Act I, Scene 1 On a ship at sea: a tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard.

Enter a Master and a Boatswain


Master Boatswain!
Boatswain Here, master: what cheer?
Master Good, speak to the mariners: fall to't, yarely,
or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.
  [Enter Mariners]
Boatswain Heigh, my hearts! cheerly, cheerly, my hearts!
yare, yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to the
master's whistle. Blow, till thou burst thy wind,
if room enough!
GONZALO, and others]
ALONSO Good boatswain, have care. Where's the master?
Play the men.
Boatswain I pray now, keep below.
ANTONIO Where is the master, boatswain?
Boatswain Do you not hear him? You mar our labour: keep your
cabins: you do assist the storm.
GONZALO Nay, good, be patient.
Boatswain When the sea is. Hence! What cares these roarers
for the name of king? To cabin: silence! trouble us not.
GONZALO Good, yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
Boatswain None that I more love than myself. You are a
counsellor; if you can command these elements to
silence, and work the peace of the present, we will
not hand a rope more; use your authority: if you
cannot, give thanks you have lived so long, and make
yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of
the hour, if it so hap. Cheerly, good hearts! Out
of our way, I say.
GONZALO I have great comfort from this fellow: methinks he
hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is
perfect gallows. Stand fast, good Fate, to his
hanging: make the rope of his destiny our cable,
for our own doth little advantage. If he be not
born to be hanged, our case is miserable.
  [Re-enter Boatswain]
Boatswain Down with the topmast! yare! lower, lower! Bring
her to try with main-course.
  [A cry within]
  A plague upon this howling! they are louder than
the weather or our office.
  Yet again! what do you here? Shall we give o'er
and drown? Have you a mind to sink?
SEBASTIAN A pox o' your throat, you bawling, blasphemous,
incharitable dog!
Boatswain Work you then.
ANTONIO Hang, cur! hang, you whoreson, insolent noisemaker!
We are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.
GONZALO I'll warrant him for drowning; though the ship were
no stronger than a nutshell and as leaky as an
unstanched wench.
Boatswain Lay her a-hold, a-hold! set her two courses off to
sea again; lay her off.
  [Enter Mariners wet]
Mariners All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost!
Boatswain What, must our mouths be cold?
GONZALO The king and prince at prayers! let's assist them,
For our case is as theirs.
SEBASTIAN I'm out of patience.
ANTONIO We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards:
This wide-chapp'd rascal--would thou mightst lie drowning
The washing of ten tides!
GONZALO He'll be hang'd yet,
Though every drop of water swear against it
And gape at widest to glut him.
  [A confused noise within: 'Mercy on us!'--
'We split, we split!'--'Farewell, my wife and
'Farewell, brother!'--'We split, we split, we split!']
ANTONIO Let's all sink with the king.
SEBASTIAN Let's take leave of him.
GONZALO Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an
acre of barren ground, long heath, brown furze, any
thing. The wills above be done! but I would fain
die a dry death.


To view other scenes from the show:

Full Text Act III, Scene 1 Before Prospero’s cell. 
Act I, Scene 1 On a ship at sea a tempestuous noise of thunder and lighting heard. Act III, Scene 2 Another part of the island.
Act I, Scene 2 The island Before Prospero’s cell. Act III, Scene 3 Another part of the island.
Act II, Scene 1 Another part of the island. Act IV, Scene 1 Before Prospero’s cell.
Act II, Scene 2 Another part of the island. Act V, Scene 1 Before Prospero’s cell.


To view other The Tempest sections:

Main Play Page      Play Text     Scene by Scene Synopsis     Character Directory     Commentary  


To view the other Plays click below:

By  Comedies    Histories    Romances    Tragedies

All's Well the Ends Well Antony & Cleopatra As You Like It Cardenio Comedy of Errors Coriolanus
Cymbeline Edward III Hamlet Henry IV, Part 1 Henry IV, Part 2 Henry V
Henry VI, Part 1 Henry VI, Part 2 Henry VI, Part 3 Henry VIII Julius Caesar King John
King Lear Love's Labours Lost Love's Labours Wonne Macbeth Measure for Measure Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor A Mid Summer Night's Dream  Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles Richard II
Richard III Romeo & Juliet Sir Thomas More Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus Troilus & Cressida Twelfth Night Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsman The Winter's Tale


To view other Shakespeare Library sections:

Biography     Plays     Poems     Sonnets     Theaters     Shake Links 

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
[Home]  [Upcoming Shows]  [HSC Venues]  [Past Productions]  [Articles] [HSC Programs]
 [Shakespeare Library] [Actor Resources]   [Contact Us]  [Links]  [Site Map]