Aime Cesaire: A Tempest (Une Tempete)

Based on Shakespeare's The Tempest
-Adaptation for a Black Theatre-

Translated from the French by Richard Miller


Excerpts

  • Introduction, Act I

  • Act II

  • Act III, scene IV

Characters

  • As in Shakespeare

  • Two alterations:

    • ARIEL A mulatto slave

    • CALIBAN A black slave

  • An addition:

    • ESHU A black devil-god


    I. INTRODUCTION

    (Ambiance of a psychodrama. The actors enter singly, at random, and each chooses for himself a mask at his leisure.)


    MASTER OF CEREMONIES Come gentlemen, help yourselves. To each his character, to each character his disguise. Prospero? Why not? He has reserves of character he's not even aware of himself. You want Caliban? Well, that's revealing. Ariel? Fine with me. And what about Stephano, Trinculo? Nobody? Ah, just in time! It takes all kinds to make a world.
      And after all, they aren't really such bad characters. No problem about the juvenile leads, Miranda and Ferdinand. You, okay. And there's no problem about the villains either: you, Antonio; you, Alonso... perfect! Christ, I was forgetting the Gods! Eshu will fit you like a glove. As for the other parts, just take what you want and work it out among yourselves. But make up your minds .... One part I have to pick out myself: you! It's for the part of the Tempest, and I need a storm to end all storms .... I need a really big guy to do the wind. Will you do that? Fine! And then someone strong for Captain of the ship. Good, now let's go. Ready? Begin. Blow, winds! Rain and lightning ad lib!
    ACT I, SCENE I
    GONZALO Though we are but straws tossed on the sea, all is not lost, Gentlemen; we must strive to gain the eye of the storm.
    ANTONIO We might have known this old fool would nag us to death!
    SEBASTIAN To the bitter end!
    GONZALO Try to understand what I'm telling you: imagine a huge cylinder like the chimney of a lamp, travelling fast as a galloping horse but in the center as still and unmoving as Cyclop's eye. That is the area we refer to when we say "the eye of the storm," and we have to get to it.
    ANTONIO Oh, very nice! In short, you're trying to tell us that the cyclone or Cyclops, unable to see the beam in his own eye, will let us escape! Oh, very illuminating!
    GONZALO That's a clever way of putting it, at any rate. Literally false, but yet quite true. But what's that? The Captain seems worried. (Calling.) Captain!
    CAPTAIN (with a shrug) Boatswain!
    BOATSWAIN Aye, sir!
    CAPTAIN We're coming round windward of the island. At our speed, we'll run aground. We've got to turn her around. Heave to! (Exits.)
    BOATSWAIN Come on, men! Heave to! To the topsail; man the ropes. Pull! Heave ho, heave ho!
    ALONSO (approaching) Well Boatswain, how are things going? Where are we?
    BOATSWAIN If you ask me, you'd all be better off below, in your cabins.
    ANTONIO He doesn't seem happy, somehow. We'd better ask the Captain. Where's the Captain, Boatswain? He was here just a moment ago, and now he's gone off.
    BOATSWAIN Back to your quarters! We've got work to do!
    GONZALO My dear fellow, I can quite understand your being nervous, but a man should be able to control himself in any situation, even the most disturbing.
    BOATSWAIN Shove it! If you want to save your skins, you'd better get back down to those first-class cabins of yours.
    GONZALO Now, now, my good fellow, you don't seem to know to whom you're speaking. (Making introductions.) The King's brother, the King's son and myself, the King's counsellor.
    BOATSWAIN King! King! Well, here's someone who doesn't give a fuck more about the King than he does about you or me, and he's called the Wind. His Majesty the Wind! And right now, he's in control and we're all his subjects.
    GONZALO He might just as well be pilot on the ferry to hell .... his mouth's foul enough!
    ANTONIO In a sense, the fellow regales me, as you might say. We'll pull through, you'll see, because he looks to me more like someone who'll end up on the gallows, not beneath the billows.

