Synopsis of Act 2 Scene 1 of The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Overview of The Tempest Act 2 Scene 1

Summary from The Tempest Act 2 Scene 1

Alonso is inconsolable as he thinks his son Ferdinand has drowned. Gonzalo tries to console him by pointing out the positive side of things. Francisco gives the cheerful news that he saw Ferdinand swimming strongly against the currents. Sebastian blames Alonso for the misfortune as it was at his insistence that he got his daughter, Claribel married to the ruler of Tunis. In order to divert the mind of his king, Gonzalo gives in to his imagination in describing the Utopian life of commonwealth, where everyone is equal and living happily with no worries. He also becomes the target for the sarcastic remarks of Antonio and Sebastian. Antonio, in this scene, instigates Sebastian to kill Alonso and become the King of Naples. Ariel spoils the plot by waking up Gonzalo and others with his song.

Critical Analysis of The Tempest Act 2 Scene 1

Prospero's plan is working. Alonso has become depressed as he has lost all hope. As expected, the evil in Antonio is infecting the mind of Sebastian who is willing to commit fratricide. Gonzalo appears to be faithful to his King and is genuinely concerned about his well-being. Prospero seems to be in control of the situation, with Ariel executing every one of his wishes.


beseech - ask urgently;
woe - intense mournfulness;
spendthrift - big spender;
wager - gamble;
subtle - cunning, wily;
temperance - mildness;
tawny- yellowish brown;
drenched - wet thoroughly;
paragon - perfection of a kind;
miraculous - inexplicable;
doublet - a pair of similar things;
contentious - disputable;
importun'd - beg persistently;
loathness - not in the mood, dislike;
bourn - a seasonal small stream;
sovereignty - supremacy of authority;
foison - harvest;
discretion -judgment;
snore - an extremely boring thing:
razorable - ready for shaving:
prologue - explanation;
discharge - carry out;
kibe - inflamed heel;
candied - crystallized;
wink - smallest amount;
prudence - discretion;
ghastly - horrible;
inchmeal - little by little..
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