If you've just happened on this blog, please note that it's presently being put together. I'm busy researching and writing at the moment and will add scenes as I complete them. This blog is not being advertised at present because I want to finish at least three plays before I do so. You can understand that I need to work on setting up the blog first before it's released into the public domain. 'THE TEMPEST' and 'ROMEO AND JULIET' are now finished. I'm writing the next play.
Thanks for your patience.

The Tempest - Act I

                                   Setting: An uninhabited Island

                                                     A C T 1

Scene I (On a ship at sea)

A loud noise of lightning and thunder is heard. Enter a shipmaster and a Boatswain.

Shipmaster. Boatswain!

Boastwain. I’m here boss. What’s up?

Shipmaster. Quick! Talk to the mariners to get a move on before we run ourselves aground. Go! Go!


Enter Mariners

Boastwain. (To his mariners) There you are, guys. Listen, take in the shipmaster’s topsail. Tend to his whistle. There’s a storm coming, but we should be fine as long as there are no rocks in our way.

Enter the royal passengers, Alonso (the king), Sebastian (his brother), Antonio (Duke of Naples who usurped his brother, Prospero), Ferdinand (the king's son), Gonzalo (the old councillor), and others.

Alonso. Are you alright, Boatswain? Where’s the master? We’re all brave men. We can get through this.

Boatswain. (To the royal gang) All I ask is that you stay below please, sirs.

Antonio. Where’s the master, bos’n?

Boatswain. Can’t you hear him? Please go back to your cabins, you’re not helping up here. Please stay out of the way and make this easy for everyone.

Gonzalo. Hey, man. Calm down.

Boatswain. When the sea is calm, then I'll calm down. Please just go back to your cabins now, and let us do our jobs.

Gonzalo. Okay, but just remember who you have on board.

Boatswain. No one that I love more than myself. Look, you’re a councillor, right. You restore some peace. If you can use your authority to bring peace to the elements and control the storm, that would be really helpful here. If you can’t, well, you should just go back to your cabin and give thanks for having lived this long. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we have to prepare for the worst. Out of the way now.

Gonzolo. This guy here, he’s not going to die of drowning. He’s going to die from hanging. I’m sure of it. This is good news for us. If he’s to die at the gallows, we’re safe. If not, we could be doomed here.

                                                                            Exit with the others.

Enter Boatswain

Boatswain. Pull the topmast down, fellows. Lower! Lower! (A cry from within). Jeesh! These passengers are louder than us sailors when we’re hard at work.
(Enter Sebastian, Antonio and Gonzolo).
Again? What do you want? Shall we just stop working and look after you guys? You want to die?

Sebastian. What an idiot! Shut your face!

Boatswain. You come and do the job then, if you know so much.

Antonio. You coward. Moan is all you do, you girl. We’re not scared of drowning.

Gonzalo. Drowning is too good for you. Even though we’re in this good-for-nothing ship.

Boatswain. (to the workers) Pull away from the shore. Quick! Pull away!

Enter wet Mariners

Mariners. There is nothing we can do. Pray to God now. We’re done.

Boatswain. What, must our mouths too be cold?

Gonzalo. Let’s pray with the King and Prince. Come on! We’re all in the same position.

Sebastian. I can’t be bothered.

Antonio. Our lives are put in danger by these worthless drunkards. You big-mouthed pirate. I wish you’d die a nasty death, you jerk.

Gonzalo. Moron. He’ll be hanged yet. Drowning is too good for him. I hope we don't all die in this dump.

A confused noise within; ‘Mercy on us!’

We’ve split! We’ve split! Goodbye my wife and kids. Goodbye my brother.

                                                                                  Exit Boatswain.

Antonio. Let’s all sink with the king.

Sebastian. Let’s say goodbye to him.

                                                                                    They both exit.

Gonzalo. I would give anything for a piece of dry ground right now. God’s will be done, but I would prefer a dry death to this.

S C E N E 11

Now on the Island
Enter Prospero and Miranda.

Miranda. If you used your powers to cause this storm, Dad, please stop it now. It looks like the sky is trying to send down fire, but the sea comes up to the horizon and just puts the fire out. Oh, I'm so upset. I feel as though I was one of the people I saw perish in this terrible storm. Such a lovely ship, all dashed to pieces. I’m so devastated thinking of all the poor people who lost their lives. If I had any power at all, I would’ve opened the ground and buried the sea under it so that I could save the ship and all the people in it.

