The Tempest Act III Scene 3 – Class Notes for ISC

In this post, you will find detailed class notes covering The Tempest Act III Scene 3. This is useful for all students having this drama in their syllabus, including the students of ISC class 12. The context, word meaning, explanation, and material for questions and answers – all are made available for the important dialogues. [ The Tempest – a drama by William Shakespeare ]

The Tempest Act III Scene 3 – Context

Locale: Another part of the island

Characters: Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, Adrian, Francisco, and others

Alonso and his company were searching for Ferdinand and became very tired. They heard solemn [serious] music and saw several strange shapes bearing in a banquet. Before they could touch the food the banquet vanished. All these were Prospero’s magic tricks.

Ariel convicted the ‘the three men of sin’. Alonso rushed away distracted, followed by Antonio and Sebastian. All three were under Prospero’s magic spell.

The Tempest Act III Scene 3 – Dialogues with explanation

Dialogue 1

#GONZALO

By ‘r lakin, I can go no further, sir.

My old bones ache. Here’s a maze trod indeed

Through forthrights and meanders. By your patience,

I needs must rest me.

Word Meaning:

maze – a labyrinth, a place where a man loses his way, a network of paths and hedges designed as a puzzle through which one has to find a way.

trod – walk on

forthrights- straight paths

meander – curved paths, crooked paths

Explanation:

Gonzalo said this to Alonso, the king of Naples.

Gonzalo swore that he couldn’t go any further as his old bones were tired after the long walk on the island. He felt like they were walking in a maze, with some paths straight and some crooked. He wanted to take some rest if permitted by Alonso.

Dialogue 2

# ALONSO

Old lord, I cannot blame thee,

Who am myself attached with weariness

To th’ dulling of my spirits. Sit down and rest.

Even here I will put off my hope and keep it

No longer for my flatterer.

He is drowned

Whom thus we stray to find, and the sea mocks

Our frustrate search on land. Well, let him go.

Word Meaning:

Old Lord – This referred to Gonzalo, who was an old nobleman of King Alonso’s court

attached with weariness – being tired, seized by tiredness

dulling of my spirits – depressed

stray – wander

mocks – laughs at

frustrate – frustrated

Explanation:

After the long walk on the island, Alonso himself was physically tired. He was mentally depressed and sad as well as he could not find Ferdinand after the shipwreck.

Hence he said that Gonzalo who was much older than him, could not be blamed if he wanted to take a rest. Then Alonso asked Gonzalo to take a rest.

Alonso lost all his hope to find his son Ferdinand. He feared that his son might be dead and lost in the sea. Alonso gave up and accepted the loss of his son, Ferdinand.

Whom thus we stray to find, and the sea mocks Our frustrate search on land.” – These words bring out the frustration of a father who had lost his son in a shipwreck. Alonso gave up his hope to get his son back alive and he thought that the sea had swallowed his son. As he was searching for his son on the island and not in the sea, he felt like the sea was laughing at his helplessness.

Well, let him go – Alonso lost all his hope to find his son Ferdinand. He feared that his son might be dead and lost in the sea. Alonso gave up and accepted the loss of his son, Ferdinand.

Dialogue set 3

# ANTONIO

(aside to SEBASTIAN) I am right glad that he’s so out of hope.

Do not for one repulse forego the purpose

That you resolved t’ effect.

#SEBASTIAN

(aside to ANTONIO) The next advantage

Will we take throughly.

#ANTONIO

(aside to SEBASTIAN) Let it be tonight,

For now they are oppressed with travel. They

Will not, nor cannot, use such vigilance

As when they are fresh.

#SEBASTIAN

(aside to ANTONIO) I say, tonight. No more

Explanation:

Antonio and Sebastian conspired to kill king Alonso. Already they tried once to kill him but failed. Here, as they found Alonso very depressed due to his son’s bereavement/loss and physical tiredness, the conspirators planned to murder the king that night itself. They thought that the tired king wouldn’t be alert enough to resist them.

Dialogue set 4

#ALONSO

What harmony is this? My good friends, hark!

#GONZALO

Marvelous sweet music!

Enter Prospero above, invisible. Enter several strange shapes, bringing in a banquet

They dance about it with gentle actions of salutations,

and, inviting the king and the others to eat, they

depart

#ALONSO

Give us kind keepers, heavens! What were these?

