Character Charting The Tempest

Act 1, Scene 1

Work Time

Silently read and annotate act 1, scene 1. Mark any words or lines you don’t understand. Find the conflict between the characters as the ship is foundering.

In your group, discuss the following questions.

  • Who’s in charge on the ship?
  • When the Boatswain tells Gonzalo, “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 liv’d so long, and make / yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of / the hour, if it so hap. . . . Out / of our way, I say” (1.1.19–26). Explain the Boatswain’s frustration and Gonzalo’s response. How do the other noblemen respond to the Boatswain later in the scene?
  • At the end of the scene, what seems to have happened to the ship and its passengers and sailors?

Choose one member to report to the whole class if the teacher calls on your group.