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The Storm Scene from The Tempest

The Storm Scene from The Tempest
Shakespeare’s play The Tempest opens on board a ship caught in a raging storm. Members of the crew battle desperately to keep their ship from splitting on the rocks near Prospero’s island, as angry, panicked passengers—members of the king’s court—get in their way. (In William Strachey’s account of the Sea Venture wreck, by contrast, everyone on board, including the new governor, worked to save the vessel.) The text below is from the Folger Library Shakespeare edition.

Act 1, Scene 1

A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard.
Enter a Shipmaster and a Boatswain.

MASTER:
Boatswain!
BOATSWAIN:
Here, master. What cheer?
MASTER:
Good, speak to th’ mariners. Fall to it yarely, or we run ourselves aground. Bestir, bestir!

He exits.

Enter Mariners.

BOATSWAIN:
Heigh, my hearts! Cheerly, cheerly, my hearts! yare, yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to th’ Master's whistle.—Blow, till thou burst thy wind, if room enough!

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