Who Is Gonzalo in The Tempest?

Gonzalo is a member of the royal party who appears to be on the boat with the others. He is the king’s counselor and the one who is worried about Alonso the most. Throughout the play, he tries to do everything to help the king and protect him from the dangers. Gonzalo seems to be the kindest character.

The audience gets to meet Gonzalo already during the first scene. The men are among the royal party members escorting the king on the voyage. When the storm hits more brutal, he is worried about the king’s safety and prays after finding out there is nothing else that he can do to help. Prospero’s story also reveals that Gonzalo is Alonso’s adviser who was quite kind to the former duke and his daughter. Gonzalo carefully provided all the clothes, food, and other necessities that Prospero and Miranda had on their boat when they were on the run. It proves him to be one of the most sympathetic characters in the story. Moreover, he tries to encourage others to be kinder as well throughout the whole play.

At the same time, Gonzalo might be quite naïve sometimes. While constantly trying to cheer up the king, he may not realize that his words provide little comfort. Alonso, who believes his son is dead, doesn’t find Gonzalo cheerful at all. Unfortunately, it becomes a focus of Antonio and Sebastian’s mocking. They keep laughing at how naïve he is. However, the king’s counselor can stand for himself, and he doesn’t lose his face despite their jokes. At the end of the play, Gonzalo’s kindness overpowers his companions’ cynicism.

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