Fool: Like a drowned man, a fool, and a madman: one drought above heat makes him a fool, the second mads him, and the third drowns him.
Drunkeness as an acute examination of Center of Gravity:
Feel it as you rock back on your heels, as you make to take a step. Focus on the center and sense how difficult it is to keep it over your legs. Examine your hand as it moves through space. Your hand is an object which has a specific relationship to your center. Examine that relationship. Watch with morbid fascination as the spatial relationships around you change. Remember that you are trying to maintain balance. Rather than demonstrating a wobbliness, your efforts should be put into trying to remain upright, to lift and place your foot (which is another fascinating object). You are trying not to fall and drop things. You are being extremely careful about each move.
To help prepare for this scene I watched hours of actual video of drunks (observation and imagination take a a lot less toll on the body than realistic “research”). I found especially long security camera footage of an inebriated fellow trying to get a six pack of beer out of the cooler and over to the counter in a convenience store. He had a rubber body that just wouldn’t cooperate. His slow, deliberate attempts to execute simple maneuvers was an inspiration.
I must remember that Trinculo is not drunk in his first scene (II.ii). I find myself reeling around with Stephano in this scene sometimes and I must remember that I only get one taster from the bottle after swearing that “I can swim like a duck.” I can enjoy the interaction with Stephano, but must remain grounded in the moment and not allow a general feeling of “whoopsie” take over…
But in III.ii, Trinculo has been drinking hard and fast in a giddy attempt to catch up, and keep up, with Stephano. The wine or “sack” is most likely sweet white wine fortified with brandy. It is, in fact, the King’s wine, so it is actually quite good. However, this Trinculo cannot hold his wine very well. This particular vintage, though aged in an oak barrel and therefore tasty, is far too strong. In fact, it burns. It makes him vomit, fall down a lot, and gives him an awesome headache. He’d like to water it down a bit, but Stephano will have none of it. So begins Trinculo’s quick slide into debauchery.
Feste’s description of a drunkard (cited above) may provide a useful progression for the three scenes to follow: foolish in III.ii, crazy in IV.ii, and completely washed up in the final entrance of V.i. Cheers!