Prospero. It’s okay, dear. Don’t worry about it so much. Just pretend it didn’t happen.

Miranda. If only.

Prospero. Never mind, my dear daughter. I care only about you and your well-being. You don’t know how much I’ve done to protect and keep you safe.

Miranda. That only makes me worry even more, Dad.

Prospero. It’s time I should tell you these things. Here, help me take off this magic robe. (Lays down his robe). Lie there, love. Wipe your eyes and don’t worry so much. I know the wreck is an awful thing for you to witness, especially since you’re so sensitive. I know this. My power helps me to foresee these things, love. I want you to know that nothing happened to the people you heard cry on the ship. Not a hair on anyone’s head was harmed. Trust me. Sit down and let me tell you about how this relates to your life.

Miranda. Dad, you’ve started to tell me about who I am lots of times before. But you always stopped halfway through and said, ‘not yet. Later.'

Prospero. The time has come. I’ll tell you now. Listen carefully. Can you remember the time before we came to this cell? I’m not sure you can, because you were only about three years old.

Miranda. Yes, Dad. I can.

Prospero. Really? What do you remember, A person or something?

Miranda. Well, I can only remember vaguely. I’m not sure if it’s an imagination or a memory. Did I have four or five nannies at one point?

Prospero. Yes, you did, and more. But how do you remember so far back? If you remember the period before we came here, surely you remember how we got here?

Miranda. Not really, no. I don’t remember that part.

Prospero. Twelve years before that, Miranda, your father was the Duke of Milan with a lot of power.

Miranda. Aren’t you my dad?

Prospero. Well, put it this way. Your mother was sheer virtue. A pure woman. She said I was your dad, and my only heir. So...

Miranda. Oh Good Heavens! So how did we end up here? Did someone do us wrong? Did we do wrong to deserve this?

Prospero. Both, my dear. As you said, someone did do us wrong, and all this was because of me.

Miranda. I’m so sorry that I caused you to remember such bad times, Dad. But I need to know.

Prospero. My brother, your uncle, called Antonio. You won’t believe that a brother could be so deceitful. Next to myself, he was the person I loved best in all the world. I allowed him to manage my estate. He was number one in my domain. There was no one like him in the art world. He was brilliant and talented and studied a lot. He knew my estate better than I did myself. Are you listening to me?

Miranda. Yes, Dad.

Prospero. Once you allow someone to get to the state of perfection and brilliance, it gets harder to cut him down. Harder to make them realise they’re getting too big for their boots. He soon started to win over my people for himself. He had the power of office and a long leash, so he made them think differently. Whatever pleased him, he made them do and say. He had his hands on my power, so he wasn’t prepared to let it go. You’re not listening, are you?

Miranda. Of course, I am.

Prospero. You know, I figured your uncle had my back, so I dedicated my time to learning and bettering my mind. The spiritual things rather than the physicalAfter a while, with all the popularity and power, my brother became twisted. His betrayal was as complete as my trust was in him. He'd managed my power and wealth for so long, gradually he actually believed they belonged to him. He basically believed he was the real Duke and not me. His ambition grew wildly. Are you hearing all this?

Miranda. Of course. This story would cure deafness.

Prospero. He decided to be the real Duke inside and out – by name and by nature. My library and my kingdom were vast. He thought that I was incapable of doing such a big, important job. He was thirsty for the power, the title, for people to worship him, and for the crown that the King of Naples promised him in their pact.

Miranda. Oh Good Heavens!

Prospero. Consider his pact with the King and the outcome of all of this and tell me if he’s my brother?

Miranda. It would be a sin to think evil of my own grandmother, so I suppose I have to believe that good women do bear bad children.

Prospero. You see, this is the arrangement; the King of Naples, Alonso, never liked me. The two of them cooked up this plan to get rid of me. I don’t know all that he’s given my brother, but the agreement was that if I wasn’t there, Antonio would become Duke. They planned all this and one night they threw me out with you screaming in my arms.

Miranda. That’s awful. I can’t remember how I was crying then, but it’s sad enough to make me want to cry about it again.

Prospero. I’m not finished. I still have to tell you some more before I tell you about this present situation. Which, might I add, wouldn’t even be important was it not for the past.

Miranda. You mean the reason why they destroyed us?

Prospero. Well spotted, child. To make a long story short, you could almost say they forgot the way they cared about me before the trouble started. They took us aboard a ship, rowed us out to sea, and left us in a mere tub. No tackle, no sail, no mast, no nothing. Even the rats didn’t bother coming aboard. They just left us there to the mercy of the wind and sea.

