The Tempest

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

SEBASTIAN

165What a strange drowsiness possesses them!

SEBASTIAN

How strange that they all got so sleepy!

ANTONIO

It is the quality o' th' climate.

ANTONIO

There must be something in the air here.

SEBASTIAN

     Why
Doth it not then our eyelids sink? I find not
Myself disposed to sleep.

SEBASTIAN

So why aren’t our eyelids heavy? I’m not sleepy at all.

ANTONIO

    Nor I. My spirits are nimble.
They fell together all, as by consent.
170They dropped, as by a thunderstroke. What might,
Worthy Sebastian, O, what might—? No more.—
And yet methinks I see it in thy face,
What thou shouldst be. Th' occasion speaks thee, and
My strong imagination sees a crown
175Dropping upon thy head.

ANTONIO

Me neither. I’m wide awake. They all fell asleep together, as if they’d planned it. Like they’d all been struck by lightning. What might happen, Sebastian, what might happen if—No, it’s time for me to shut up.— But still, I think I can see in your face what you ought to be. Opportunity’s knocking for you, and in my imagination I see a crown dropping onto your head.

SEBASTIAN

    What, art thou waking?

SEBASTIAN

Are you dreaming or awake?

ANTONIO

Do you not hear me speak?

ANTONIO

Don’t you hear me speaking?

SEBASTIAN

    I do, and surely
It is a sleepy language, and thou speak’st
Out of thy sleep. What is it thou didst say?
This is a strange repose, to be asleep
180With eyes wide open, standing, speaking, moving,
And yet so fast asleep.

SEBASTIAN

I do, and it sounds like you’re talking in your sleep. What did you say? It’s weird for you to be dreaming with your eyes wide open—standing, talking, moving, but sound asleep.

ANTONIO

    Noble Sebastian,
Thou let’st thy fortune sleep—die, rather—wink’st
Whiles thou art waking.

ANTONIO

Good Sebastian, you’re the one who’s sleeping if you let this opportunity pass you by without acting on it.

SEBASTIAN

    Thou dost snore distinctly.
There’s meaning in thy snores.

SEBASTIAN

You’re snoring, but it sounds like you’re talking. There’s meaning in your snoring.