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The Tempest. 3: Full fathom five

The Tempest. 3: Full fathom five

The morning sun reveals a beautiful, music-filled island. But the survivors don't notice this as they crawl onto the beach.

Ariel has done his job well, landing the passengers on various parts of the island.

Now the fun and games can begin...

Prospero surveys all from the secrecy of his invisibility cloak. First he inspects the courtiers, who have been washed up together on one beach. They're all throughly miserable and bickering about who should be in charge. King Alonso is particularly upset - he thinks his son, Ferdinand, has perished in the storm.

Then Ariel shows Prospero two more of the passengers - Trinculo and Stephano - who have been washed up together on another beach. Trinculo is a jester and Stephano his friend.

Finally Ariel shows Prospero Ferdinand, who hasn't died in the storm, but who is feeling upset because he assumes the other passengers - including his father, the King - have died.

Propero's plan is coming together nicely...

The Tempest - supporting resources:

  1. The Tempest - text of Part 3 to print

The Tempest - text of Episode 3

NARRATOR: In the morning sun, the island with no name is a beautiful, sweet-smelling, music-filled place. The miserable survivors don’t notice that as they crawl onto the beach. Ariel has done his job well, landing them all very deliberately on different parts of the island. Prospero slips on his invisibility cloak (yes, really) and joins Ariel in a morning inspection of his catch. First up – the courtiers.

They’ve only been on dry land five minutes and already they’re bickering about who’s in charge. Top of the heap – King Alonso of Naples. He’s the villain who lent his army to Antonio so he could steal Prospero’s kingdom. Does he regret it? Not a bit. So why’s he looking miserable? Because his only son Ferdinand – a bit of a wimp, it has to be said – seems to be dead, drowned in the shipwreak.

Just behind King Alonso is his brother Sebastian. Now he’s miserable because he always wanted to be King of Naples. Next to Sebastian is his mate Antonio. We all know about Antonio, don’t we?

Prospero’s brother – the one who stole his Dukedom. A cooler, nastier, more ruthless man in tights could not be imagined. Just behind him there’s old, white-haired Gonzalo. He’s nice enough (remember he gave Prospero his books all those years ago?) – but really, he does love the sound of his own voice...

Prospero inspects them carefully, coldly. Who else did we catch? Take a look, says Ariel. And off they go to another beach. There on the sand, snoring, is an ugly young man in jester’s outfit. That’s Trinculo, says Ariel. And what’s that? asks Prospero, pointing to another snoring figure wrapped around a beer barrel which goes floating past on the tide. His mate, Stephano, says Ariel. Never heard of them, says Prospero. They’ll have to look after themselves. Where’s Ferdinand?

This way, says Ariel.

And they whizz themselves to the far side of the isle. There, sitting under a tree, snuffling, is the young Prince of Naples - Ferdinand.

PROSPERO: I really can’t stand snuffling. What’s wrong with him?

ARIEL: He thinks his father’s dead. Fully five fathoms under the sea.

PROSPERO: Hmmph. I didn’t notice much snuffling when they sent me off in a boat all those years ago.

ARIEL: I don’t think you can blame Ferdinand. He was only three at the time.

PROSPERO: I’ll blame who I like. Now you get down there and put him through the wringer a bit.

ARIEL: The wringer?

PROSPERO: That’s right. I want to see him really cry.

ARIEL: I thought you were a good wizard.

PROSPERO: Hmm. Wizard is as wizard does. Now, do your stuff, then take him up to the cave. I’ve got a little plan to work on...

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