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Gonzalo Timeline and Summary

  • 1.1: Gonzalo's first lines in the play, "Nay, good, be patient," said in the midst of cursing sailors and thunderous skies give us a good sense of what kind of guy he is.
  • 1.1: In the disastrous storm, Gonzalo tries to have some good cheer, even if it's a bit morbid.
  • 1.1: Gonzalo calls for everyone to assist the King and the Prince in praying—a last-ditch effort at saving the boat.
  • 2.1: Gonzalo urges everyone, including the mourning King, to count their blessings, as this is the common woe of anyone who takes to sea.
  • 2.1: Gonzalo comments on how hospitable the island seems to him, so green and fitted for life.
  • 2.1: Gonzalo, again on the sunny side, prattles on about the other bits of luck they've had. Their clothes are all nice and new, even though they've been through a tempest. (Shockingly, this doesn't do much for anyone; as they're stranded on a desert island and looking for a dead prince, their clothes are at best priority #2).
  • 2.1: Gonzalo trips here. After being battered down by Antonio and Sebastian's punning, he finally gets back to his point about the new clothes, which they wore to see Alonso's daughter married. This makes the King sad again, thinking about his daughter's marriage to the King of Tunis, which was the source of this trip and their woes.
  • 2.1: Gonzalo chides Sebastian for being so harsh as to blame the King. He doesn't insist that either party is right, just that Sebastian should be more gentle. He tells the King they all suffer when he suffers, and is teased with more "fowl" punning by Sebastian and Antonio.
  • 2.1: Gonzalo describes his version of an ideal kingdom: there would be no trade in money, no politicians, no schools, no rich or poor, no slavery, no inheritance, no dividing up the land, no metal, corn, wine or oil (things needing careful cultivation and work), and no occupation of any kind—just idle, wholesome, idyllic men and women living happily. His people would live off of the bounty of everything nature brings forth on her own, and he would govern to excel the golden age.
  • 2.1: Gonzalo braves the indignity of Sebastian and Antonio's mockery, saying that, if he is nothing, let them laugh at nothing still.
  • 2.1: Gonzalo awakes with a cry for "good angels preserve the King!" He was woken up by the hum of Ariel in his ear, telling him to watch these two for treachery, and he discovers Sebastian and Antonio with their weapons drawn. If he suspects anything, he doesn't say so, and says only that he hopes the heavens will protect the Prince from these beasts (meaning either the lions Sebastian and Antonio claimed to have heard, or Sebastian and Antonio themselves).
  • 3.3: Gonzalo calls out at the marvelous music, and then asks whether anyone in Naples would believe him if he reported the wonders he now sees as the spirits lay out a banquet. Always eager to note good, he comments that the spirits' manners are better than most humans'.
  • 3.3: Gonzalo assures the King that wonders never do cease—he should not be afraid of this banquet, and instead think of all the wonders he would've denied as a child and has since seen are real.
  • 3.3: After seeing Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio fixed by fright, Gonzalo realizes they have guilt working on them like a slow poison. Rather than condemn them, he demands his fellow attendants to follow the three entranced men to stop them from any acts that they might be inspired to perform in this strange state of bewilderment.
  • 5.1: Gonzalo notes that all wonders, good and bad, inhabit this island, and appeals to a heavenly power to guide them out of this seemingly Godforsaken land.
  • 5.1: Gonzalo humbly ducks Prospero's praise of his honor, saying he can neither confirm nor deny it.
  • 5.1: On hearing of Miranda and Ferdinand's happy union, Gonzalo thanks the heavens, and praises Heaven specifically for making these unhappy turns become happy accidents.
  • 5.1: Gonzalo again praises their strange fate; he sees that all of this was clearly aligned by some power, as only good has come of all the bad that led up to this point.
  • 5.1: Gonzalo has a hearty "Amen!" for Ferdinand and Miranda as a couple and then rejoices at seeing the Boatswain, alive and well.