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Act II, Scene 1 Summary

Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo have washed ashore with their various attendants. Gonzalo attempts to comfort the other survivors by reminding them to be grateful that they escaped the storm with their lives. This evokes taunts from Sebastian and Antonio and pleas for silence by Alonso.

As the men take stock of the island they have been marooned on, the king interrupts them to share his despair; he believes that his son, Ferdinand, has drowned in the shipwreck. His attendant Francisco offers Alonso the consolation that the prince is a very strong swimmer and could still be alive, but the king remains inconsolable.

Gonzalo then explains to his companions why he thinks the island is a very promising place. He imagines out loud what he would do if he were the island's king. He describes it as a utopia with no need for money, titles, work, or toil. Antonio and Sebastian tease Gonzalo mercilessly throughout his daydreaming, and Alonso tells them once again to quiet down.

At this point, Ariel appears, undetected by the noblemen, and begins playing an enchanted song that lulls...

(The entire section is 367 words.)