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Act 3, Scene 2 Notes from The Tempest

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The Tempest Act 3, Scene 2

The curtain reopens on the part of the island where Caliban met Trinculo and Stephano. Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo reenter the stage, still drinking. Stephano and Trinculo play off each other's drunkenness and discuss their fortunes. They know that there are at least two other people on the island (Prospero and Miranda). Trinculo mocks Caliban, who calls Stephano 'lord'. Caliban beseeches Stephano who threatens Trinculo. Ariel enters, invisible to the characters, as Caliban recounts the state of the island:

"CALIBAN: As I told thee before, I am subject to a tyrant, a sorcerer that by his cunning hath cheated me of the island.
ARIEL: Thou liest.
CALIBAN (to Trinculo): Thou liest, thou jesting monkey, thou! I would my valiant master would destroy thee. I do not lie"
Act 3, Scene 2, lines 40 - 45.

Ariel impersonates Trinculo as he flits around the trio. Caliban tells the pair that Prospero took the island by sorcery. Stephano asks how they would be able to defeat him, and Caliban says that he could be killed in his sleep. Ariel says that he is lying, again impersonating Trinculo. The audience can watch Ariel as he mocks the three men. Caliban erupts in anger and asks Stephano to avenge him. Stephano threatens Trinculo who asks "What, what did I? I did nothing! I'll go farther off." Act 3, Scene 2, line 70. Trinculo moves upstage and Ariel remains. Stephano asks him if he said that Caliban lied and Ariel interjects again, saying that Stephano lies. He beats Trinculo who claims that the trouble has come from drinking. Stephano tells him to stand farther off. Caliban tells him that Prospero usually naps in the afternoon and that they should sneak in and burn all his books. He also tells them about Prospero's daughter:

"And that most deeply to consider is
The beauty of his daughter. He himself
Calls her nonpareil. I never saw a woman
But only Sycorax, my dam, and she;
But she as far surpasseth Sycorax
As great'st does least."
Act 3, Scene 2, lines 96 - 101.

Stephano pledges to kill Prospero and says that he will be king alongside Miranda as queen. Trinculo agrees to the plot and accepts Stephano's apology. They drink to the plot and Ariel plans to tell Prospero. He plays music and the men become alarmed. Caliban assures them that they shouldn't be afraid of the noises, because he hears them all the time:

"Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will him about mine ears; and sometime voices,
That if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again, and then in dreaming
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again."
Act 3, Scene 2, lines 135 - 141.

The three men exit and Ariel continues to play music. He follows the men into the wings as the curtain falls.

Topic Tracking: Authority 9
Topic Tracking: Old World/New World 5

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