We can divide the characters that appear in the first scene in two categories : mariners and royal passengers. The mariners are poor subordinates who try to comply with the orders of the boatswain sincerely. The boatswain is a responsible and self-respecting mariner. He gets angry at the tone of Alonso and Antonio. He feels that they are disturbing the mariners and are a hindrance in rescue operations. So he asks them irritably to go back to the cabins.
The royal persons are arrogant by nature. The tone of Alonso and Antonio is annoying. Antonio gets angry and calls the boatswain a dog, the son of a harlot and disrespectful noise maker. Sebastian curses him. Gonzalo’s attitude towards the boatswain is also not justifiable. However, unlike Alonso and Sebastian, he is not panicky. He is ready to die if he gets a piece of dry land. Alonso and his son Ferdinand begin to pray for safety . Gonzalo also thinks of praying to God in this hour of grave distress. He is as religious-minded as they are. He is simple-minded as compared to Antonio and Sebastian who are out rightly abusive, arrogant and evil-minded.