    SEBASTIAN

    The end result is the same. If we escape the fish he won't escape the crows.
    GONZALO He did irritate me, rather. However, I take the attenuating circumstances into account.., and, you must admit, he lacks neither courage nor spirit.
    BOATSWAIN (returning) Pull in the stud sails. Helmsman, into the wind! Into the wind!
    (Enter Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo.)
    BOATSWAIN You again! If you keep bothering us and don't get below and say your prayers I'll give up and let you sail the ship! It's not up to me to save your souls!
    ANTONIO It's really too much! The fellow is taking advantage of the situation ....
    BOATSWAIN Windward! Windward! Into the wind!
    (Thunder, lightning)
    SEBASTIAN Ho! Ho!
    GONZALO Did you see that? There, at the top of the masts, in the rigging, that flashing blue fire? They're right when they say these are haunted lands, not at all like our homes in Europe�. Look, even the lightning is different!
    ANTONIO Maybe it's a foretaste of the hell that may swallow us up.
    GONZALO You're too pessimistic. Anyway, I've always kept myself in a state of grace, ready to meet my maker.
    (Sailors enter.)
    SAILORS We're sinking!
    (The Passengers can be heard singing "Nearer, my God, to Thee�")
    BOATSWAIN To leeward! To leeward!
    FERDINAND (entering) Alas! There's no one in hell� all the devils are here!

