This page contains the original text of Act 1, Scene 1 of The Tempest . Shakespeare’s original The Tempest text is extremely long, so we’ve split the text into one Scene per page. All Acts and Scenes are listed on the The Tempest text page, or linked to from the bottom of this page.
ACT 1. SCENE 1. On a ship at sea: a tempestuous noise
of thunder and lightning heard.
Enter a Master and a Boatswain
Here, master: what cheer?
Good, speak to the mariners: fall to’t, yarely,
or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.
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!
Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND, GONZALO, and others
Good boatswain, have care. Where’s the master?
Play the men.
I pray now, keep below.
Where is the master, boatswain?
Do you not hear him? You mar our labour: keep your
cabins: you do assist the storm.
Nay, good, be patient.
When the sea is. Hence! What cares these roarers
for the name of king? To cabin: silence! trouble us not.
Good, yet remember whom thou hast aboard.
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.
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.
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.
Re-enter SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, and GONZALO
Yet again! what do you here? Shall we give o’er
and drown? Have you a mind to sink?
A pox o’ your throat, you bawling, blasphemous,
Work you then.
Hang, cur! hang, you whoreson, insolent noisemaker!
We are less afraid to be drowned than thou art.
I’ll warrant him for drowning; though the ship were
no stronger than a nutshell and as leaky as an
Lay her a-hold, a-hold! set her two courses off to
sea again; lay her off.
Enter Mariners wet
All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost!
What, must our mouths be cold?
The king and prince at prayers! let’s assist them,
For our case is as theirs.
I’m out of patience.
We are merely cheated of our lives by drunkards:
This wide-chapp’d rascal–would thou mightst lie drowning
The washing of ten tides!
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 children!’– ‘Farewell, brother!’–’We split, we split, we split!’
Let’s all sink with the king.
Let’s take leave of him.
Exeunt ANTONIO and SEBASTIAN
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.
Read more scenes from The Tempest: