Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

The Tempest: Act 3, Scene 2

           Enter CALIBAN, STEPHANO,
           and TRINCULO.

  1   Tell not me; when the butt is out, we will drink
1. when the butt is out: when the wine cask is empty.

  2   water; not a drop before: therefore bear up, and
  3   board 'em. Servant-monster, drink to me.
2-3. bear up and board 'em: sail into the wind and climb aboard; i.e., drink up.

  4   Servant-monster! the folly of this island! They
  5   say there's but five upon this isle: we are three
  6   of them; if th' other two be brained like us, the
  7   state totters.

  8   Drink, servant-monster, when I bid thee: thy eyes
  9   are almost set in thy head.
8-9. set in thy head: i.e., glazed over. In the next line Trinculo will make a joke by taking this common phrase literally.

 10   Where should they be set else? he were a brave
10. brave: good-looking. Trinculo is being sarcastic.

 11   monster indeed, if they were set in his tail.

 12   My man-monster hath drown'd his tongue in sack:
12. sack: a popular kind of white wine.

 13   for my part, the sea cannot drown me; I swam, ere I
 14   could recover the shore, five and thirty leagues off
 15   and on. By this light, thou shalt be my lieutenant,
 16   monster, or my standard.
16. standard: standard-bearer. Trinculo will make a joke by using the word to mean "something that stands up."

 17   Your lieutenant, if you list; he's no standard.

 18   We'll not run, Monsieur Monster.
18. run: i.e., run from the enemy.

 19   Nor go neither; but you'll lie like dogs and yet say
19. go: walk. lie: (1) lie down; (2) tell lies.

 20   nothing neither.

 21   Moon-calf, speak once in thy life, if thou beest a
 22   good moon-calf.

 23   How does thy honour? Let me lick thy shoe.
 24   I'll not serve him; he's not valiant.

 25   Thou liest, most ignorant monster: I am in case to
25. case: fit condition.

 26   justle a constable. Why, thou deboshed fish thou,
26. deboshed: debauched. justle: jostle, stand up to.
Sixteenth-century image of a 'Seabishop', a man-fish.

 27   was there ever man a coward that hath drunk so much
 28   sack as I today? Wilt thou tell a monstrous lie,
 29   being but half a fish and half a monster?

 30   Lo, how he mocks me! wilt thou let him, my
 31   lord?

 32   'Lord' quoth he! That a monster should be
 33   such a natural!
33. natural: idiot, simpleton. Trinculo's joke is that the unnatural monster is a great "natural."

 34   Lo, lo, again! bite him to death, I prithee.

 35   Trinculo, keep a good tongue in your head: if you
 36   prove a mutineer,—the next tree! The poor monster's
 37   my subject and he shall not suffer indignity.

 38   I thank my noble lord. Wilt thou be pleased to
 39   hearken once again to the suit I made to thee?

 40   Marry, will I. Kneel and repeat it. I will stand,
40. Marry: indeed.

 41   and so shall Trinculo.

           Enter ARIEL, invisible.

 42   As I told thee before, I am subject to a tyrant,
 43   A sorcerer, that by his cunning hath
 44   Cheated me of the island.

 45   Thou liest.


Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo (Ariel invisible)
Artist: Edwin Austin Abbey

 45                     Thou liest, thou jesting monkey, thou!
 46   I would my valiant master would destroy thee!
 47   I do not lie.

 48   Trinculo, if you trouble him any more in's tale, by
 49   this hand, I will supplant some of your teeth.

 50   Why, I said nothing.

 51   Mum, then, and no more. Proceed.

 52   I say, by sorcery he got this isle;
 53   From me he got it. If thy greatness will
 54   Revenge it on him,—for I know thou darest,
 55   But this thing dare not,—
55. this thing: i.e., Trinculo.

 56   That's most certain.

 57   Thou shalt be lord of it and I'll serve thee.

 58   How now shall this be compassed?
58.compassed: carried out.

 59   Canst thou bring me to the party?

 60   Yea, yea, my lord: I'll yield him thee asleep,
60. I'll yield him thee asleep: I'll bring you to him when he's asleep.

 61   Where thou mayst knock a nail into his bead.

 62   Thou liest; thou canst not.

 63   What a pied ninny's this! Thou scurvy patch!
63. pied ninny: fool in motley. this i.e., Trinculo. Ariel is invisible, and Caliban thinks it is Trinculo who said "Thou liest." scurvy patch: scabby fool.

 64   I do beseech thy greatness, give him blows
 65   And take his bottle from him: when that's gone
 66   He shall drink nought but brine; for I'll not show him
 67   Where the quick freshes are.
67. quick freshes: fresh-water running springs.

 68   Trinculo, run into no further danger:
 69   interrupt the monster one word further, and,
 70   by this hand, I'll turn my mercy out o' doors
 71   and make a stock-fish of thee.
71. stock-fish: dried cod, so stiff it had to be pounded into a powder before cooking.

 72   Why, what did I? I did nothing. I'll go farther
 73   off.

 74   Didst thou not say he lied?

 75   Thou liest.

 76   Do I so? take thou that.

           [Beats Trinculo.]

 77   As you like this, give me the lie another time.
77. As . . . time: i.e., if you like the beating I'm giving you, tell me that I lie again, and I'll give you another beating.

 78   I did not give the lie. Out o' your
 79   wits and bearing too? A pox o' your bottle!
78-79. Out . . . too?: i.e., do you realize that you are thinking and acting crazy?

 80   this can sack and drinking do. A murrain on
80. murrain: plague.

 81   your monster, and the devil take your fingers!

 82   Ha, ha, ha!

 83   Now, forward with your tale.

           [To Trinculo.]

 84   Prithee, stand farther off.

 85   Beat him enough: after a little time
 86   I'll beat him too.

 86                             Stand farther. Come, proceed.

 87   Why, as I told thee, 'tis a custom with him,
 88   I' th' afternoon to sleep: there thou mayst brain him,
 89   Having first seized his books, or with a log
 90   Batter his skull, or paunch him with a stake,
90. paunch: stab in the belly.

 91   Or cut his wezand with thy knife. Remember
91. wezand: windpipe.

 92   First to possess his books; for without them
 93   He's but a sot, as I am, nor hath not
93. sot: fool, blockhead.

 94   One spirit to command: they all do hate him
 95   As rootedly as I. Burn but his books.
 96   He has brave utensils,—for so he calls them—
96. utensils: household furnishings, implements, vessels.

 97   Which when he has a house, he'll deck withal.
97. withal: with.

 98   And that most deeply to consider is
 99   The beauty of his daughter; he himself
100   Calls her a nonpareil: I never saw a woman,
100. nonpareil: one having no equal.

101   But only Sycorax my dam and she;
101. dam: mother.

102   But she as far surpasseth Sycorax
103   As great'st does least.

103                                       Is it so brave a lass?
103. brave: beautiful.

104   Ay, lord; she will become thy bed, I warrant.
104. become thy bed: beautify your bed.

105   And bring thee forth brave brood.
105. brave brood: good-looking children.

106   Monster, I will kill this man: his daughter and I
107   will be king and queen—save our graces!—and
108   Trinculo and thyself shall be viceroys. Dost thou
109   like the plot, Trinculo?

110   Excellent.

111   Give me thy hand: I am sorry I beat thee; but,
112   while thou livest, keep a good tongue in thy head.

113   Within this half hour will he be asleep:
114   Wilt thou destroy him then?

114                                               Ay, on mine honor.

115   This will I tell my master.

116   Thou makest me merry; I am full of pleasure:
117   Let us be jocund: will you troll the catch
117. troll the catch: sing the round.

118   You taught me but while-ere?
118. but while-ere: a short time ago.

119   At thy request, monster, I will do reason, any
119. I will do reason: I will satisfy a reasonable request.

120   reason. Come on, Trinculo, let us sing.


121        Flout 'em and scout 'em
121. Flout: deride. scout: jeer at.

122        And scout 'em and flout 'em
123          Thought is free.

124   That's not the tune.
man playing pipe and tabor

           Ariel plays the tune on a tabor and pipe.

125   What is this same?

126   This is the tune of our catch, played by the
127   picture of Nobody.

128   If thou beest a man, show thyself in thy likeness:
129   if thou beest a devil, take't as thou list.
129. take't as thou list: do as you please; i.e., whatever you do, I'm ready to fight back.

130   O, forgive me my sins!

131   He that dies pays all debts: I defy thee. Mercy
132   upon us!

133   Art thou afeard?

134   No, monster, not I.

135   Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
135. noises: musical sounds.

136   Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
136. airs:tunes.

137   Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
138   Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
139   That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
140   Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
141   The clouds methought would open and show riches
142   Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
143   I cried to dream again.

144   This will prove a brave kingdom to me, where I shall
145   have my music for nothing.

146   When Prospero is destroyed.

147   That shall be by and by: I remember the story.
147. by and by: soon enough. the story: i.e., Caliban's story about how easy it would be for Stephano to kill Prospero and take Miranda for his Queen.

148   The sound is going away; let's follow it, and
149   after do our work.

150   Lead, monster; we'll follow. I would I could see
151   this tabourer; he lays it on.
151. he lays it on: he is playing excellently.

152   Wilt come? I'll follow, Stephano.