The Tempest Act 3 Scene 3 Questions and Answers ISC Class 11 and Class 12


Bravely the figure of this harpy hast thou
Perform’d, my Ariel; a grace it had devouring:
Of my instruction hast thou nothing bated
In what thou hadst to say: So, with good life
And observation strange, my meaner ministers
Their several kinds have done. My high charms work,
And these mine enemies are all knit up
In their distractions : they now are in my power;
And in these fits I leave them, while I visit
Young Ferdinand , (whom they suppose is drown’d,)
And his and mine loved darling.

(i) What has happened earlier in the context?

Answer : Prospero’s spirits carry food for Alonso, Antonio and their men. They perform a graceful dance. Before the men begin to eat, Ariel enters in the shape of harpy and makes the banquet vanish.

(ii) How does Ariel make Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian realize the injustice they did to Prospero?

Answer : Ariel calls the three men, Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian sinners in his speech which is heard only by these three men. He reminds them of what they did to Prospero many years ago. He tells them that they are suffering for their past evil deeds.

(iii) What makes Prospero happy with Ariel?

Answer : Prospero is happy with Ariel as he has performed the role of a harpy brilliantly . Ariel has obeyed him thoroughly. He feels that his magical powers are working well, and his enemies are utterly confused and lost.

(iv) How does Ariel’s speech impact the three evil men?

Answer : Ariel’s speech awakens the sense of guilt in the three man – Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian. The whole past stands out clearly before their eyes. Though Gonzalo has not heard Ariel’s speech, the way the three men go out makes him realize that their guilt has overtaken them.

(v) Where does Prospero decide to go immediately thereafter?

Answer : Prospero wants to go to the place where Ferdinand and Miranda are meeting.

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

Answer : (a) beauty (b) workers/servants


I’th’ name of something holy, sir, why stand you
In this strange stare?

O, it is monstrous, monstrous!
Methought the billows spoke and told me of it;
The winds did sing it to me, and the thunder,
That deep and dreadful organ pipe-pronounc’d
The name of Prosper. It did bass my trespass.
Therefore my son i’th’ ooze is bedded; and
I’ll seek him deeper than e’er plummet sounded,
And with him there lie mudded.

(i) What makes Gonzalo ask Alonso about his strange look?

Answer : Gonzalo finds Alonso highly upset and staring blankly. He asks him what has happened. He has not heard Ariel’s speech. That is why, he is unaware of the fact that Alonso is guilt-stricken at the time.

(ii) What has Ariel asked the three men – Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian – to do?

Answer : Ariel has asked the three men to repent for the wrong they did to Prospero and his innocent child. If they do genuine repentance and promise to lead a pure and sinful life, the heavenly power that has punished them will forgive them.

(iii) What tells us that Alonso is overpowered by his guilt?

Answer : Alonso recalls how the thunder spoke the name of Prospero and proclaimed his sin with deep voice. He realizes why he has lost his son in the sea-mud. Overpowered by grief and guilt he wishes to lie with his lost son in the sea. He is left with no desire to live.

(iv) How do Antonio and Sebastian behave?

Answer : Though Antonio and Sebastian are stricken with guilt on hearing Ariel’s speech they are ready to fight the devils who are pestering them. The way they go out reveals that they are actually fearful.

(v) What does Gonzalo realize later when Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian go out in panic?

Answer : Gonzalo realizes that Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian are guilt-ridden panicky. That is why, they have gone out.

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

Answer : (a) supernatural (b) offence


All three of them are desperate : their great guilt,
Like poison given to work a great time after,
Now’ gins to bit the spirits, I do beseech you,
That are of suppler joints, follow them swiftly,
And hinder them from what this ecstasy
May now provoke them to.

(i) Who are the ‘three’ persons refereed to by Gonzalo? In which state of mind have they gone out?

Answer : The ‘three’ persons refereed to by Gonzalo are Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian. They have gone out in a very agitated state of mind. Gonzalo fears that they may not harm themselves in any way.

(ii) What happened to these three persons?

Answer : Ariel and other spirits presented a banquet before the three persons and their associates. Then Ariel, in the form of harpy, vanished the banquet just before these persons were about to eat it. Then Ariel in  a voice audible to only Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian reminded them of the wrong they did to Prospero and his innocent child. He said that their present suffering is the cause of their past evil deeds.

(iii) Who has heard the voice of the harpy?

Answer : Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian have heard the voice of the harpy. Gonzalo has not heard it.

(iv) In what way is Gonzalo right?

Answer : Gonzalo knows that the three men were guilt-stricken. Their guilt, like poison that affects slowly, has begun to trouble their mind. That is why, they were so agitated before they went out.

(v) Do the three men feel repentant later in the context? What was Prospero’s reaction?

Answer : Yes, they feel repentant. Prospero is given back his dukedom, and in return, he forgives them for what they did to him.

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

Answer : (a) nimbler (b) frenzy


Give us kind keepers, heavens! What were these?

A living drollery! Now I will believe
That there are unicorns; that in Arabia
There is one tree, the phenix’ throne, one phoenix
At this hour reigning there,

I’ll believe both;
And what does else want credit, come to me
And I’ll be sworn ’tis true. Travellers ne’er did lie,
Though fools at home condemn’ em

(i) What is it that greatly surprises Alonso and his men?

Answer : Prospero in invisible form sends several strange beings who bring in a feast. Then these strange figures dance around the feast and invite the king and others to partake of the food. This show of strange figures greatly surprises them.

(ii) Explain : ‘A living drollery ! Now I will believe ……. unicorns’.

Answer : Sebastian calls the dance by the spirits as a puppet show. He says that he has come to believe now that unicorns – a unicorn is a fabulous animal, a horse with  a single horn from the middle of its head – do exist in real life. Some of the spirits must have appeared in the forms of unicorns, which people consider only imaginary creatures.

(iii) What do you think of a phoenix? Why is Sebastian reminded of phoenix?

Answer : Phoenix is a fabled bird – the only one exist at a time – that is immortal. After its death, it is thought to arise from its ashes. It is thought that it has always its nest in the same tree in Arabia. Seeing strange figures Sebastian says that he can now believe that the phoenix also exist somewhere in this world.

(iv) How does Antonio react?

Answer : Antonio says that after seeing these strange figures he can believe that both the unicorn and the phoenix are a reality. Foreign travellers who tell them are, however , wrongly condemned at home for being liars.

(v) What happens to the banquet?

Answer : Ariel comes in the form of a harpy and makes the banquet disappear just before the king and his men are ready to partake of the food. He does it on Prospero’s instructions to shock them.

(vi) Give the meanings of the following words as they are used in the context of the passage:
(a) kind keepers (b) drollery

Answer : (a) good angels (b) puppet show