Boatswain is a character in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. Although he has a relatively minor role, his presence is crucial in setting the tone and establishing the themes of the play. The Boatswain is a sailor on board the ship that is caught in a severe storm at the beginning of the play, and his actions and words reveal important aspects of his character.
Boatswain is depicted as a hardworking and skilled sailor who is dedicated to his duty. Despite the chaos and danger surrounding him during the storm, he remains calm and focused on the task at hand. His ability to navigate the ship and issue orders in the midst of the tempest demonstrates his expertise and leadership qualities.
One of the notable characteristics of the Boatswain is his courage and determination in the face of adversity. He refuses to be intimidated by the powerful figures on board, such as Alonso, the King of Naples, and Antonio, the usurping Duke of Milan. Despite their demands and attempts to assert their authority, the Boatswain remains steadfast and resolute in his position.
The Boatswain's defiance of authority can be seen in his memorable line, "Cheerly, cheerly, my hearts! Yare, yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to the master's whistle. Blow till thou burst thy wind, if room enough!" (Act 1, Scene 1). This bold statement not only showcases his bravery but also highlights his commitment to his duty as a sailor.
Furthermore, the Boatswain's determination to save the ship and its crew is evident in his efforts to keep the vessel afloat. Despite the overwhelming odds, he remains focused on his responsibilities, ensuring the safety of all on board. His unwavering dedication to his duty serves as an inspiration to the other characters and reflects the overarching theme of resilience in the face of adversity.
In conclusion, the character of Boatswain in The Tempest may have a small role, but his actions and words reveal important aspects of his character. Through his courage, determination, and unwavering commitment to his duty, the Boatswain establishes himself as a vital figure in the play. His presence sets the tone for the rest of the story and highlights the themes of resilience and defiance of authority.