Aspects of real places -Mediterranean: on the way from Africa-Ariel fetches water from Bermuda-Triculo thinks he has been a dead Indian-Setebos (caliban’s God) is from South Africa
Prospero -Artist/King+white magician- moral ends+Autocrat+Conjuror of visions+God- tests people and reedeems them-Only has power on the island- must complete actions there-Bad qualities- Arrogant, angry, self-pity, racist, sexist, jealous, over-protective, seeking revenge (initially)-Source of Prospero’s power-Watches everything that happens, with help from Ariel, and manipulates events-Getting back to Milan means becoming a ruler again-Maintaining rule over the island-Marrying off Miranda to a political enemy-Ariel was enslaved, freed, enslaved, freed
Prospero’s Illusions -Test designed to make men face their true natures-Only the loyal and true man (Gonzalo) notices that things are an illusion- after the shipwreck nothing torn or ruined-Wedding Illusion- Ceres, Iris and Juno promise fruitful and happy marriage
Visitors of the Island represent decadent Milan-Knig Alonzo and his retinue (Sebastian, Antonio)- guilty of usuption, attempted murder, conspiracy- refuse to accept the island’s magic; Gonzalo- understands the magic; sees good in things-Ferdinand- innocent-Stephano/Trinculo- comic foils satirizing Sebastian and Antonio
Colonialization -Prospero imposes Western morality on the island-Control the natives Caliban, Ariel-Trinculo and Sebastian want to exploit Caliban for money b/c he is a freak-Getting Caliban drunk- corrupting power of Europe over native lands
Shipwreck -Death by Water=rebirth/redemption
Love Story -Both are young, innocent, blameless-Prospero makes believe he is disapproved to blind the lovers more closely together-Ferdinand is compared to Caliban-also a suitor for Miranda- Ferdinand must wait for consummation; Caliban tried to rape her
Caliban -Sympatheitic or not: rapist-Child of nature- the natural man grown up without the rules of civilization-Child of witch, but natural King of the Island-Hates civilization b/c it has nothing good to teach him- language only allowed him to curse better-Caliban is enslaved 2 times: once agianst his will and once with his consent
Romance part comedy/ rate tragedy/ part masque- not based on anything but imagination- Coleridge
Autobiography -Prospero: playwrighter- in control of all that happens in the story
1623 Folio text has very few corrections, changes, and errors
Performed 1611, 1613 at Court of King james- wedding masque added as celebration of the wedding- probably performed before though
not popular in day very popular since; most popular in historical colonized countries
masque court entertainment with singing, dancing, acting, elaborate costumes, (masks) and staging- highly reguarded and created by the best playwrights of the time
Background Sources Virginia Company Shipwreck (1609) all but one ship saved from a storm and those men showed up in bermuda, written in a letter by William Strachey: Aeneid (Of the Cannibals” Montaigne (translated 1603); Medea in Ovid’s metamorphasis
Very ellaborate stage directions -Special effects, special costumes; increased musical interludes
Love at First sight -elizabethans thought that eyebeams went from the eyes of one lover to another, causing them to fall in love instantly
Themes -master/Servant and Parent/Child-Colonization: incomes vs natives-loss/ recovery-Legitimate ruler vs. usurper
Questions to ask Why plot to kill king? they are ship wreckedAlonzo sympathetic b/c he thinks Ferdinand’s death is karma for exciling Prospero?Why doesnt Antonio repentIs it wronfg for prospero to manipulate everyone?What happens to Ariel? Does he exist with the illusionist gone?