#SEBASTIAN

A living drollery. Now I will believe

That there are unicorns, that in Arabia

There is one tree, the phoenix’ throne, one phoenix

At this hour reigning there.

#ANTONIO

I’ll believe both

And what does else want credit, come to me,

And I’ll be sworn ’tis true. Travelers ne’er did lie,

Though fools at home condemn ’em.

Explanation:

On the other side of the island, King Alonso and his company were searching for Ferdinand. Alonso became tired and depressed as he could not find his son Ferdinand after the shipwreck. Gonzalo wanted to take a rest as well as he was very tired. Antonio and Sebastian were planning to kill king Alonso that night.

At that time, several strange shapes appeared in front of them, bringing in a table and food and then dancing around it with graceful gestures of welcome. The shapes invited the king and the others to eat and then left.

Watching this spectacular scene Alonso and Gonzalo commented in exclamation. Alonso also asked for heaven’s help/protection.

Sebastian commented that it must be a puppet show with living actors. He also added that after watching that scene, he would not have any problem believing in the existence of unicorns. He would also believe in the presence of a phoenix on a tree in Arabia.

Antonio also said that he had complete trust in the existence of unicorns and phoenixes. He also added that he had complete belief in things that seemed unreal apparently. Antonio also shared his opinion that travelers had never told lies when they described extraordinary things witnessed by them, and only the home-bound people criticized the travelers’ accounts for not being real.

Dialogue set 5

#GONZALO

If in Naples

I should report this now, would they believe me?

If I should say, I saw such islanders—

For, certes, these are people of the island—

Who, though they are of monstrous shape, yet note,

Their manners are more gentle-kind than of

Our human generation you shall find

Many—nay, almost any.

Explanation:

On the other side of the island, King Alonso and his company witnessed a freaky visual. Several strange shapes appeared in front of them, bringing in a table and food and then dancing around it with graceful gestures of welcome. The shapes invited the king and the others to eat and then left.

Watching this, Gonzalo exclaimed with the above words.

He was wondering to think whether the citizens of Naples would believe in his accounts of witnessing strange shapes on the island. He also commented that the strange shapes were none other than the natives of the island. Gonzalo opined that these shapes or natives were far more graceful, well-mannered, and kinder than most human beings, in spite of their monstrous outer look.

Dialogue set 6

#PROSPERO

(aside) Honest lord,

Thou hast said well, for some of you there present

Are worse than devils.

Explanation:

Prospero said this in response to a comment from Gonzalo about the strange shapes he witnessed on the island.

Gonzalo was referred to as Honest Lord. [why– He helped Prospero to survive when the latter was thrown away from his dukedom to die in a broken boat in the middle of the sea. He also proved himself to be a noble soul a number of times. Here also we find him telling a truth when he opined that the strange shapes or natives were far more graceful, well-mannered, and kinder than most human beings, in spite of their monstrous outer look.]

On the other side of the island, King Alonso and his company witnessed a freaky visual. Several strange shapes appeared in front of them, bringing in a table and food and then dancing around it with graceful gestures of welcome. The shapes invited the king and the others to eat and then left.

Watching this, Gonzalo opined that these shapes or natives were far more graceful, well-mannered, and kinder than most human beings, in spite of their monstrous outer look.

Then Prospero, who was the mastermind behind the show demonstrated by the strange shapes, said the above words.

Alonso, Antonio, Sebastian – these trio proved themselves to be villainous and Prospero pointed to these trio by the words “some of you”. Prospero said that there were some people in Gonzalo’s company who proved themselves to be worse than devils.

Dialogue set 7

#ALONSO

I cannot too much muse

Such shapes, such gesture, and such sound,

expressing,

Although they want the use of tongue, a kind

Of excellent dumb discourse.

Explanation:

Alonso said that he couldn’t stop being amazed by these shapes, sounds, and gestures, which expressed, even without saying anything, a wonderful kind of silent language.

In other words,

Alonso was quite impressed by the strange show exhibited[displayed] by the shapes. The music of the show and the gesture of the shapes mesmerized [fascinated] Alonso. Especially, the gesture was so lively that it could express, even without saying anything, a wonderful kind of silent language.

The Tempest Act III Scene 3 – Class Notes for ISC
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