    SCENE 2

    MIRANDA Oh God! Oh God! A sinking ship! Father, help!
    PROSPERO (enters hurriedly carrying a megaphone) Come daughter, calm yourself! It's only a play. There's really nothing wrong. Anyway, everything that happens is for our own good. Trust me, I won't say any more.
    MIRANDA But such a fine ship, and so many fine, brave lives sunk, drowned, to wrack and ruin .... A person's heart would have to be hard as stone not to be touched ....
    PROSPERO Drowned... hmmm. That remains to be seen. But draw near, Princess. The time has come.
    MIRANDA You mock me, father, when you call me a Princess, for I am unworldly. Wild as I am you have always given me a good life, treated me like a queen of the flowers, the paths and the running streams; you've allowed me to run barefoot through thorn and flower, spared by the first, caressed by the latter.
    PROSPERO Princess it is . . . for how else does one address the daughter of a Prince? I cannot leave you in ignorance any longer. Milan is the city of your birth, and the city where for many years I was the Duke.
    MIRANDA Then how did we come here? And tell me, too, by what ill fortune did a prince turn into the reclusive hermit you are now, here, on this desert isle? Was it because you found the world distasteful, or through the perfidy of some enemy? Is our island a prison or a hermitage? I have often wanted to ask you, and today you shall tell me all.
    PROSPERO In a way, it is because of all those things. First, it is because of political disagreements, because of the intrigues of my ambitious younger brother. Antonio is his name, your uncle, and Alonso the name of the envious King of Naples. How their ambitions were joined, how my brother became the accomplice of my rival, how the latter promised the former his protection and my throne� the devil alone knows how all that came about. In any event, when they learned that through my studies and experiments I had managed to discover the exact location of these lands many had sought for centuries, and that I was making preparations to set forth to take possession of them, they hatched a scheme to steal my as-yet-unborn empire from me. They suborned my people, they stole my charts and documents and, to get rid of me, they denounced me to the Inquisition as a magician and sorcerer. To be brief, one day I saw arriving at the palace men to whom I had never granted audience: the priests of the Holy Office.
    (Flashback: standing before Prospero, who is wearing his ducal robes, we see a Friar reading from a parchment scroll.)
    THE FRIAR The Holy Inquisition for the preservation and integrity of the Faith and the pursuit of heretical perversion, acting through the special powers entrusted to it by the Holy Apostolic See, informed of the errors you profess, insinuate and publish against God and his Creation with regard to the shape of the Earth and the possibility of discovering other lands, notwithstanding the fact that the Prophet Isaiah stated and taught that the Lord God is seated upon the circle of the Earth and in its center is Jerusalem and that around the world lies inaccessible Paradise, convinced that it is through wickedness that to support your heresy you quote Strabus, Ptolemy and the tragic author Seneca, thereby lending credence to the notion that profane writings can aspire to an authority on a level of the most profound of the Holy Scriptures, given your notorious use by both night and day of Arabic calculations and scribblings in Hebrew, Syrian and other demonic tongues and, lastly, given that you have hitherto escaped punishment owing to your temporal authority and have, if not usurped, then transformed that authority and made it into a tyranny, doth hereby strip you of your titles, positions and honors in order that it may then proceed against you according to due process through a full and thorough examination, under which authority we require that you accompany us.
    PROSPERO (back in the present) And yet, the trial they said they were going to hold never took place. Such creatures of darkness are too much afraid of the light. To be brief: instead of killing me they chose � even worse � to maroon me here with you on this desert island.
    MIRANDA How terrible, and how wicked the world is! How you must have suffered!
    PROSPERO In all this tale of treason and felony there is but one honorable name: Gonzalo, counsellor to the King of Naples and fit to serve a better master. By furnishing me with food and clothing, by supplying me with my books and instruments, he has done all in his power to make my exile in this low place bearable.
      Now, through a singular turn, Fortune has brought to these shores the men involved in the plot against me. My prophetic science had of course already informed me that they would not be content with seizing my lands in Europe and that their greed would win out over their cowardice, that they would confront the sea and set out for those lands my genius had discovered. I couldn't let them get away with that, and since I was able to stop them, I did so, with the help of Ariel. We brewed up the storm you have just witnessed, thereby saving my possessions overseas and bringing the scoundrels into my power at the same time.
    (Enter Ariel.)
    PROSPERO Well, Ariel?
    ARIEL Mission accomplished.
    PROSPERO Bravo; good work! But what seems to be the matter? I give you a compliment and you don't seem pleased? Are you tired?
    ARIEL Not tired; disgusted. I obeyed you but � why not come out with it? � I did so most unwillingly. It was a real pity to see that great ship go down, so full of life.
    PROSPERO Oh, so you're upset, are you! It's always like that with intellectuals! So be it! What interests me is not your moods, but your deeds. Let's split: I�ll take the zeal and you can keep your doubts. Agreed?
    ARIEL Master, I must beg you to spare me this kind of labor.
    PROSPERO (shouting) Listen, and listen well! I've got a job to do, and I don't care how it gets done!
    ARIEL You've promised me my freedom a thousand times, and I'm still waiting.
    PROSPERO Ingrate! And who freed you from Sycorax, may I ask? Who rent the pine in which you had been imprisoned and brought you forth?
    ARIEL Sometimes I almost regret it .... After all, I might have turned into a real tree in the end .... Tree: there's a word that really gives me a thrill. I think about it a lot: palm tree --  long, high fuse topped with nonchalant, squid-like elegance. Baobab -- like the soft entrails of some monster creature. Ask the calao bird that lives a cloistered season in its branches. Or the ceiba tree -- spread out beneath the proud sun. O bird, o green mansions set in the living earth!
    PROSPERO Stuff it! I don't like talking trees. As for your freedom, you'll have it when I'm good and ready. In the meanwhile, look after the ship. I'm going to have a few words with Master Caliban. I've been keeping my eye on him, and he's getting a little too emancipated. (Calling.) Caliban! Caliban! (He sighs.)
    (Enter Caliban.)
    CALIBAN Uhuru!
    PROSPERO What did you say?
    CALIBAN I said, Uhuru!
    PROSPERO Back to your native language again. I've already told you, I don't like it. You could be polite, at least; a simple "hello" wouldn't kill you.
    CALIBAN Oh, I forgot... But as froggy, waspish, pustular and dung-filled a "hello" as possible. May today hasten by a decade the day when all the birds of the sky and beasts of the earth will feast upon your corpse!
    PROSPERO Gracious as always, you ugly ape! How can anyone be so ugly?
    CALIBAN You think I'm ugly� well, I don't think you're handsome either. With that big hooked nose, you look just like some old vulture.
      (Laughing) An old vulture with a scrawny neck!
    PROSPERO Since you're so fond of invective, you could at least thank me for having taught you to speak at all. You savage . . . a dumb animal, a beast I educated, trained, dragged up from the bestiality that still sticks out all over you!
    CALIBAN In the first place, that's not true. You didn't teach me a thing! Except to jabber in your own language so that I could understand your orders � chop the wood, wash the dishes, fish for food, plant vegetables, all because you're too lazy to do it yourself. And as for your learning, did you ever impart any of that to me? No, you took care not to. All your science and know-how you keep for yourself alone, shut up in big books like those.
    PROSPERO What would you be without me?
    CALIBAN Without you? I'd be the king, that's what I'd be, the King of the Island. The king of the island I inherited from my mother, Sycorax.
    PROSPERO There are some family trees it's better not to climb! She's a ghoul! A witch from whom � and may God be praised � death has delivered us.
    CALIBAN Dead or alive, she was my mother, and I won't deny her! Anyhow, you only think she'd dead because you think the earth itself is dead .... It's so much simpler that way! Dead, you can walk on it, pollute it, you can tread upon it with the steps of a conqueror. I respect the earth, because I know that it is alive, and I know that Sycorax is alive. Sycorax. Mother.
 

