The Tempest

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The Tempest and
Shakespeare’s Romances
Romances
• Shakespeare’s final period as a playwright
• All of his themes come together in the end
– Theatrical illusion and its relation to life
– The conflict between appearance and
reality
– The discovery of self
– The capacity of art to transform terror into
beauty
– And the power of love to heal
Romances
• Shakespeare’s imagination is set free
• Elaborate stage directions
– Shipwrecks, sprites, “Exit, pursued by a
bear”
• The Romances are tragedies in reverse
– Out of evil and torment, wrongs are
righted and warring families are
reconciled.
– See The Tempest as Hamlet in reverse
Romances
• In comedy, the future is wide open
• In tragedy, the past is irrevocable
• In romance, “What’s past is prologue.”
Themes
• Play begins with disorder and ends with a
new world order
• Virtue, forgiveness, and love
• Transformation of art
• Transformation of self (more satisfying)
• Appearance vs. reality
• Manipulation (Prospero vs. Shakespeare,
island vs. theatre)
Three Phases of
Shakespeare’s career
• Early works are unselfconscious, exuberant
• Then he exhibits mature prowess and
control
• Last stage of all, he is nostalgic, selfconscious, and so completely the master of
his material that he playfully revives old
themes and ideas in a new and intriguing
way. The Tempest is his most retrospective
play.
The Tempest
How would you stage I.i?
• An intense opening for a play: a shipwreck is noisy,
emotions are heightened, and lives are at stake. For
all groups, identify character details and make clear
in the performance
• Group 1: Stage the scene using Shakespeare’s words,
• Group 2: Stage it again using interpretive
dance/pantomime.
• Group 3: Translate & Use Contemporary Dialogue
The Tempest
How would you stage I.i?
• An intense opening for a play: a shipwreck is noisy,
emotions are heightened, and lives are at stake. For
all groups, identify character details and make clear in
the performance
• Group 1: Stage the scene using Shakespeare’s words.
Then, stage it again using interpretive
dance/pantomime.
• Group 2: Stage the scene using Shakespeare’s words.
Then, translate & use contemporary dialogue
The power of art to transform even death
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Groups
• Group 1: Stage the scene using Shakespeare’s
words
– Davis, Gomes, Hennessey, Hogan, Self, Rousselot, Cognetta,
Ng
• Group 2: Stage it again using interpretive
dance/pantomime
– Americano, Reed, Miller, Ozuna, Rebboah, Jones, Riis, Karr
• Group 3: Translate & Use Contemporary
Dialogue
– Antes, McFeely, Wedekind, Carnesecca, Jorgensen,
Weingarten, Pahl, Fontanilla
Study Questions: reference the play and
the reading packet directly.
1. How do closed, isolated environments like Prospero's island in The
Tempest, Elsinore Castle in Hamlet, and the forest of Arden in As You Like
It help Shakespeare develop his characters and further his plots?
2. Shakespeare uses allusions to mythology in The Tempest. What is an
allusion? Where do allusions take place in Acts 3 and 4?
3. Lust for power, a theme in other Shakespeare plays, manifests itself in The
Tempest in two independent conspiracies. What are these conspiracies and
who is involved in them?
4. Would you consider Prospero's island an example of a microcosm? Explain
your answer and define microcosm.
5. What was Prospero's wife like? (See lines spoken by Prospero in Act I.) Do
you approve of the way Prospero treats Miranda?
6. Do you despise or pity Caliban? Explain your answer.
7. Read and analyze IV.i.165-180.
ALONSO, King of Naples.
SEBASTIAN, his Brother.
PROSPERO, the right Duke of Milan.
ANTONIO, Brother, usurping Duke of Milan.
FERDINAND, Son to the King of Naples.
GONZALO, an honest old Counsellor.
ADRIAN,
FRANCISCO,
CALIBAN, a savage and deformed Slave.
TRINCULO, a Jester.
STEPHANO, a drunken Butler.
Master of a Ship,
Boatswain,
Mariners.
MIRANDA, Daughter to Prospero.
ARIEL, an airy Spirit.
IRIS,
CERES,
JUNO,
Lords
Spirits.
• Bates
• Bordenave
• Orso
• RJ
• Chou
• Ruder
• Gloria
• Mavor
• Ho
• Sullivan
• Lavery
• Hare
• Tysanner
• Jiang
• Navarrete
• Lee
• Bourdillon
• Ngo
• Seebach
Per 6
ALONSO, King of Naples.
SEBASTIAN, his Brother.
PROSPERO, the right Duke of Milan.
ANTONIO, Brother, usurping Duke of Milan.
FERDINAND, Son to the King of Naples.
GONZALO, an honest old Counsellor.
ADRIAN,
FRANCISCO,
CALIBAN, a savage and deformed Slave.
TRINCULO, a Jester.
STEPHANO, a drunken Butler.
Master of a Ship,
Boatswain,
Mariners.
MIRANDA, Daughter to Prospero.
ARIEL, an airy Spirit.
IRIS,
CERES,
JUNO,
Lords
Spirits.
• Guzinski
• Shanahanananan
• Kevin
• Mak
• Darren
• Nguyen
• Cristofi
• Kurt
• Hasbany
• Medal
• Cihla
• Savignano
• Ahn
• Sung-Lee
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