The Tempest Act 2 Scene 2 Questions and Answers ISC Class 11 and Class 12


Caliban : 
A plague upon the tyrant that I serve!
I’ll bear him to more sticks , but follow thee
Thou wonderous man.

(i) Who is Caliban? Whom does he refer to as “tyrant”?

Answer : Caliban, the son of a witch, is a deformed, evil-minded creature. He refers to his master Prospero as a ‘tyrant’.

(ii) Who is the “wondrous man”? Why does he appear wondrous to Caliban?

Answer : The ‘wondrous man’ is Stephano. He appears wondrous to Caliban because he thinks him to be a god who had dropped straight from the sky.

(iii) What is Caliban’s attitude towards the “tyrant”? Why is he afraid of this person?

Answer : Caliban’s attitude towards Prospero, the ‘tyrant’, is spiteful. He is afraid of Prospero because Prospero is a very powerful magician who can get him tormented by his invisible spirits he controls by his magic.

(iv) What does Caliban promise to do for the “wondrous man” soon after these lines?

Answer : Caliban promises to take Stephano to where crab-apples grow. He promises to dig out groundnuts with his nails. He will show him the joy’s nest and teach him how to entrap the bushy-tailed monkey. He will also take him to the hazel shrub.

(v) Who else is present here? What role does this person play in the drama?

Answer : Trinculo, a professional jester, is also present here. It is he who provides comic relief in tragic situations by his antics and comic remarks. He is a part of the conspiracy hatched by Caliban against Prospero.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) plague (b) wondrous

Answer : (a) curse
(b) wonderful


All things in common nature should produce
Without sweat or endeavour; treason, felony
Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine,
Would I not have; but nature should bring forth,
Of its own kind all fusion, all abundance,
To feed my innocent people.

No marrying ‘mong his subjects?

None, man; all idle-whores and knaves.

I would with such perfection govern, sir,
T’excel the Golden Age.

‘Save his Majesty!

Long live Gonzalo!

(i) What idea of his commonwealth has been given by Gonzalo earlier in the context?

Answer : According to Gonzalo , his commonwealth will be different from any other country at present. All men would be idle and all women would be innocent and pure. There would be no rule of king. There would be no officer of laws. There would be no education. There would be no riches or poverty.

(ii) How does he further elaborate the concept of his commonwealth?

Answer : He says that in his commonwealth the people would not have to toil. There would be no treachery or crime or even weapons. According to him, Nature would bestow everything on his people.

(iii) How do Antonio and Sebastian react to Gonzalo’s idea of his commonwealth?

Answer : There is no doubt that Gonzalo’s concept of his commonwealth is absurd and impractical . But the way Antonio and Sebastian make fun of him only reveals their heartlessness. They even mock at him by saying ‘God save the king!’ and ‘Long live Gonzalo’! Their words are too insensitive and hurtful.

(iv) Why has Gonzalo come up with his idea of commonwealth at an inopportune time?

Answer : Gonzalo agrees that his concept of the commonwealth is absurd, yet he has spoken about it in order to amuse the listeners. He feels sorry that he has not been able to make them laugh as they are all insensitive souls.

(v) What do you think of the concept of the commonwealth?

Answer : The idea of a primitive commonwealth , as stated by Gonzalo , refers to the talk of the ideal form of government which was quite common in Shakespeare’s times. This ideal form of government is only a dream, and differs from person to person.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) engine (b) fusion

Answer : (a) machine (b) plenty


Ay, sir, where lies that? If ’twere a kibe
‘Twould put me to my slipper, but I feel not
This deity in my bosom, Twenty consciences
That stand’twixt me and Milan, canded be they
And melt ere they molest! Here lies your brother,
No better than the earth he lies upon.
If he were that which now he’s like (that’s dead)
Whom I with this obedient steel-three inches of it-
Can lay to bed forever (whiles you, doing thus,
To the perpetual wink for aye might put
This ancient morsel, this Sir Prudence, who
Should not upbraid our course)-for all the rest,
They’ll take suggestion as a cat laps milk;
They’ll tell the clock to any business that
We say befits the hour.

(i) What has Antonio tempted Sebastian with?

Answer : Antonio has tempted Sebastian with the dream of becoming the king of Naples. Alonso, the king of Naples, is sleeping near them. Antonio wants Sebastian to avail of this golden opportunity, kill him and usurp his throne.

(ii) What does Sebastian remind Antonio? What does he ask him?

Answer : Sebastian reminds Antonio that he ousted his own brother Prospero from his throne twelve years ago. When Antonio asks him to see how the new position suits him, adding that his brother’s servants are now his own. Sebastian suddenly asks him what is about his conscience. He means to ask if his conscience has never picked him for his evil deed.

(iii) How does Antonio respond?

Answer : Antonio asks Sebastian where is the seat of conscience. In a contemptuous tone he says that if conscience were a sore on his heel he would put on his slippers. He clearly says that he has no conscience to speak to him.

(iv) What is Antonio’s plan? How does he change it?

Answer : Antonio sees that Sebastian has some inhibition in his mind about killing his own brother. He changes his plan and says that he is ready to kill his sleeping brother while he (Sebastian) should kill Gonzalo who is completely devoted to Alonso.

(v) What impression do you from of Antonio and Sebastian?

Answer : Both Antonio and Sebastian are evil-minded. Antonio seems to be a harder criminal than Sebastian. He has no repentance in his mind for what he has done to his brother Prospero.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) kibe  (b) steel

Answer : (a) sore on the heel   (b) sword


Thy case, dear friend,
Shall be my precedent; As thou got’st Milan,
I’ll come by Naples. Draw thy sword! one stroke
Shall free thee from the tribute which thou payest;
And I the King shall love thee.


Draw together,
And when I rear my hand, do you the like
To fall it on Gonzalo

(i) What ‘case’ of Antonio is being referred to by Sebastian here?

Answer : Sebastian refers to Antonio’s cunningly ousting his brother Prospero from power and putting an end to his life, and becoming the Duke of Milan himself. He says that it will serve as an example for him, while he does the same thing to his brother Alonso.

(ii) What has Antonio suggested to Sebastian earlier in the context?

Answer : Antonio, on finding Alonso fast sleeping, tempts Sebastian to kill his brother and become the king of Naples in his place. He has his own interest in the matter.

(iii) What does Sebastian ask Antonio to do? Why?

Answer : Sebastian knows that Antonio wants to be free from the obligation of paying the annual subsidy to Alonso with whose help he has usurped his brother’s dukedom. So he asks Antonio to kill Alonso.

(iv) Why is Gonzalo the special target of the two villains?

Answer : Gonzalo is completely loyal to Alonso, the king of Naples. Antonio and Sebastian feel that he may harm them in any way. So they decide to kill him along with Alonso. They do not fear others who they know will be happy to obey their commands.

(v) How is their plan defeated?

Answer : Prospero, through his magic, has foreseen the danger to the life of Alonso and Gonzalo. So he has already sent Ariel to save them from being killed. Ariel sings in Gonzalo’s ears. He wakes up and soon Alonso too wakes up . Both are puzzled to see Antonio and Sebastian with their drawn swords. Antonio and Sebastian escape on the excuse of saving them from bulls or lions whose growl they have heard.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) precedent (b) lift

Answer : (a) example (b) lift