Serpent, rain, lightning.

And I see thee everywhere!

In the eye of the stagnant pool into which I gaze unflinching,

through the rushes,

in the gesture made by twisted root and its awaiting thrust.

In the night, the all-seeing blinded night,

the nostril-less all-smelling night!
  �Often, in my dreams, she speaks to me and warns me .... Yesterday, even, when I was lying by the stream on my belly lapping at the muddy water, when the Beast was about to spring upon me with that huge stone in his hand ....
PROSPERO If you keep on like that even your sorcery won't save you from punishment!
CALIBAN That's right, that's right! In the beginning, he was all sweet talk: dear Caliban here, my little Caliban there! And what do you think you'd have done without me in this strange land? Ingrate! I taught you the trees, fruits, birds, the seasons, and now you don't give a damn� Caliban the animal, Caliban the slave! I know that story! Once you've squeezed the juice from the orange, you toss the rind away!
PROSPERO Oh!
CALIBAN Do I lie? Isn't it true that you threw me out of your house and made me live in a filthy cave, a hovel, a slum, a ghetto?
PROSPERO It's easy to say "ghetto"! It wouldn't be such a ghetto if you took the trouble to keep it clean! And there's something you forgot, which is that what forced me to get rid of you was your lust. Good God, you tried to rape my daughter!
CALIBAN Rape! Rape! Listen, you old goat, you're the one that puts those sexy thoughts in my head. Let me tell you something: I couldn't care less about your daughter, or about your cave, for that matter. If I complain, it's on principle, because I didn't like living with you at all, as a matter of fact. Your feet stink!
PROSPERO I did not summon you here to argue. Away with you! Back to work! Wood, water, and lots of both! I'm expecting company today.
CALIBAN I've had just about enough. There's already a pile of wood that high ....
PROSPERO Enough! Take care, Caliban! If you keep grumbling you will be thrashed. And if you don't step lively, if you try to go on strike or to sabotage things, I'll beat you. Beating is the only language you really understand. So much the worse for you: I'll speak it, loud and clear. Off with you, and hurry!
CALIBAN All right, I'm going� but this is the last time. It's the last time, do you hear me? Oh... I forgot: I've got something important to tell you.
PROSPERO Important? Well, out with it.
CALIBAN It's this: I've decided I don't want to be called Caliban any longer.
PROSPERO What kind of rot is that? I don't understand.
CALIBAN Put it this way: I'm telling you that from now on I won't answer to the name Caliban.
PROSPERO What put that notion into your head?
CALIBAN Well, because Caliban isn't my name. It's as simple as that.
PROSPERO It's mine, I suppose!
CALIBAN It's the name given me by hatred, and every time it's spoken it's an insult.
PROSPERO My, how sensitive we're getting to be! All right, suggest something else .... I've got to call you something. What will it be? Cannibal would suit you, but I'm sure you wouldn't like that, would you? Let's see� what about Hannibal? That fits. And why not... they all seem to like historical names.
CALIBAN Call me X. That would be best. Like a man without a name, or to be more precise, a man whose name has been stolen. You talk about history� well, that's history, and everyone knows it! Every time you call me it reminds me of a basic fact, the fact that you've stolen everything from me, even my identity! Uhuru! (He exits.)
(Enter Ariel as a sea-nymph.)
PROSPERO My dear Ariel, did you see how he looked at me, that glint in his eye? That's something new. Well, let me tell you, Caliban is the enemy. As for those people on the boat, I've changed my mind about them. Give them a scare, but for God's sake don't touch a hair of their heads! You'll answer to me if you do!
ARIEL I've suffered too much myself from having had to be the agent of their sufferings not to be pleased at your mercy. You can count on me, Master.
PROSPERO Yes, however great their crimes, if they repent you can assure them of my forgiveness. They are men of my race, and of high rank. As for me, at my age one must rise above disputes and quarrels and think about the future. I have a daughter. Alonso has a son. If they were to love each other, I would give my consent. Let Ferdinand marry Miranda, and may their marriage bring us harmony and peace. That is my plan. I wish to see it carried out. As for Caliban, does it matter what that villain plots against me? All the nobility of Italy, Naples and Milan henceforth combined, will protect my person. Go!
ARIEL Yes, Master. Your orders will be fully carried out.
  (Ariel sings.)
 

