Gonzalo, “an honest old counsellor of Naples” is a good, optimistic man, brave enough to intervene in an argument between royal courtiers and marines on the deck during the storm. In spite of his respectful age, he looks into the future and finds it promising; his utopian speech, though illogical at some important points, is not only an attempt to cheer up the mournful Alonso, but also a statement of his attitude to life. It also was Gonzalo who literally saved Prospero and Miranda by supplying them with water and food, which were necessary for their survival, possibly risking his own life at this.

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Gonzalo in the Essays