Category Archives: tragi-comedy/romance

Our revels are now ended…

OK, it’s one of my favorites speeches, pretty much from the entire Canon, let alone The Tempest. But you’ve probably been noticing, I’ve been avoiding it like the plague.

It’s THE speech:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
  • I.ii.147-58

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Podcast 163: The Tempest — Ariel, the Epilogue, and a Bit o’ the Bawdy [EXPLICIT]

[archive]

[WARNING: The the first portion of the following podcast contains adult language, sexual imagery, and stuff to make you say, “Man, that’s kinda a dirty play…but only sorta” You HAVE been warned. SKIP TO THE 5:20 MARK IF  EASILY OFFENDED.]

This week’s podcast continues our prolonged discussion of The Tempest. We have some (a lil’ bit o’) bawdy, a discussion of Ariel, and a look at that final speech.

Continue reading Podcast 163: The Tempest — Ariel, the Epilogue, and a Bit o’ the Bawdy [EXPLICIT]

Production Questions

A couple of weeks back, I wrote about the character of Ariel and pondered how one would present the character on stage in a production of The Tempest. And as we begin to move toward the end of our time on the island (and our final podcast discussion of the play, which usually includes a directorial concept), I’m wondering about some of the other elements of stagecraft needed for the play.

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Humanity

I’m beginning the wrap-up process for The Tempest, but as I do, I’m grappling with an issue of not a little import: just what is this play about? (and please, no snarky response like “It’s about two hours long”…because that’s a better response for Romeo and Juliet). I mentioned yesterday about what I (and a reader of the blog) felt was a turning point in the play, the Act Five exchange between Ariel and Prospero, in which–it seems–Prospero changes his mind, his goal of vengeance, and turns to forgiveness and mercy.

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The sprite-ly voice of conscience?

In The Tempest, given Prospero’s backstory, his desire for revenge and his plans to achieve it are clear and clearly understandable. So what changes to allow for the kumbaya hug-out that is the ending? I think the key is in the early moments of Act Five. In my head, I keep coming back to this moment. And seems I’m not alone, as reader “Pongo Literatii” commented a few days back for the blog entry Friday (non)Film Focus: a question of postcolonialism:

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Podcast 162: The Tempest — Videos, and Caliban speech study

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This week’s podcast [FINALLY] returns us to our prolonged discussion of The Tempest. We have some video reviews, a discussion of two major Caliban speeches, an explanation for my tardiness, and a little preview.

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A quick word or two on that Epilogue

Crazy busy today, so only a couple of quick thoughts on the Epilogue to The Tempest

EPILOGUE,

spoken by Prospero.

Now my charms are all o’erthrown,
And what strength I have ’s mine own,
Which is most faint. Now ’tis true
I must be here confined by you,
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardoned the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell,
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands.
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. 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.
  • Epilogue.1-20

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The Tempest: Welcome to Bawdy Island… [EXPLICIT]

[EXPLICIT CONTENT, ADULT LANGUAGE AND SEXUAL IMAGERY AHEAD… SKIP IF EASILY OFFENDED.]

It’s time to check out the nudge-nudge-wink-wink of The Tempest. Now just how much is there? Well, Eric Partridge, author of Shakespeare’s Bawdy, his wonderful discussion and dictionary of the risqué in the Bard, says this play is “by far the purest of the Tragi-Comedies; [and] slightly ‘milder’ than Twelfth Night” (Shakespeare’s Bawdy, Partridge, Eric. New York: Routledge Classics, 2001; page 58). Of course, remember that Twelfth Night contains that wonderfully profane hidden-spelling joke. So there’s that.

Continue reading The Tempest: Welcome to Bawdy Island… [EXPLICIT]

The Tempest speech study: Caliban, part two

OK, so yesterday, I discussed Caliban’s first major speech in The Tempest, his accusation to and about Prospero and his usurpation of Caliban’s island. There, in the scansion, I saw some very interesting parallels between Caliban and Prospero’s characterizations. Today, let’s look at another of Caliban’s big speeches, his oft-quoted “The isle is full of noises” speech from Act Three.

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