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


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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Friday (non)Film Focus: a question of postcolonialism

Allrightythen… it’s time. Today, I put my toe in a pool of trouble from The Tempest: trouble that starts with “T” which rhymes with “P” which stands for Post-colonialism.

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A final word on that final word

Yesterday, I talked about the epilogue to The Tempest, and how it is the only Epilogue in the Canon delivered by a non-choric character. Also, I touched upon what we could call a certain sloppiness to the scansion. Which brings us to another aspect of the speech: Is it a valedictory? Is it a good-bye for Shakespeare?

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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


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]


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.

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Friday Film, er, Reflection, Focus

So. Friday. Movie release day. But I got nothin’. Could talk about The Last Jedi, I suppose. I really liked it, but don’t feel like talking about that today. No. I’ve got something else on my mind.

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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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The Tempest speech study: Caliban, part one

As I re-read The Tempest, I’m fascinated by Caliban. It’s such a bizarre character, one that it seems Shakespeare himself doesn’t know how to present. Not human. And yet poetical (when he isn’t planning murder, usurp, or rape). Over the course of the next few days, let’s take a look at a couple of his speeches and see what we find in characterization.

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Once more into the storm, dear friends, once more…

OK, been a pretty long time since I wrote about The Tempest (save for the video reviews). I’m trying to wrap my head around what I’ve read, and where I wanted to go with it.

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