And Prospero's magic powers the muse-like Ariel is a device that allows Shakespeare both to test and to save all his characters, finally gathered together for the last time, before breaking his staff his quill and drowning his books his plays , deeper than did ever plummet sound. A both sad and sweet ending for one of Shakespeare's major plays, that would later inspire a considerable number of thinkers, artists and entertainers, from Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Swift's Gulliver's Travels to J.
Abrams' Lost. Edited to add : I just realise that I failed to mention the massive influence this play has had on the Science-Fiction genre the ship-that-lands-on-an-uncharted-planet business , especially in cinema, from Forbidden Planet to the Alien franchise e. If you can think of any other similar reference, more than welcome to leave a comment. This is Shakespeare 's farewell to the stage and to public life. It is brilliant. I look at this work not as a reader, or even a theatre goer, but as a director. I view Prospero not as a regal duke who attains God-like stature, but a man who has lived in nature for many and has grown disillusioned with life.
He is reluctant to take his dukedom back and leaves his island not triumphantly, but reluctantly. Prospero knows that everyone here, himself included, is beyond redemption except for Miranda and Ferdinand. He is a very troubled man. Prospero is engaged in a race against time. This is the crux of his dispute with Ariel and his demand for freedom. Prospero has been exiled for 12 years. Prospero is not tolerant; many of his speeches are more akin to outbursts. There is no forgiveness between the brothers, they are irreconcilable.
But this is not the biggest blow to Prospero.
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Ariel is the love of Prospero's life. The love between Prospero and Ariel one of the most compelling relationships that Shakespeare ever imagined. Let's be clear, Ariel is a slave. However for a slave Ariel also has tremendous power over Prospero. He must obey. But he wants more than this master-slave relationship.
He wants to be loved: Before you can say 'come' and 'go,' And breathe twice and cry 'so, so,' Each one, tripping on his toe, Will be here with mop and mow. Do you love me, master? He was written as a male and is meant to be portrayed by a male actor. Too often, Ariel is cast as a woman and it weakens the play in general and the relationship between Prospero and Ariel in particular.
Their love is homoerotic, but in Shakespeare 's time it was what it was.
Proud to be of use to Prospero, impatient to be free, yet desirous of praise the relationship has something of love, something of servitude, something of rebellion. Should one imagine Prospero as a father figure? Or, is he Ariel's Daddy? And what of Caliban? Prospero enslaves Caliban and keeps him subjugated by the use of magic to frighten or subdue him. However his need to do this may stem from his fear of Caliban, a virile young male whose sexuality is focused on his daughter. A figure of physical strength who Prospero knows would overthrow or kill him if he could.
In the end, Prospero is reconciled with his brother and the king, but true forgiveness evades them all.
He frees his lover Ariel, makes peace with the threatening Caliban, and reconciles with his usurping brother Antonio, the Duke of Milan, who conspired to banish him. In his final soliloquy, the play's epilogue, Prospero considers the diminishing of his powers and the ravages of encroaching age: " Now my charms are all o'erthrown, And what strength I have's mine own, Which is most faint. Which was to please": "But release me from my bands With the help of your good hands As you from crimes would pardon'd be, Let your indulgence set me free.
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May 03, J. Sutton rated it it was amazing. I especially like how it looks at both the economic benefits of colonialism along with its much uglier side, namely, exploitation and racism. In the play, Prospero, as banished duke of Milan, has taken control of a small island and enslaved Caliban who Prospero sees as unfit to rule his native land. Shakespeare brilliantly captures this attitude of superiority toward the colonized. This is something that will have implications for hundreds of years as England and the other European powers vie for territory around the world.
We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. Patrick Stewart played the aging but powerful enchanter, Prospero. Thought to be the last play Shakespeare completed, The Tempest is also among his best and most relevant. View all 6 comments. Feb 07, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , shakespeare , drama. Whenever I try to review a favourite play by the Bard, I inevitably have to reread, to ponder, to think.
