Trinculo’s encounter with Caliban : Act 2 Scene 2 The Tempest long Answers


Trinculo’s Encounter with Caliban 

Act 2 Scene 2 : The Tempest 

Question : Give an account of Trinculo’s encounter with Caliban in Act 2 Scene 2. Describe the recognition scene between Trinculo and Stephano.

Answer:   In Act 2 scene 2, Caliban is seen carrying a burden of wood for fuel. He goes out to carry out the order of Prospero. As he collects the fuel wood he begins to curse Prospero. He is afraid that the spirits commanded by Prospero are overhearing him. Sometimes the spirits appears to him in the shape of apes and make fun of him. Sometimes they take the shape of snakes and hiss to drive him crazy. 
    While Caliban is talking to himself, he sees Trinculo coming towards him. Trinculo is a jester by profession and is separated from his companion Stephano are the members of Alonso’s party. But Caliban does not know who and what Trinculo is.
     Seeing Trinculo’s wild costume, Caliban naturally imagines that Trinculo is a spirit, sent by Prospero to torment him. In order to evade being noticed he lies down flat on the ground. 
      On the other side, Trinculo as he approaches, he has seen clouds gathered in the sky, fears that another storm is about to blow, looks around for some shelter. But he sees neither bush nor any shrub that may protect him from the coming storm. His eyes fall on  Caliban lying on the ground. He can not make out whether he is a man or a fish, dead or alive. 
    He concludes that he must be a strange fish, that could have been exhibited in England. He soon discovers that he is legged like a man and he has fins for arms. He must be then an islander who has been struck by lightning.  Now the storm bursts and Trinculo creeps under the cloak of the strange creature whose identity  has puzzled him.

Recognition seen between Trinculo and Stephano:  

   Soon after that, Stephano, the ” drunken butler”, enters the scene. After drifting ashore clinging to a barrel of wine and making a portable container out of birch -bake, Stephano has been wandering about the island drinking wine. By now he is quite drunk. He too goes through an investigation of what now looks like some bizarre four legged creature of the island.
    When Trinculo has entered into Caliban’s cloak, Caliban thinks that the spirit is there to torment him. He begins to shake with fear and begins to pray.
    Stephano in a drunken state as he is, sees four legs, popping out from the prostrate figure and suppose that it must be “some monster of the isle with four legs”, and as Caliban is trembling in fear, he imagines that the monster must have got ague. Stephano too is little shaken with fear, but he summons courage to his help. 
       ” I have not ‘scaped drowning, to be
         afeared now  of your four legs” 
   Like Trinculo, Stephano too hopes that if he can cure him with the drink, he may take him to England and could earn a small fortune displaying such a creature in side shows across Europe.
     suddenly Caliban cries out, fearing that one of Prospero’s  spirits has come to torment him.
     Stephano hears Caliban speaking his own language, but can not make out what he means, and as Caliban trembles he imagines that he must have been with an ague. In order to cure him, Stephano puts some wine into Caliban’s mouth.
     At the same time, when Trinculo hears Stephano’s voice he imagine that he must be either Stephano or the island must be full of devils. In his inebriated state Trinculo begins to talk and sing loudly.
   Stephano imagines that the voice is familiar. Stephano not only sees four legs but hears now two voices (when he hears Caliban and then Trinculo speaking), and pour some more wine into the  other mouth (the mouth of Trinculo). Trinculo at once calls out  “Stephano!” 
    Stephano pulls him out by his legs and each recognises other and each relates to the other the manner of his escape from the shiopwreck.
     While the two men discuss how they arrived safely on the shore, Caliban has by now grown tripsy from his unaccustomed drink and tells Stephano he’ll show him  “every fertile inch o’the island”, catch food for him and serve him instead of Prospero provided they become his masters and let him be their slave.
    They all exit drunkenly, Caliban singing about his new – found friends  
    ” Ban, Ban, Ca – Caliban /
     Has a new master, Get a new man”. 

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