50 pages 1 hour read

William Shakespeare

The Tempest

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1611

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Act II

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Act II, Scene 1 Summary: “Another part of the island.”

King Alonso surveys the island. With him are his brother Sebastian, along with Antonio—brother to Prospero and usurper of his kingdom—and the rest of the entourage. The king’s counselor Gonzalo tries to cheer up Alonso, telling him, “our escape / Is much beyond our loss” (2.1.2-3). He prattles on, and Sebastian predicts his words with humorous accuracy. He and Antonio bet on who will speak next, Gonzalo or Lord Adrian; Antonio chooses Adrian and wins.

Adrian and Gonzalo try to put a good face on the desert island, proclaiming it full of potential. Sebastian and Antonio privately mock their optimism. Gonzalo notes that their clothes, instead of being soaked and briny, are miraculously as fresh as when they first put them on at the marriage of Alonso’s daughter Claribel to the king of Tunis. Gonzalo and Adrian argue about whether Tunis was once called Carthage.

Alonso bemoans the marriage since it led to the shipwreck. He believes his son and daughter will never to be seen again. Lord Francisco says he saw Ferdinand swimming for shore, but Alonso isn’t convinced. Sebastian turns on his brother and berates him for the wedding, which none in his court wanted and which led to the tragic sea disaster: “The fault’s your own.

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