Synopsis of Act 3 Scene 3 of The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Overview of The Tempest Act 3 Scene 3

Summary from The Tempest Act 3 Scene 3

The scene fills the audience with wonder with its magical happenings and supernatural elements. The tiredness and misery of Alonso and Gonzalo are depicted in the beginning. Then an unexpected event takes place. A banquet appears in front of them but vanishes when they were about to have it. A harpy appears and admonishes them for their abominable plan against Prospero. The only way for them to escape from retribution is repentance. The sinners are distraught by the strong words of the harpy.

Critical Analysis of The Tempest Act 3 Scene 3

The three sinners are about to realize their wickedness. Harpy is the agent of Fate that assures sin will be retributed in this world itself. The scene also reinforces the theme of forgiveness. An inkling is given that forgiveness can be granted if the sinners sincerely repent their action. Alonso is severely punished by the thought of losing his son. His remorse is purifying his heart.

The supernatural characters with their stunning show encapture the interest of the readers. The harpy's appearance is a device to instil supernatural fear in the audience. It will be thrilling to witness it on stage. The scene depicts excellent poetry and visual appeal. There are some satirical references to travellers too in this scene, as during that time in England people developed an interest for travelling extensively.

meander - winding way;
dulling - becoming less intense, lessen, decrease;
repulse - drive back, repel;
travail - struggle;
vigilance - carefulness;
banquet - feast:
drollery - puppet show, comic entertainment:
phoenix - a mythological bird;
muse - marvel:
discourse - conversation, talk:
viands - food items;
dewlapp'd - folds of loose skin hanging from the neck or throat:
harpy - mythical bird, half woman;
surfeited - excess;
belch - through out in a violent way:
valour - heroism;
invulnerable - insensitive:
plummet - jump energetically:
fiend - evil spirit;
legion - detachment;
ecstasy - bout of madness.
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