The Tempest : Opening Scene of the play

The Tempest : Long Answers 

 Question : Give an account of the opening scene of the play “The Tempest”.


 Question : Give a vivid description of the events that occur in the first scene of the play  ” The Tempest “. 

Answer :  The play  ” The Tempest” opens on board a ship at sea, in the midst  of a fierce storm and is in danger of destruction. The ship carries important persons including Alonso, the King of Naples, his brother Sebastian and Antonio.

     There is thunder and lightning. The crew has started rescue operation. The captain of the ship asks the boatswain to fight the storm boldly. The captain tells the boatswain to inspire the crew of the ship to be alert and to fight the storm. The boatswain is going to give his orders when Antonio, Sebastian, Alonso, Ferdinand, Gonzalo and other royal passengers of the ship appear on the deck.

      Alonso, the king of Naples, talks to the boatswain, but the boatswain is hardly respectful towards the king in such troubled circumstances. He does not have the  time to respect  royalty when the ship is in such danger. He says 

“What cares these roars for the name of the king?”

   He orders them to return to their cabin since  they are merely being a hindrance to the crews efforts in saving the ship. 

    After that the boatswain totally ignores them despite the cursing by Sebastian and Antonio, who are not satisfied  with the sailor’s attempt in saving the ship. 

    Though equally fearful of sinking, Gonzalo, an older courtier, makes light of the situation by saying that the boatswain is so rude, he is not likely to be drowned because he is destined to to be hanged and with him aboard the ship is safe. His half hearted joke does not calm anyone.

    In order to save themselves, the passengers begin to desert the ship for open waves of the sea.

     Gonzalo’s words at the end of the scene,  “The wills above be done, I would fain die a dry death” reflects little hope for their survival. Gonzalo’s speech at the end of the scene shows that the ship will sink and all the passengers onboard will perish. 

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