Gonzalo is an old counsellor of King Alonso of Naples. He is very much devoted to his master. After the ship-wreck, Alonso is heart-broken at the supposed loss of his son. Gonzalo tries to console the king. He remains cheerful even in difficulty. When Sebastian makes the king more miserable by his cutting remarks, Gonzalo rebukes him.
Gonzalo is very witty. He is always at his best with his pleasing talkativeness. He remains calm at all hours. He reads the forehead of the Boat-swain and feels that the latter will not be drowned because he is destined for a dry death on the gallows. It means that no harm would come to the ship. He laughs the storm off. The seriousness of the situation is softened by his cheerfulness.
Gonzalo is warm, human and sympathetic. He has shown kindness. to Prospero and Prospero recognises this at more than one place. For his wise counsel, old age, and generous heart, he is respected by all.
Gonzalo’s loyalty to the king is without any parallel. Others like Antonio and Sebastian make fun of the king, he tries his best to bring comfort to the distressed heart of the king. From the beginning to the end he stands faithfully, by the side of his master.
Gonzalo is very talkative. His talkative nature sometimes irritates the king. His talkativeness and thoughtfulness make him talk about an imaginary commonwealth. His description of the ideal common wealth is aimed at lessening the seriousness of the play after the shipwreck. His talkativeness is not a serious defect of character but only a minor and amusing fault.
He is a foil to the disloyal and treacherous Sebastian and Antonio. Sebastian and Antonio have absolutely no sympathy for King Alonso in his sorrow over the supposed loss of his son. Gonzalo, on the the other hand, tries to cheer and comfort Alonso. When Sebastian speaks bitterly to his brother Alonso, Gonzalo tries to stop him by saying that he should rather bring plaster t0 the King’s wound than rub it. Sebastian and Antonio make fun of the king. Gonzalo also talks a lot but his purpose is to divert (amuse) the king. Later on Antonio and Sebastian hatch a plot against the life of Alonso. They do not have any conscience. Gonzalo, on the other hand, is very conscious about the King’s happiness and welfare, ft is for this loyalty and sympathetic nature that Prospero praises him heartily.
Gonzalo is a humorous character, and Antonio are somewhat amusing, commonwealth is a bit ironical. The character of Gonzalo stands for one of the ideas or themes of the play. The idea is of happiness in adversity. He does not lose heart at any stage. He remains cheerful under all circumstances. He tries to-keep others also cheerful.