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?
Crazy busy today, so only a couple of quick thoughts on the Epilogue to The Tempest…
spoken by Prospero.
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.
This week’s Shakespeare news review podcast includes Hamilton in Macbeth, a bunch of Scots in London, and a face-palm for Oates. PLUS our usual recap of this week’s daily highlights in Shakespearean history.
Make a resolution:
So yesterday, I talked a little about seeing Something Rotten! Thursday in LA. Well, one more thing before I put that musical comedy behind us…
Yesterday was my 26th anniversary with my wife Lisa. And my wife, knowing me all too well, said we should see a show to celebrate, and so off we went to the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles to see…
So, I’ve been doing some thinking. In The Tempest, just what is Ariel?
[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.
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.
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.
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.
OK, I know. I missed yesterday. There’s a reason, I swear.
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.