Sandy seashore, deep blue sky,

Surf is rising, sea birds fly

Here the lover finds delight,

Sun at noontime, moon at night.

Join hands lovers, join the dance,

Find contentment, find romance.
 

Sandy seashore, deep blue sky,

Cares will vanish� so can I�
FERDINAND What is this music? It has led me here and now it stops .... No, there it is again ....
ARIEL (singing)
 

Waters move, the ocean flows,

Nothing comes and nothing goes...

Strange days are upon us . . .
 

Oysters stare through pearly eyes

Heart-shaped corals gently beat

In the crystal undersea

Here the journey ends � oh see:
 

Waters move and ocean flows,

Nothing comes and nothing goes...

Strange days are upon us...
FERDINAND What do I see before me? A goddess? A mortal?
MIRANDA I know what I'm seeing: a flatterer. Young man, your ability to pay compliments in the situation in which you find yourself at least proves your courage. Who are you?
FERDINAND As you see, a poor shipwrecked soul.
MIRANDA But one of high degree!
FERDINAND In other surroundings I might be called "Prince," "son of the King"� But, no, I was forgetting� not "Prince" but "King," alas .... "King" because my father has just perished in the disaster.
MIRANDA Poor young man! Here, you'll be received with hospitality and we'll support you in your misfortune.
FERDINAND Alas, my father .... Can it be that I am an unnatural son? Your pity would make the greatest of sorrows seem sweet.
MIRANDA I hope you'll like it here with us. The island is pretty. I'll show you the beaches and the forests, I'll tell you the names of fruits and flowers, I'll introduce you to a whole world of insects, of lizards of every hue, of birds .... Oh, you cannot imagine! The birds!...
PROSPERO That's enough, daughter! I find your chatter irritating� and let me assure you, it's not at all fitting. You are doing too much honor to an imposter. Young man, you are a traitor, a spy, and a woman-chaser to boot! No sooner has he escaped the perils of the sea than he's sweet-talking the first girl he meets! You won't get round me that way. Your arrival is convenient, because I need more manpower: you shall be my house servant.
FERDINAND Seeing the young lady, more beautiful than any wood-nymph, I thought I was Ulysses on Nausicaa's isle. But hearing you, Sir, I now understand my fate a little better � I see I have come ashore on the Barbary Coast and am in the hands of a cruel pirate. (Drawing his sword.) However, a gentleman prefers death to dishonor! I shall defend my life with my freedom!
PROSPERO Poor fool: your arm is growing weak, your knees are trembling! Traitor! I could kill you now... but I need help. Follow me.
ARIEL It's no use trying to resist, young man. My master is a sorcerer: neither your passion nor your youth can prevail against him. Your best course would be to follow and obey him.
FERDINAND Oh God! What sorcery is this? Vanquished, a captive � yet far from rebelling against my fate, I am finding my servitude sweet. Oh, I would be imprisoned for life if only heaven will grant me a glimpse of my sun each day, the face of my own sun. Farewell, Nausicaa.
(They exit.)

Caliban's cave. Caliban is singing as he works when Ariel enters. He listens to him for a moment.
CALIBAN (singing)
 

May he who eats his corn heedless of Shango

Be accursed! May Shango creep beneath

His nails and into his every pore!

Shango, Shango ho!
 

Forget to give him room if you dare!

He will make himself at home on your nose!
 

Refuse to have him under your roof at your own risk!

He'll tear off your roof and wear it as a hat!

Whoever tries to mislead Shango

Will suffer for it!