What does this mean to me, at this moment in time? Why to I revisit this play - again? And why do I have to add to the countless words spoken on the words "Your tale, Sir, would cure deafness!
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And why do I have to add to the countless words spoken on the words spoken by the master? Not to give a scholarly analysis, for sure. There are more than enough already.
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- The Fall of Man.
- The Courage to Survive and Beyond?
To summarise the plot, complete with love story, intrigues, magic, early colonialism, happy end? No, it is widely known or to be cherished firsthand without me meddling. Nothing I say can make any difference. Why DOES it matter to me? That is the question I try to answer. In the ocean of thoughts on Shakespeare, there must be a drop of water that is meant for me, me alone, spoken with the aim to make the tempest of my life more bearable!
When life plays unfairly, I am thankful that Shakespeare gave me the quote: "Hell is empty, and all the devils are here. The red plague rid you for learning me your language! He dares to speak his mind: "His spirits hear me and yet I needs must curse!
They say there's but five upon this isle. We are three of them; if th'other two be brained like us, the state totters! Prospero's daughter Miranda delivers the quote that became a book of its own right, showing where dream and nightmare meet, utopia and dystopia merge and create a "brave new world, that has such people in't! View all 21 comments. Jan 04, Lyn rated it it was amazing. The mature bard, he would have been 47 at this time and with only 5 more years left in this world, created in my humble opinion one of his finest plays.
How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in't! Calaban is the earthly foil to Prospero and Ariel, providing a historic off stage depth to the narrative. Complete and tightly wound yet entertaining throughout. Prospero may be one of the most complicated and interesting of all of Shakespeare's characters, and his relationships with Miranda, Ariel and Caliban make for literary legend.
Very entertaining. Finally, this is simply, beautifully written and a joy to behold. This time around I've no idea how many times I've read, seen, listened to this I was especially intent on Prospero's relationship with Miranda, Ariel and Caliban and I played close attention to his motivations for giving up his magic. View all 9 comments. Shelves: getting-to-know-shakespeare , read-in Defying categorization, The Tempest is the hybrid result of merging tragedy, comedy and fantasy that condenses The Bard's genius in the symbolical representation of the world through the demirugical elements of Greek mythology.
The setting takes place on an exotic island where Prospero and his astonishingly beautiful daughter Miranda have lived in exile for the last twelve years. Overthrown by his treacherous brother, Prospero has crowned himself ruler of the island making use of his supernatural powers and has usurped it from its native inhabitants, who are embodied in the slave Caliban. Aided by the spirit Ariel , who owes loyalty to Prospero; he invokes a turbulent storm that causes the vessel carrying his brother and his retinue to shipwreck on the reefs of his wild domains.
A peculiar adventure ensues from destruction and loss and, almost as if by divine providence, the dead resurrect to be given a second chance in the realms of songs and imagination. The moral process of the characters echoes the interconnectedness of the natural elements -earth, water, wind and fire- in the never-ending circle of life; pagan symbols coexist with Christian imagery, enhancing the procreative forces. With death comes rebirth, and also the generational replacement of the old being lost in the new. Prospero forgives and abandons his schemes for revenge, and as proof of his good will, he renounces to his magic, becoming the virtuous master that Montaigne celebrates in his essays and also a mere mortal who will be eroded by the inescapable passage of time.
Thus, the emphasis is not in the promise of eternal life but in the transience of a fading world that continuously changes shape alternating reality and illusion. Musical alliterations, rhymes and riddles infuse the language of this dreamland where the reader is torn between reason and mysticism.
Now I want Spirits to enforce, art to enchant, And my ending is despair, Unless I be relieved by prayer, Which pierces so that it assaults Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardoned be, Let your indulgence set me free. And we do, of course we do, but, as if by some magic spell, his presence is still hovering around, lurking in the corner of every page we turn, talking back at us and shaking his head, an indulgent smile on his lips, not very different from that of a father who has finally become resigned to the foibles of his children.