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The Tempest (1)

The Tempest (1)

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The Tempest (1)

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  1. The Tempest (1) General Introduction and Act I

  2. Outline

  3. The Tempest • The last of Shakespeare’s play; • First presented at a court (1611); • First published in 1623 Folio as the first play in that folio. • Genre: comedy, romance (love and wedding), with both tragic elements (e.g. authority and power, vengeance vs. forgiveness), and comic elements (farce, wedding, mask).

  4. Renaissance • Tillyard–Renaissance World Picture “The desire for order was there” (1943: 99 qtd Taylor 170-71)  Shakespeare’s history plays “events evolve under a law of Justice and the rule of God’s Providence.(169)

  5. Renaissance • 1590’s and early 1600’s –“experienced • among other uncertainties an intensified Recusant(不服國教的人) problem, the Gunpower plot, peasant disorders and riots against enclosures of common land.” (Taylor 171)

  6. The Tempest as a Colonial Text • The age of Exploration and Scientific Discovery; • Written after Shakespeare read the accounts of the wreck of Sir George Somers on the Bermudas, and probably spoken to some of the survivors. The story moved him strangely, for storms and wrecks were much in his mind at this time (Halliday 104) • “Colonial”? -- Shakespeare makes the island populated by Caliban and Ariel.

  7. Shakespear Criticism: a general overview • Intensive study of S’s characters and Shakespeare’s life (e.g. A.C. Bradley) • Formalist approach (to the sonnet and to the plays –interrelations between acts, and/or between plays) • Shakespearean theatre; • Shakespeare in history—his or our own; • Voices from the margins (e.g. post-colonial and feminist)

  8. The Tempest – various interpretations • Art vs. Nature (Prospero vs. Caliban) • Usurpation and vengeance • Colonization • Initiation of Miranda (the question of sex & marriage). • Act I: Authority gained, lost and re-constructed

  9. The Tempest – Act 1-1 How is authority gained, lost or constructed? • How is Nature opposed to Culture in this scene? • How are the major characters here, Boatswain, Gonzalo, Sebastian and Antonio characterized? Why does Boatswain not have a name?

  10. The Tempest – Act 1-1 Boatswain – listens only to his master, and speaks to the storm (“What cares theseroarers for the name of king? ”) Sebastian – impatient and cursing (“A pox o' your throat, you bawling, blasphemous,incharitable dog! ”) Gonzalo – appeals to law and order (the joke about drowning and hanging)

  11. The Tempest – Act 1-2Miranda and Prospero How is authority gained, lost and re-constructed? • Is Miranda as innocent, meek and passive as she appears to be? What’s her views of knowledge and the past? --She is sweet, kind, but with a desire to know, a memory repressed and some hints of an interest in sex and marriage (11. 21, 35; 42050; 55; 119).

  12. The Tempest – Act 1-2Miranda and Prospero How is authority gained or constructed? How is Prospero related to Miranda? Telling story about the past to justify himself (repeatedly asking for her attention: ll. 55; 78; 95) 2. How does he lose his power? Could the story be told otherwise? (ll. 65 -

  13. The Tempest – Act 1-2Prospero and Ariel How is authority gained or constructed? • Is Ariel all obedient? (ll. 189; 220; 242) • Why and how does Prospero tells Ariel’s story to him? By describing “once a month” in great details Ariel’s past history of tortures, scolding him and naming him (‘my slave’). (ll 250 -

  14. The Tempest – Act 1-2Prospero and Caliban How is authority gained or constructed? • Caliban, for sure, is disobedient. How does Prospero control him? How gets to tell the story here? • How is Caliban’s version of Prospero’s arrival different from the previous two he tells Miranda and Ariel respectively? (ll. 30) • In what sense is Caliban close to nature? (ll. 323; 338-) • How does Prospero defend himself? (ll. 345 -)

  15. The Tempest – Act 1-2Prospero, Miranda and Ferdinand How is authority gained or constructed? • What does Prospero do to achieve what he wants (marrying Miranda to Ferdinand)? In his intervention, how does he manipulate different parties involved? • Aren’t Ariel’s songs enchanting? Analyze the sound patterns.