Plot Summary / The Story-line
Act II, scene ii of Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” begins with Caliban being overburdened with a burden of wood with peal of noisy thunder. Trinculo, a fool, is introduced in this scene trying to search for shelter. Caliban’s encounter with Trinculo on the island makes it dumbfounded. Caliban considers Trinculo as Prospero’s evil agent to torment him. Frightened by thunder Trinculo takes shelter under Caliban’s cloak.
Another survivor from the shipwreck, Stephano appears drunk. Both Caliban and Trinculo are lying together on the ground. Stephano looks upon them as a single four-legged monster. He feeds Caliban wine to tame the monster. Stephano and Trinculo identify each other and rejoice at their reunion. Caliban becomes tipsy and volunteers to serve them as though they were Gods. Caliban sings drunkenly of his pleasure.
Commentary on Act II, Scene ii
We get thoroughly introduced to Caliban to whet our curiosity. We come to know Caliban’s savage nature and see how easily Caliban gets tamed being intoxicated with wine and agrees to serve the drunken butlers. Herein lies the rollicking humour of festive comedy. The scene is strikingly discordant with sombre tone of previous scene. It brings with it solace and comfort for the readers as there happens a lot of fun and merriment. Most importantly drunken Caliban’s tipsy behaviour is the basic run of the mill comic antic.