The Tempest : Character Sketch of Stephano and Trinculo

 Character Sketch of Stephano

      Stephano is king Alonso‘s butler. When he is swept ashore, he thinks that he is the only survivor of the shipwreck till he meets Trinculo. Stephano had clung to a cask of wine which the sailors had thrown into the sea. The cask served him as a kind of boat. Some of his character traits are –

      A Drunken Butler

      Stephano has a strong liking for liquor. He has been drinking all the time since the shipwreck. When it is suggested to him that he should stop drinking, he insists that he will not stop till the whole cask is emptied. 

    His drunkenness adds humour to the plot. The bottle of wine is as sacred to him as the Bible. When he has lost his bottle in the filthy pool he bemoans the loss and would like to  go back to the pool to recover his bottle.

     •  A Bully and A Braggart

     At a suggestion from Caliban, Stephano begins to think himself the king of the island. He looks upon Trinculo and Caliban as his subjects. When Caliban complains to him against Trinculo,  Stephano rebukes Trinculo and warns him against any further disgrace to Caliban.

     Stephano is easily tempted by Caliban’s plot to murder Prospero because then he would make Miranda his queen. But he derives all the courage from drinking excessive wine. 

      •  His Misadventures

       Led by Ariel’s irresistible music, Stephano with his comrades plunges into a filthy pond in which he loses his bottle of wine. Then he is tricked by Prospero into mistaking the frippery hanging  upon the line for regal robes. A little later, he along with his comrades is chased away by dogs and hounds. Indeed, his drunkenness has exposed him to these comic situation.

      Character Sketch of Trinculo

        Trinculo is King Alonso’s jester. His character traits are  as follows-

     • A Fool –

        Trinculo is not one of those shakespearean  clowns who possesses both wit and wisdom. Trinculo is rather a fool by nature. When we meet him first, he is trembling with fear because another storm is brewing and he does not know where to take shelter. On seeing Caliban who is crouching on the ground Trinculo thinks him to be some strange variety of fish.

     •His Weakness for Liquor –

       Trinculo is also as fond of drinking as Stephano is. Trinculo begins to treat Stephano as the would be king of the island for getting from him a share of the wine which stephano has in his possession. 

    But Trinculo has sense enough to perceive the absurdity of Caliban treating Stephano as a God descended from heaven. When Caliban cringes before Stephano, Trinculo makes amusing comments on the situation. 

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