The Tempest

by William Shakespeare

The Tempest Act I Scene 1 Summary

Plot Summary / The Story-line

The plot of the play opens with noise and commotion on a storm-wracked ship. We are introduced to a whole litany of slang and fiery exchanges between the boatswain and arrogant passengers. Antonio Sebastian, Alonso Ferdinand and Gonzalo, three mariners appear on the deck. A tempestuous noise of thunder and lighting is heard. The heavy gale drives the ship ashore in spite of the mariners’ effort to head her out to sea.

Commentary on Act I, Scene i

Act one scene one registers an immediate appeal to our imagination with its whirl of action. It strikes our wonder as to the after-effect of the heavy gale upon the mariners. Restlessness grips each and every one on the ship. Readers feel over-curious about the fate of the passengers and the crew. The Elizabethan merchant vessel is the centre of action in this scene. Scene one is a befitting setting for the play, justifying its title “The Tempest”. The locale is pervaded with both the angry outburst and tinge of humour. The impact of natural calamity is paramount. It is a prelude to the tone and temper of the play.

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