Shango, Shango ho!
ARIEL Greetings, Caliban. I know you don�t think much of me, but after all we are brothers, brothers in suffering and slavery, but brothers in hope as well. We both want our freedom � only our methods are different.
CALIBAN Greetings to you. But you didn't come to see me just to make that profession of faith. Come on, Alastor! The old man sent you, didn't he! A fine job: carrying out the Master's great ideas and master plans.
ARIEL No, I've come on my own. I'm here to warn you. Prospero is planning horrible acts of revenge against you. I thought it my duty to alert you.
CALIBAN I'm ready for him.
ARIEL Poor Caliban, you're doomed. You know that you aren't the stronger, you'll never be the stronger. What good will it do you to struggle?
CALIBAN And what about you? What good has your obedience done you, your Uncle Tom patience and your sucking up to him! It must be obvious to you that the man is growing daily more demanding and despotic.
ARIEL Nevertheless, I've at least achieved one thing: he's promised me my freedom. In the distant future, of course, but it's the first time he's promised.
CALIBAN Talk's cheap! He'll promise you a thousand times and take it back a thousand times. Anyway, tomorrow doesn't interest me. What I want is (shouting) Freedom now!
ARIEL Okay. But you know you're not going to get it out of him now, and that he's stronger than you are. I'm in a good position to know just what he's got in his arsenal.
CALIBAN The stronger? How do you know that? Weakness always has a thousand means and cowardice is all that keeps us from listing them.
ARIEL I don't believe in violence.
CALIBAN What do you believe in, then? In cowardice? In giving up? In genuflecting? That's it, someone strikes you on the right cheek and you offer the left. Someone kicks you on the left� cheek and you offer the right ... that way there's no jealousy. Well, Caliban doesn't act that way ....
ARIEL You know very well that that's not what I mean. No violence, no submission. Listen to me: Prospero is the one we've got to change: Disturb his serenity so that finally he can come to acknowledge his own injustice and put an end to it.
CALIBAN Oh sure . . . that's a good one! Prospero's conscience! Prospero is an old scoundrel who has no conscience.
ARIEL Exactly � that's why we have to work to give him one. I'm not fighting just for my freedom, for our freedom, but for Prospero too, so that Prospero can acquire a conscience. Help me, Caliban.
CALIBAN Listen, Ariel, sometimes I wonder if you aren't a little bit nuts. So that Prospero can acquire a conscience? You might as well ask a stone to grow flowers.
ARIEL You really disappoint me. I've often had this wonderful dream that one day Prospero, you and I, we would all three set out, like brothers, to build a great world, each one contributing his own special thing: patience, vitality, love, will-power too, and rigor, not to mention the dreams without which mankind would smother to death.
CALIBAN You don't understand anything about Prospero. He's not the collaborative type. He's a guy who only feels something when he's wiped someone out. A crusher, a pulveriser, that's what he is! And you talk about brotherhood!
ARIEL So what's left then? War? And you know that when it comes to that, Prospero is unbeatable.
CALIBAN Better death than humiliation and injustice. Anyhow, I'm going to have the last word. Unless that is going to be the privilege of nothingness. The day when I begin to feel that everything's lost, just let me get hold of a few barrels of your infernal powder and as you fly around up there in your blue empyrean realm you'll see this island, my inheritance, my work, all blown to smithereens� and, I trust, Prospero and me with it. I hope you'll like the fireworks display � it'll be signed Caliban.
ARIEL Each of us marches to his own inner drummer. You follow yours. I follow the beat of mine. I wish you courage, brother.
CALIBAN Farewell, Ariel, my brother, and good luck.

PROSPERO And what would you do all alone here on this island, haunted by the devil, tempest tossed?
CALIBAN First of all, I'd get rid of you! I'd spew you out, all your works and pomps! Your "white" magic!
PROSPERO That is a fairly negative program ....
CALIBAN You don't understand it .... I say I'm going to spew you out, and that's very positive ....
PROSPERO Well, the world is really upside down� We've seen everything now: Caliban as a dialectician! However, in spite of everything I'm fond of you, Caliban. Come, let's make peace. We've lived together for ten years and worked side by side! Ten years count for something, after all! We've ended up by becoming compatriots!
CALIBAN You know very well that I'm not interested in peace. I'm interested in being free! Free, you hear?
PROSPERO It's odd� no matter what you do, you won't succeed in making me believe that I'm a tyrant!
CALIBAN

Understand what I say, Prospero:

For years I bowed my head

for years I took it, all of it �

your insults, your ingratitude...

and worst of all, more degrading than all the rest,

your condescension,

But now, it's over!

Over, do you hear?

Of course, at the moment

You're still stronger than I am.

