The Tempest

Contrast the reaction of antonio and sebastian to that of gonzalo during the opening scene.

How does spakespeare suggest the differences between these characters?

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The boatswain reckons that even kings cannot "command these elements" of wind and water, and tells Antonio and Sebastian that they can either "keep below" or help the sailors. The noblemen take offense at being ordered around by a mere mariner, and both show a mean-tempered streak in this encounter. Suddenly, a panic seizes the mariners, and they declare "all lost," surrendering themselves, and their ship, to the vicious storm; Antonio and Sebastian also fear the worst, and go below to say goodbye to their brother Alonso.Antonio and Sebastian's behavior also reveals the brutish, unkind characteristics that mark them throughout the play; Antonio's depiction in this scene gives credence to Prospero's traitorous depiction of his brother that comes out when he tells Miranda about the wrongs perpetrated against him. The first impression of Gonzalo is not quite as correct as those of Antonio and Sebastian; he abets their affront of the boatswain, and shows little of the honesty or kindness which he exhibits later in the play, or for which Prospero remembers him.