Trinculo and Stephano of Shakespeare's Tempest
Trinculo and Stephano though not major characters in William
Shakespeare's The Tempest, serve a large role in the story itself. They
mainly serve as the story's comic relief and they also contribute to
demonstrating to the audience how evil has no boundaries. Much of the play
revolves around Prospero's contempt for everyone who betrayed him, and
Prospero forces the conspirators to a remote island. Trinculo
had nothing to do with the plot against Prospero, but end up being dragged
along with the conspirators. Their parts were small but were probably the
most interesting in the story.
Trinculo and Stephano were primarily used for comic relief
relief is very important because the story must be able to keep the
audience interested. What better to make someone laugh than a pair of
drunk servants. During the duration of the story their drunkenness causes
them to do things that normally they wouldn't do. They blindly attempt to
take on Prospero, a powerful sorcerer and scheme how to defeat and kill him.
Who in their sober mind take on an all powerful sorcerer? This is quite
amusing because it shows us how incredibly foolish we act when we are drunk.
Of course their attempt to take on Prospero proves to be futile, instead
they play dress up with his cloaks and when Prospero shows up, Stephano and
Trinculo run for their lives and leave Calaban behind carrying the clothes
they attempted to steal.
Trinculo and Stephano were also quite amusing by being drunk
throughout the entire story, they even stated that they wouldn't drink
anything else until the wine ran out. "Tell not me. When the butt is out,
we will drink a drop of water, not a drop before."(Tempest
Trinculo and Stephano also contribute to the play the idea that
evil in men shows no boundaries. While Antonio and Ferdinand are making a
plot to kill the King, Alonso, for power, Trinculo and Stephano are doing
the same towards Prospero. They were enchanted by the story told by
Calaban that they would become in charge of the island once Prospero was
disposed of. Another display of their lack to purity comes in the speech
by Trinculo on finding the resting Calaban. Trinculo stated that if he
were back home that he would have people pay to see Calaban. "Were I in
England now, as I once was, and had but this fish painted, not a holiday
fool there but would give a piece of silver"(Tempest 281) He was trying to
exploit Calaban. Afterwards, they dupe Calaban into thinking they're gods
and take more advantage of him.
Shakespeare used Trinculo and Stephano as comic relief primarily
but also used to demonstrate the evil in our nature. In a way, he seemed
to have been condemning humans. This story is a prime example of the
selfishness, egocentrism, and power hunger that we see and deal with every
day. Trinculo and Stephano were two characters used to show how wrong we
human beings really are.