Miranda. Gosh, I could imagine what trouble I was to you in that situation.

Prospero. Oh, my angel. You were the only thing that kept me sane. Your smile was like a blessing from heaven. When I wept myself dry, your smile was what kept me strong to face up to what could happen to us.

Miranda. How did we come ashore?

Prospero. By God’s grace. This old councillor called Gonzalo was actually appointed to take care of this nasty business, but he treated us kindly. He gave us a bit of food and some fresh water. He also gave us some nice clothesexpensive linen and some other necessary stuff which were really useful to us. He even made sure I had some books from my own library because he knew I valued them more than all my wealth and title.

Miranda. Oh, I wish I could meet him.

Prospero. Moving on. When we arrived here, I taught you better than any princess have ever been taught.

Miranda. Thank you so much, Dad. But I’m still wondering why you raised the storm.

Prospero. I tell you what. It’s a weird thing, but Lady Fortune who was my enemy, has now become my friend. She is the one who brought these people to this shore. My star is now aligned in the right place for things to start going my way. No more questions for now. You’re feeling very tired now, just give way to the feeling and sleep. You haven’t got a choice.
(Miranda sleeps).
Come here, servant. I’m ready now, Ariel. Come now.

Enter Ariel

Ariel. All Hail, great master. I’m here to do your will. What do you desire today? Do you want me to fly, to swim, to dive in the fire, to ride on the clouds. Whatever you desire, me and all my band are here to do your bidding.

Prospero. Did you do exactly what I told you do with the tempest?

Ariel. To every detail. I boarded the King’s ship. I went to the front, the back, everywhere, in all the cabins, and struck terror by appearing as St. Elmo’s fire. Sometimes I divided and burned in different places. Then I met up and burned in one ball. I was bold and powerful and scary!

Prospero. My brave spirit. Who was the one who kept his head during all this uproar?

Ariel. Not a soul. They were all scared and went crazy, jumping overboard and screaming like mad men. When they saw my fire, the king’s son, Ferdinand’s hair stood on end. He was the first one to leap aboard shouting, ‘Hell’s empty, and all the devils are here!’

Prospero. That’s more like it! Where are they?

Ariel. Close by, my master.

Prospero. Are they safe, Ariel?

Ariel. Oh, not a hair on their head touched, Master. Not even a tear or stain on their clothes. They’re good as new – even better. As you told me, I got my troops to look after the other people but I took care of the king’s son myself. I left him moping and sighing, sitting like this. (Ariel illustrates this to Prospero).

Prospero. And tell me what you did with the King’s ship, the mariners and the rest of the fleet.

Ariel. All safely in the harbour. I hid the King’s ship in the deep nook where you once called me to fetch dew from Bermudas. He was so not pleased, wasn’t he? The mariners, they're are all under hatches. They’re still under the spell, so they’re fast asleep. The rest of the fleet had all been separated, but they met up again and are presently sailing home on the Mediterranean sea, bound for Naples. They’re sure they saw the King’s ship wrecked and that they saw him die.

Prospero. Ariel, you’re a charm. I’m pleased with your work, but there’s more work to be done. What time is it?

Ariel. Midday.

Prospero. No. I reckon it’s at least two o clock. Look, between now and six o’clock, we’ve both got a lot to do.

Ariel. Is there more work. You gave me a very hard task to do. Just let me say that so far, you haven’t given me what you promised me for the last one.

Prospero. What do you want?

Ariel. Set me free.

Prospero. Not before the time is right.

Ariel. I’ve always served you well. I’ve been honest, made no mistakes. Worked without grumbling. You even promised to reduce my service time by one year.

Prospero. Are you forgetting what I saved you from and where I got you?

Ariel. No

Prospero. Now, I think you are, Ariel. You think it’s too much to travel on the deep sea, through the North Wind and under the earth to do business for me?

Ariel. I don’t, sir.

Prospero. You’re a liar, you wretch. Have you forgotten about that evil Sycorax whose envy destroyed her? Have you forgotten her?

Ariel. No, sir.

Prospero. You have. Where was she born? Come on, Tell me.

Ariel. Algiers, sir.

Prospero. Was she, really? See, once a month, I always have to remind you of where you’ve been and where you’ve come from. This damned witch Sycorax was banished for all the evil and terrible things she’s done. Isn’t this true?

