The Tempest: Analysis Of Gonzalo
At the beginning of the play a storm breaks out in the Mediterranean Sea. Alonso and members of his court are passengers on the ship that is destroyed in the huge storm. Everyone on the ship is separated in the water, but they all find safety on a seemingly deserted island. The island they ended up on is home to the former Duke of Milan, Prospero, who had been set adrift 12 years before, with his daughter Miranda, by his brother Antonio with the aid of Alonso. Over the years, with books supplied by Alonso’s counselor, Gonzalo, and knowledge gained from the island, Prospero has learned magic. The care Gonzalo took to ensure Prospero and Miranda’s survival indicates kindness and compassion that he continues to embody throughout the play. Gonzalo represents kindness, is not a power-hungry man and, is somewhat naive.
Throughout the play, Gonzalo shows compassion and kindness toward his peers. Gonzalo helped Prospero and Miranda escape from Milan. He had filled their boat with food, clothing, and books on the magic arts from Prospero’s library for them to use on the island. The care he took to ensure Prospero and Miranda’s survival shows a lot of his kindness throughout the play. Gonzalo is always attempting to get other characters to act kindly toward one another while stuck on the island. In Act II Gonzalo reprimands Sebastian for blaming the shipwreck on Alonso. He said, “My lord Sebastian, The truth you speak doth lack some gentleness / And time to speak it in. You rub the sore / When you should bring the plaster” (Shakespeare). With these lines, Gonzalo expresses his philosophy that kindness is always more effective than productive harshness.
Gonzalo is anything but a power-hungry man, he wants to help others and does not think about himself. Throughout the play, Gonzalo shows the good in humanity. When the ship is about to be wrecked he shows his wisdom by the way he interprets the character of the officer of the ship. He has remarkable patience earned with age. Once the ship was washed ashore, everyone on the ship was divided under the magic spell of Prospero. Gonzalo ended up with Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio. Sebastian and Antonio’s personalities are constituted of meaner elements. Even when they are disrespecting Gonzalo, he shows great reserve towards the petty aspect and focuses on the King. Antonio and Sebastian planned on killing King Alonso, but Ariel whispers into Gonzalo’s ear to have him stop them from going through with it. When Antonio and Sebastian complain about the island Gonzalo shows them his optimistic worldview. When everyone was in despair, it was Gonzalo who reminded them of the “lush and luxuriant” side of anything they faced on the island. Gonzalo is portrayed as a humane savior. Gonzalo truly only thinks about the well-being of others and proves he is not power-hungry.
Gonzalo represents that he’s somewhat naive. For instance, when he tries to cheer Alonso up at the top of Act II, his words offered cold comfort. Such as, “Beseech you, sir, be merry. You have caused, / So have we all, of joy, for our escape / Is much beyond our loss” (Shakespeare). Alonso believes he’s just lost his son in the sea. He doesn’t find Gonzalo’s cheerful words very helpful, despite their good intentions. Gonzalo provides amusement for Antonio and Sebastian with all his enthusiasm. Although Gonzalo may not be as naive as they believe him to be. He knows he is seen as a joke to them, but he remains positive in the face of their inconstancy. When Antonio tells him not to get upset on account of their jokes, Gonzalo responds maturely. He says, “No, I warrant you, I will not adventure my discretion so weakly” (Shakespeare). Ultimately, with the conciliation that finishes the play, Gonzalo knows his kindness wins out over his companion’s doubt.
Throughout the entire play, Gonzalo stayed positive and tried to help everyone else on the island. Gonzalo showed his kindness to everyone that was stuck on the island with him and made sure that they stayed positive with him. In no way was Gonzalo power-hungry. He never tried to control people or try and make them feel beneath him. He always made people see the good in all the bad things around them. Gonzalo was a very good and noble man towards his peers. Although he was a little naive, he remained positive while Antonio and Sebastian made fun of him for his optimism. He always tried to comfort them whether they wanted to or not. In my essay, my goal was to show that Gonzalo was a very kind man and cared for those around him. Even though he was not the main character in the play he had the biggest impact on how he made the people around him feel.