more thunder and hides underneath the cloak with Caliban. Stephano, another servant to the King, enters the stage from the wings carrying a bottle. Drunk, he sings a sea shanty. Caliban cries from under the cloak. Stephano looks at the cloaked spectacle on the ground and does not fear it. He is surprised that the four-legged beast on the ground speaks English and he plans to make a trophy of the creature. Caliban still thinks that he is being tormented by Prospero's spirits. Stephano leans forward with his bottle and tells Caliban to drink, for he still does not know that Trinculo is also under the cloak. Trinculo speaks out and Stephano exclaims "Four legs and two voices; a most delicate monster!" Act 2, Scene 2, line 86. Caliban drinks again and Trinculo calls out to his compatriot. Stephano fears that he has come upon a devil and threatens to leave but Trinculo beseeches him. Stephano pulls his friend from under the cloak and the two celebrate their survival. Caliban speaks aside to the audience:

"These be fine things, an if they be not sprites. That's a brave god, and bears celestial liquor. I will kneel to him." Act 2, Scene 2, lines 111 - 112.

Stephano asks Trinculo to tell him how he survived the wreck and Trinculo swears by the bottle that he swam ashore. Caliban asks the pair if they have "dropped from heaven?" Act 2, Scene 2, line 131. Caliban continues to drink and promises to show the pair every secret of the island. Trinculo does not trust him. Stephano asks him to swear on the bottle and Caliban pledges:

"I'll show thee the best springs; I'll pluck thee berries;
I'll fish for thee, and get thee wood enough.
A plague upon the tyrant I serve!
I'll bear him no more sticks, but follow thee,
thou wondrous man."
Act 2, Scene 2, lines 153 - 159.

Caliban proceeds to make more promises and Stephano accepts the offer. They all exit drinking, with Caliban singing. The curtain falls and the stage is reset.

Topic Tracking: Authority 7
Topic Tracking: Old World/New World 4
Topic Tracking: Dramatic Irony 3

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