Synopsis of Act 2 Scene 2 of The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Overview of The Tempest Act 2 Scene 2

Summary from The Tempest Act 2 Scene 2

In this comic scene, Caliban is cursing Prospero. Meanwhile, Trinculo enters and thinks Caliban to be a strange stinking fish. He feels he should exhibit the strange creature in the market of England to make some money. But at that time a thunderstorm threatens him and he takes shelter in the gaberdine of Caliban. It is at this time Stephano, the butler of Alonso, appears and sees the two-headed weird creature with four legs. Not knowing that it is actually Caliban and Trinculo he feels that it would make a proper gift for a king in Naples. He pours some wine into Caliban's mouth, which makes the monster intoxicated. He is willing to consider Stephano his God. He feels that he should serve his new god, leaving Prospero who tortures him with the help of other spirits. He offers to show Stephano all the good places of the island from where he can get spring water and fruits. Trinculo is sceptic about these promises and calls him a liar.

Critical Analysis of The Tempest Act 2 Scene 2

After the nerve-racking scene of the ship-wreck, and the long narration of the tragic sequences of Prospero's life, the audience requires some dramatic relief and this is what is provided by this scene. Good-natured fun against the mentality of buying anything strange gives scope for the audience to laugh at themselves. The comedy becomes quite farcical when Trinculo mistakes Caliban for a fish and thinks of exhibiting it in the market. Stephano's entry in a drunken state enhances the comic effect. Together the trio creates a boisterous situation, which the readers would find most enjoyable. Another important aspect is Caliban's poetic description of the island that reveals the only redeeming feature of his evil character.


perchance - feasible:
gaberdine - cloak, a long loose upper garment:
ague - illness involving fever and shivering:
mooncalf - foolish person:
sprite - spirit, supernatural being;
credulous - gullible:
perfidious - treacherous;
marmoset - type of small monkey:
filberts - cultivated hazel trees:
trencher -  wooden platter
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