Tempest Act 1 Summary


The Tempest opens in the midst of a fierce storm. The location is on a ship at sea near the magical island, with a royal party on board. As the sailors fight the storm to save the ship, the king and his subjects arrive on top of the deck, and Alonso, the king, demands to know where the master is to be found. The boatswain, worried that the passengers will interfere with the working of the ship , orders them to go below deck. The king's councilor, Gonzalo, reminds the boatswain that he is speaking to the king, but the boatswain points out that if the king and his advisors really have that much power, they should use it to quell the fury of the storm.

The royal party exits, presumably to go below deck to seek shelter.

Within moments, however, Antonio, Sebastian, and Gonzalo have returned topside again, much to the boatswain's annoyance. With Sebastian and Antonio cursing him, the boatswain continues in his efforts to save the ship. Soon, however, the sailors enter with laments that the ship is lost. Fearing that they will all soon die, Antonio, Sebastian, and Gonzalo elect to join the rest of the royal party below decks, where they will pray for their survival.