Ariel. Yes, sir. It is.

Prospero. You were her servant. You told me this yourself. She was brought here by sailors and left to rot. And because you had a good heart, you couldn’t bear to do her evil biddings. She went ballistic and got her evil servants to lock you up for twelve years, in a tight container which drifted out to sea. If that wasn’t enough, she died while you were still in there, so there was certainly no escape. At least I now have her son Caliban as my servant. Wretched idiot, he wasn’t even lucky enough to at least look human. You know first-hand how you screamed and fought to get out of your prison. It was the power of my art that got you out of the trap when I heard you yowling.

Ariel. And I thank you, master.

Prospero. If you continue to nag and complain, I myself will lock you up for twelve years.

Ariel. So sorry, sir. I won’t complain anymore. I’ll do what you say, honest.

Prospero. Fine then. I’ll let you go after two days.

Ariel. Thanks so much. Thank you. What do you want me to do now? Anything.

Prospero. Go and turn yourself into a sea fairy. You’ll be invisible to everyone else but me. Hurry up and do it.

                                                                                      Exit Ariel.
(To Miranda) Wake up, my dear, wake up now.

Miranda. Your story was so strange, it made me fall asleep.

Prospero. Shake it off. We have to visit Caliban, that foul-mouthed slave.

Miranda. He’s so mean, dad. I don’t like him one bit.

Prospero. I know. But we can’t do without him. He makes our fire, fetches our wood, and serves us in other ways.
Hey! Caliban, you dullard. Where are you?

Caliban (from within). I've already fetched enough wood today.

Prospero. Come here. I’ve got some other work for you to do. Come here now, you lazy freak.
Enter Ariel looking like a water fairy.
You look great, Ariel. Whisper in my ear.

Ariel. (whispers) I’m going to do it.

                                                                                   Exit Ariel.

Prospero. Where are you, Caliban, you rotten slave? Come out here, if you know what’s good for you.

Enter Caliban

Caliban. Curse you both. I hate you!

Prospero. For that, tonight you’ll have cramps. Bad spirits will gnaw on your bones all night, and pinch you harder than bees can sting.

Caliban. Whatever. I must eat my dinner now. You know, this island is mine because it belonged to my mother, Sycorax. You stole it from me. You tricked me when you first arrived. You showed me stuff and taught me about the earth and planets. I loved you. I showed you all around the island, the good places and the bad. I shouldn’t have done that. I was so stupid. I hate you for that. I should be king of this island, instead I’m serving you. I’m your only servant, yet you keep me like a pig in one cave, while you enjoy the rest of the island.

Prospero. You are such a liar, you numbskull. I kept you in my own place, regardless of who you were. I treated you with respect until you tried to violate my daughter.

Caliban. Didn’t happen anyway. Otherwise, I’d have little Calibans running all over this island.

Miranda. I don’t believe this. You can turn even good intentions into evil and worthless things. I felt sorry for you. I taught you how to speak and think. But none of the good things I tried to teach you stuck. You’re still vile. You deserve what you got.

Caliban. You taught me a language. That only means that now I know how to curse. You should’ve saved your breath, you moron.

Prospero. Oh, shut up. You’d better bring us some fuel, and make it snappy. Otherwise, I’ll make your bones ache so much the wild animals will be scared of your yelling in pain.

Caliban. Okay. Okay.
(Aside). I’d better obey him because he’s so powerful, he could make a god serve him.

Prospero. Go on then, slave.

                                                                                Exit Caliban.

Enter Ferdinand and invisible Ariel who's playing and singing.

Ariel’s song.

Come to the yellow sands
And then take hands
Bow when you have kissed
The wild waves silent.
Walk nimbly here and there
And sweet spirits the burden bear
Hark! Hark!
Bow, wow the watchdogs bark
Bow, wow
Hark! Hark! I hear
The strain of strutting cockerels
Cry cock-a-diddle-doo.

Ferdinand. Where is this music coming from? From heaven or earth? It sounds like it’s from some god of the Island, sitting on the bank, weeping for my father, the king’s wreckage. I heard it first on the water. It sounded both fierce and sad, so I followed it. Or maybe it enticed me here. Now it’s gone. No, it’s come back now.

Ariel’s song

Your father lies five fathoms below.
His bones are made of corals.
His eyes are made of pearls.
Nothing of him is wasted
But is changed by the sea
Into something strange.
The sea spirits toll for him hourly.
Ding dong,
Hark! Now I hear them – ding dong, bell.

