Structured Questions and Answers from The Tempest Act 3 Scene 2 by William Shakespeare

Questions Answers from Passages of The Tempest Act 3 Scene 2

Passages from The Tempest Act 3 Scene 2

1. Trinculo: 
Servant-monster! The folly of this island! They say
there's but five upon this isle: we are three of them; if 
th'other two be brained like us, the state totters.

1. Who is the servant monster? What is meant by 'the folly of this island"?


The servant monster is Caliban. The 'folly of his island' is said for Caliban, the fool who is the inhabitant of the island.

2. Who are the five on the island?


Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo are the three: the others are Prospero and Miranda.

3. Why does he say the 'state totters'?


The three fools are dead drunk and Trinculo feels that if the other two are as confused as them, the whole island is going to shake or "the state totters".

4. How does Trinculo tease Caliban?


Trinculo teases Caliban by calling him a liar at whatever he says. He also calls him a drunken fish and a coward who has drunk a lot of wine.

5. How will Stephano punish Trinculo if he troubles Caliban?


Stephano asks him to speak politely but if he is rebellious he will be hanged on the next tree.

6. Who comes a little later, in an invisible manner?


Ariel comes in an invisible form, spying on the trio, to report Prospero about their conspiracy.

7. Give the meanings of the words as they are used in the context of the passage:
folly; isle; totter


Folly - foolishness
Isle - island
Totter – shake

2. Stephano:
How now shall this be compassed ? Canst
thou bring me to the party? 
Caliban: Yea, yea, my lord. I'll yield him thee asleep,
Where thou may'st knock a nail into his head. 
Ariel: Thou liest, thou canst not. 
Caliban: What a pied ninny's this! Thou scurvy patch!
I do beseech thy greatness, give him blows, 
And take his bottle from him: When that's gone 
He shall drink naught but brine; for I'll not show him
Where the quick freshes are. 

1. Who is Stephano? What is the "this" that is to be "compassed"?


Stephano is Alonso's butler. "This" is the purpose of Stephano becoming the king of the island.

2. Who is Caliban speaking about when he says "I'll yield him thee asleep"? What is the reason for Caliban's hatred towards that person?


Caliban is speaking about Prospero. Caliban hates Prospero because he believes that he is the real owner of this island, being the son of Sycorax, the witch. Prospero had taken this island from him by his power of magic and Prospero also ill-treated Caliban and punished him in many ways.

3. Who is Caliban calling "a pied ninny"? Explain the terms "a pied ninny" and "scurvy patch"?


Caliban calls Trinculo 'a pied ninny'. 'Pied ninny' means a fool who wears striped clothes 'scurvy patch' means a diseased clown.

4. What is Ariel's intention in being a part of this conversation?


Ariel wants to deliberately cause a quarrel between Stephano and Trinculo. Then he wants to inform Prospero about the conspiracy that is being plotted against him.

5. What is the plot Caliban outlines before Stephano a little later in the scene


Caliban outlines his wicked plot that Prospero goes to sleep in the afternoon; "There thou mayst brain him, Having first seized his books; for without them he is but a sot as I am". Stephano can then kill Prospero easily, marry his daughter, and become the king of the island.

3. Caliban: 
Why, as I told thee, 'tis a custom with him
I'th' afternoon to sleep. There thou mayst brain him, 
Having first seiz'd his books; or with a log 
Batter his skull, or paunch him with a stake, 
Or cut his weasand with thy knife. Remember 
First to possess his books; for without them
He's but a sot, as I am, nor hath not 
One spirit to command-they all do hate him
As rootedly as I 

1. Who is referred to as 'him' in the first line? What habit of his is mentioned?


Prospero is referred to as 'him'. He has the habit of sleeping in the afternoon.

2. What plan is being plotted here? Who all are involved in the plan?


The plot of killing Prospero is referred to here. Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo are involved in this plan.

3. Why are the books so important?


The magic books of Prospero are very important as they are his strength and without them, he will not be able to order the spirits to do whatever he wants.

4. What promise does Caliban make to Stephano, a little later?


Caliban says to Stephano that he will be able to rule over the island and marry Miranda who will give him a lot of children.

5. What does Stephano dream about soon after his?


Stephano dreams that after killing Prospero, he and Miranda will be the king and queen of the island and Trinculo and Caliban will be viceroys.

6. Give the meanings of the words as they are used in the context of the passage:
paunch; weasand; rootedly


Paunch - stab, wound
Weasand - windpipe
Rootedly – deeply
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