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The Tempest

The Tempest


by William Shakespeare

King Alonso of Naples Timeline and Summary

  • 1.2: Alonso is on the ship and has come to the deck. He asks the boatswain to have care, and then follows instructions to go below deck, where he prays with his son, Prince Ferdinand.
  • 2.1: Alonso has listened to Gonzalo, Antonio, and Sebastian bat words at each other, while he mourns his son's death. He cries out that he regrets ever marrying his daughter to the King of Tunis, as it has cost him his son, and his daughter is so far away he might as well never see her again. Sebastian claims it is the King's own fault, to which the King replies the loss is even more heartfelt.
  • 2.1: Francisco, a lord, tries to comfort the King by saying maybe the Prince is still alive, but the King is certain that Ferdinand is gone, and wishes everyone to leave him in peace.
  • 2.1: The King awakens from his deep sleep to find Sebastian and Antonio with suspicious daggers drawn. He asks why they look so frightened, when he himself heard nothing. He asks Gonzalo if he heard anything, and the answer is no.
  • 2.1: The King, suspecting nothing, encourages the group to continue in the search for Ferdinand.
  • 3.3: Gonzalo says he is wearied by the search, and the King agrees. He says he will no longer let his hope flatter him, and the sea, having drowned his son, mocks their search on land. He agrees to let his son go.
  • 3.3: Alonso calls the group's attention to strange music, and asks what on earth these spirits were that set the table before them. He cannot muse over what they were, and instead refuses to eat the strange meal they've offered.
  • 3.3: After some encouragement, Alonso agrees to dine. As the "best is past" in his life, he might as well take the risk and eat. Just as he calls all the others to the table, Ariel appears as a harpy, and calls him out for being a traitor.
  • 3.3: When Gonzalo asks why Alonso looks so frightened, Alonso proclaims he saw something monstrous (the harpy). He thought the wind and thunder sang to him about his past wrong against Prospero, and claimed his payment for this ill deed was the loss of his son. Alonso fears the same fate awaits him at the bottom of the sea.
  • 5.1: Alonso is unsure whether it is Prospero that greets them or not, and says lately his mind has been less than stable. He then returns the dukedom of Milan to Prospero, and asks Prospero to pardon his wrongs. Then he asks how it could be that Prospero is both alive and well on this strange island.
  • 5.1: Again, Alonso asks Prospero for the particular details—how could Prospero have survived, whereas he has lost his dear son Ferdinand? Alonso says the loss is still sharp and fresh, and will not be eased by his patience.
  • 5.1: Hearing that Prospero has also lost his child, a daughter, Alonso wishes that the children were both in Naples as the king and queen. He would trade his own life to be in the bottom of the ocean instead of his son, and asks Prospero for more details about his recent loss (not exactly the most tactful of fellows, this king guy).
  • 5.1: Seeing Ferdinand initially, Alonso worries this is another one of the island's illusions. He announces he would be miserable to lose his son twice.
  • 5.1: After joyfully greeting his son, Alonso asks who the young woman was that Ferdinand was playing chess with, given that he could only have known her for about three hours. He thinks she might be the goddess that separated them and brought them together again.
  • 5.1: Alonso gladly agrees to be Miranda's second father (father-in-law) and, after hearing that his son knows his crime against the former Duke of Milan, notes how strange it is that he must ask his child to forgive him.
  • 5.1: Alonso takes Ferdinand and Miranda's hands in his, wishing them joy, and calls for sorrow upon anyone that doesn't do the same.
  • 5.1: Still reeling from the news that the ship is fine and the sailors alive, Alonso states that more than nature is at work. He says he will seek an oracle to fill in the shady bits, but is quickly cut off by Prospero, who will fill in the shady bits himself.
  • 5.1: Alonso recognizes Prospero's would-be murderer as Stefano, his own drunken butler. He notes that Trinculo, the jester, is also reeling like a drunkard. Later, Alonso looks at Caliban and calls him the strangest thing he's ever seen.
  • 5.1: Alonso assures Prospero he can't wait to hear the story of his life since his banishment, and agrees it must be a wondrous tale.