But I don't give a damn for your power

or for your dogs or your police or your inventions!

And do you know why?

It's because I know I'1l get you!

I'll impale you! And on a stake that you've sharpened yourself!

You'll have impaled yourself!

Prospero, you're a great magician:

you're an old hand at deception.

And you lied to me so much,

about the world, about yourself,

that you ended up by imposing on me

an image of myself: -

underdeveloped, in your words, incompetent,

that's how you made me see myself!

And I loathe that image . . . and it's false!

But now I know you, you old cancer,

And I also know myself!
  And I know that one day my bare fist, just that, will be enough to crush your world. The old world is falling apart!
  Isn't it true? Just look. It even bores you to death.
 

And by the way� you have a chance to get it over with: you can fuck off.

You can go back to Europe. But in a pig's eye you will!

I'm sure you won't leave. You make me laugh with your "mission"!

Your "vocation"!

Your vocation is to give me shit.

And that's why you'll stay� just like those guys who founded the colonies and who now can't live anywhere else.

You're just an old colonial addict, that's what you are!

PROSPERO Poor Caliban! You know that you're headed toward your own ruin. You're sliding toward suicide! You know I will be the stronger, and stronger all the time. I pity you!
CALIBAN And I hate you!
PROSPERO Beware! My generosity has its limits.
CALIBAN (shouting)
 

Shango marches with strength

along his path, the sky!

Shango is a fire-bearer,

his arms shake the heavens

and the earth

Oh, Shango! Shango!
PROSPERO

I have uprooted the oak and raised the sea,

I have caused the mountain to tremble and have bared my chest to adversity.

With Jove I have traded thunderbolt for thunderbolt.

Better yet � from a brutish monster I have made man!

But ah! To have failed to find the path to man's heart . . .

if that be where man is. (To Caliban.) Well, I hate you as well!

For it is you who have made me doubt myself for the first time. (To the Nobles.) My friends, draw near. I take my leave of you... I shall not be going. My fate is here: I shall not run from it.
ANTONIO What, Sire?
PROSPERO

Hear me well. I am not in any ordinary sense a master,

as this savage thinks,

but rather the conductor of a boundless score �

this isle,

summoning voices � I alone �

and mingling them at my pleasure,

arranging out of confusion

one intelligible line.

Without me, who would be able to draw music from all that?

This isle is mute without me.

My duty, thus, is here, and here I shall stay.
GONZALO Oh day full rich in miracles!
PROSPERO Do not be distressed. Antonio, be you the lieutenant of my goods and make use of them as procurator until that time when Ferdinand and Miranda may take effective possession of them, joining them with the Kingdom of Naples. Nothing of that which has been set for them must be postponed: let their marriage be celebrated at Naples with all royal splendor. Honest Gonzalo, I place my trust in your word. You shall stand as father to our Princess at this ceremony.
GONZALO Count on me, Sire.
PROSPERO Gentlemen, farewell.
(They exit.)  
 

And now Caliban, it's you and me!

What I have to tell you will be brief:

Ten times, a hundred times, I've tried to save you,

above all from yourself.

But you have always answered me with wrath and venom,

like the opossum that pulls itself up by its own tail

the better to bite the hand that tears it from the darkness.

Well, my boy, I shall set aside my indulgent nature

and henceforth I will answer your violence with violence!
(Time passes, symbolized by the curtain's being lowered halfway and reraised. In semi-darkness Prospero appears, aged and weary. His gestures are jerky and automatic, his speech weak, toneless.)
PROSPERO Odd, but for some time now we seem to be overrun with opossums. Peccarys, wild boar, all of the unpleasant animals! But mainly opossums. With those eyes! And the vile grin they have! It's as though the jungle was laying siege to the cave� But I shall stand firm... I shall not let my work perish! (Shouting.) I shall protect civilization! (He fires in all directions.) They're done for! Now, this way I'll be able to have some peace and calm for a while. But it's cold. Odd how the climate's changed. Cold on this island.... Have to think about making a fire� Well, Caliban, old fellow, it's just us two now, here on the island� only you and me. You and me. You-me� me-you! What in the hell is he up to? (Shouting.) Caliban!
(In the distance, above the sound of the surf and the chirping of birds, we hear snatches of Caliban's song.)

FREEDOM HI-DAY, FREEDOM HI-DAY!!