Act 3, scene 3
The color-coded boxes under "Analysis & Themes" below make it easy to track the themes throughout the work. Each color corresponds to one of the themes explained in the Themes section of this LitChart.
Analysis & Themes
Alonso, Gonzalo, Antonio, and Sebastianenter. They are exhausted after having wandered the island in search of Ferdinand, whom Alonso sadly gives up for dead. Antonio and Sebastian secretly hope that Alonso's sadness and tiredness will give them the chance to murder him that evening.
Alonso's despair at having lost his son may help him empathize with Prospero, who has also suffered great losses.
Suddenly, strange music fills the air. Spirits enter, assemble a lavish banquet, and signal for the courtiers to partake. Prospero has also entered, but because of his magic is invisible. The men marvel at the strange sight of the spirits and banquet, but are unsure whether it is safe to eat. Gonzaloconvinces them it will be safe by observing that explorers are always uncovering amazing things, and that this banquet must be one of those things.
Prospero uses the illusion of the banquet to remind the men of how hungry and desperate they are. The men try to explain the mysteriously appearing banquet based on stories they have heard from explorers of the New World.
Before any of them can eat, a clap of thunder sounds and Ariel appears in the form of a harpy. A flap of Ariel's wings makes the banquet vanish. Saying that he is an agent of Fate, Ariel condemns Alonso, Antonio, andSebastian for overthrowing and exilingProspero and Miranda. He says that the tempest was nature's tool for exacting revenge on Alonso by taking Ferdinand. Ariel adds that only sincere repentance can save the men's own lives. Ariel vanishes. Prospero, still invisible, applauds his spirits and states that his enemies are now under his control.
The banquet's sudden disappearance shows the courtiers how powerless they are. Ariel's rebuke forces...