Ferdinand. They remember my father. This is not earthly. This has to come from heaven. There, now it’s above me.

Prospero. (To Miranda) Look over there and tell me what you see.

Miranda. What is it? Is it a spirit? It’s looking about. It looks so real, but it must be a spirit.

Prospero. No, girl. It eats, sleeps and does everything we do. He was in the wreckage. He’s sad right now, but he’s a good person. He’s lost his friends, so he’s looking around to find them.

Miranda. He looks like a god. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.

Prospero. (Aside) My plan is working. Spirit, I’ll free you in two days for this.

Ferdinand. Hello. I’ve never seen such a beautiful woman like you. Do you live here? Tell me about this place. How do I act here? But the most important question is, are you single?

Miranda. You bet, I am.

Ferdinand. I’m not really good at this sort of thing.

Prospero. Really? What would the King of Naples say if he heard you say that.

Ferdinand. I’m all alone now. And the king does hear me. I’m sad that he does, actually because I’ll never stop crying now that my father is dead.

Miranda. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.

Ferdinand. His lords also died, and so did the Duke of Milan and his two brave sons.

Prospero. (Aside) the real Duke of Milan and his even braver daughter could refute that, but the time is not yet right for that. They’ve fallen head over heels in love at first sight. Ariel, you’ll have your freedom for this.

(To Ferdinand) Sir, I think you’ve said something that’s not true. Can I have a word with you?

Miranda. Why’s my father so cross. This is the third man I’ve ever seen and the only one I’ve ever fallen in love with. If only he could see things my way.

Ferdinand. If you’re a virgin and not in love with anyone else, I’ll make you the Queen of Naples.

Prospero. Hang on there, sir. I have to speak to you.
(Aside) They’re smitten with each other. This is quick stuff. I’ve got to stir up some trouble here. I don’t want them to think this is too easy.
(To Ferdinand) Listen to me. Who do you think you are? You’ve come here as a spy to take this island away from me.

Ferdinand. No, I swear, I’m not a spy.

Miranda. He’s too handsome to be anything but good. Even if bad spirits have such a good home, only good things can dwell in it.

Prospero. Follow me.
(To Miranda) Don’t you speak for him. He’s a traitor.
(To Ferdinand) Come here. I’ll chain your neck and feet together. I’ll give you sea water to drink and feed you mussels, husks and withered roots. Follow me.

Ferdinand. No way! You’ve got to be kidding. I’m not going anywhere with you. You’re not stronger than me.

(He draws his sword, but is charmed into stillness).

Miranda. Dad! Hear his side first please. He’s a prince, not a coward.

Prospero. What? Are you telling me what to do?
(To Ferdinand) Put your sword away, you traitor. You’re just a show-off. I can disarm you with a mere wand.

Miranda. Please, dad!

Prospero. Let go of me.

Miranda. Please have pity on him. I’ll vouch for him.

Prospero. Shut up! One more word out of you, and I’ll punish you, if not hate you. You’ll vouch for someone you don’t even know – a traitor? What, because you’ve only seen him and Caliban, you think he’s the only one who looks like that. Most men are better looking than him. To them, he looks like Caliban.

Miranda. My standards are not high. I have no desires to see a better looking man.

Prospero. (To Ferdinand) Come on! Obey me. You feel like a baby again, you can’t control your body.

Ferdinand. You’re right. I’ve lost all control of everything. My father and my friends are all dead. And I’m subdued to you and all your threats. None of this concerns me though. All I want is to be able to look out of my prison once a day and see this lovely girl. If I can do that, then I’m happy.

Prospero. (Aside) It works.
(To Ferdinand) Come on. Follow me.
(To Ariel) You’ve done well, Ariel. Listen to what  I want you to do next.

Miranda. My father is not usually like this. I don’t know what’s wrong with him today.

Prospero. You will be free as the wind. Till then, do exactly as I tell you.

Ariel. To the syllable.

Prospero. (To Ferdinand) Follow me.

(To Miranda) Don’t speak to him.

Act 11 is here
Act 111 is here
Act 1V is here

1 comment:

  1. Well done. I think you should establish early that Prospero has studied magic and is a a magician. I am a friend of Mignon Fahr and have rewritten As You Like It and Midsummer Night's Dream for children.


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A translation of Shakespeare's plays designed for noughties' teenagers and youngsters.
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