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Understanding The Tempest

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Danielle Parker

on 17 May 2013

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Transcript of Understanding The Tempest

"O' brave new world"
(Miranda, Act 5, Scene 1) In Shakespeare's time, the European empire was expanding throughout the western hemisphere on an unprecedented scale. "The Tempest can be dated with virtual certainty as having been written between late 1610 and mid-to-late 1611."
http://shakespeareauthorship.com/tempest.html In the 1600s, Shakespeare had direct connections to The Virginia Company - a pair of English companies set up by King James I with the purpose of establishing settlements in North America. That's probably how he could afford to build this: The Old Globe Theatre, built in 1599 Want to know more about the shipwreck of the Sea Venture? Then watch this: Want to know more about colonialism and imperialism?
Then give these a go: So, what was the effect of colonization on the native? You are going to be writing an essay responding to the following question. And how about the way Caliban and Prospero talk to each other? Mini-Plenary Using what you have learnt about colonization, discuss the following statement with the people on your table for 60 seconds and be ready to feedback to the class: Now for the really good bit... CALIBAN
I must eat my dinner.
This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother,
Which thou takest from me. When thou camest first,
Thou strokedst me and madest much of me, wouldst give me
Water with berries in't, and teach me how
To name the bigger light, and how the less,
That burn by day and night: and then I loved thee
And show'd thee all the qualities o' the isle,
The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile:
Cursed be I that did so! All the charms
Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you!
For I am all the subjects that you have,
Which first was mine own king: and here you sty me
In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me
The rest o' the island. And does Shakespeare address this question in The Tempest? Write the question in big letters and draw a cloud or bubble around it. Now let's begin to look at the text. Let's read Act 1 Scene 2 aloud and see what we think. Act 1, Scene 2,
page 27
MIRANDA

The strangeness of your story put
Heaviness in me.

PROSPERO

Shake it off. Come on;
We'll visit Caliban my slave, who never
Yields us kind answer.

MIRANDA

'Tis a villain, sir,
I do not love to look on.

PROSPERO

But, as 'tis,
We cannot miss him: he does make our fire,
Fetch in our wood and serves in offices
That profit us. What, ho! slave! Caliban!
Thou earth, thou! speak. Think about how Caliban is being presented here. villain profits us thou earth Write down what you think these words suggest about him. CALIBAN

As wicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd
With raven's feather from unwholesome fen
Drop on you both! a south-west blow on ye
And blister you all o'er!

PROSPERO

For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps,
Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins
Shall, for that vast of night that they may work,
All exercise on thee; thou shalt be pinch'd
As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging
Than bees that made 'em. Caliban is powerless against Prospero's mastery of him. Your Interactive Guide to The Tempest by William Shakespeare You will develop your understanding of
Shakespeare's The Tempest, especially the character of Caliban, through the lens of colonialism. by Miss Parker Let's listen to this again... See what similiarities to Caliban's speech you can hear in the lyrics.
Make links by drawing lines between the texts and writing on the lines. COLONIZATION Key Vocabulary:
CALIBAN LANGUAGE &
STRUCTURE THEORIES OF POWER & RACE What will you learn? And blister you all over thou shalt have cramps thou shalt be pinchd...stinging Underline and annotate what you think the important bits are. And blister you all over How do you know that Caliban is angry?
Why do you think he is?
Do you think he is powerless?
Why doesn't he actually stand up to Prospero? thou shalt have cramps How does Prospero maintain power over Caliban?
How do his threats sound similar to what actually happened to native people during colonization? This is what Europeans thought the world looked like before 1492: Wow-wee, 'tis a small world indeedee! From his connections in London, Shakespeare would have heard numerous stories of incredible New World adventures - from the spread of lethal deseases to great battles with natives and from the abundance of nature bringing untold wealth to the devastating sea storms that made wreckages of ships en route. O what a brave new world we doth possess now...
Alas, what have we sacrificed? Rule Brittania! Jot down your initial thoughts now. How does Shakespeare present Caliban in Act 1 Scene 2? What conclusions can you draw from this fact?
Does it change the way you think about/read The Tempest? If so, why? "There is little doubt that the extraordinary shipwreck of some would-be Virginian colonists on the Bermudas flavours Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Shakespeare’s patrons - the Earls of Southampton and Pembroke - were investors in The Virginia Company." CALIBAN

As wicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd
With raven's feather from unwholesome fen
Drop on you both! a south-west blow on ye
And blister you all o'er!

PROSPERO

For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps,
Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins
Shall, for that vast of night that they may work,
All exercise on thee; thou shalt be pinch'd
As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging
Than bees that made 'em. And blister you all over thou shalt have cramps thou shalt be pinchd...stinging And blister you all over How do you know that Caliban is angry?
Why do you think he is?
Do you think he is powerless?
Why doesn't he actually stand up to Prospero? thou shalt have cramps How does Prospero maintain power over Caliban?
How do his threats sound similar to what actually happened to native people during colonization? Why does Caliban say these things?
What do you think of him for saying them? I must eat my dinner.
This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother,
Which thou takest from me. When thou camest first,
Thou strokedst me and madest much of me, wouldst give me
Water with berries in't, and teach me how
To name the bigger light, and how the less,
That burn by day and night: and then I loved thee
And show'd thee all the qualities o' the isle,
The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile:
Cursed be I that did so! All the charms
Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you!
For I am all the subjects that you have,
Which first was mine own king: and here you sty me
In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me
The rest o' the island. Essay Structure The Context 1. What was the effect of colonization on the native?
2. Do you think Shakespeare addresses this question in The Tempest?
Jot down your initial ideas now. Sentence Starters for 1:
Colonization had the effect of____on native people.
One of the greatest effects of colonization on native people was___
Native people were affected by colonization by...
Sentence Starters for 2:
Shakespeare addresses/doesn't address this question in The Tempest because...
The native in The Tempest is_____and... the natives are naive What can you say about the structure of this scene? Think about:
how it starts and ends
where it is in relation to the rest of the play (does it come before or after any other significant events, if so what and why?)
the use of repetition of language and the effect this has
how it compares to other scenes where Caliban is present or the subject Now let's read and watch Act 2, Scene 2 and compare how Caliban is presented. What would you say is similar/different about the way he comes across to the audience? Why? High-Level Thinking Want more Then we need to explore one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century...
Franz Fanon High-Level Thinking? Franz Fanon theorised about power, race and the effects of colonization on the native mind. He wrote two hugely important books: “The Negro enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority alike behave in accordance with a neurotic orientation.”
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks The Western Hemisphere “A man who has a language consequently possesses the world expressed and implied by that language.”
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks “The colonized is elevated above his jungle status in proportion to his adoption of the mother country's cultural standards.”
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks "The violence which has ruled over the ordering of the colonial world, which has ceaselessly drummed the rhythm for the destruction of native social forms and broken up without reserve the system of reference of the economy, the customs of dress and external life, that same violence will be claimed and taken over by the native at the moment when, deciding to embody history in his own person, he surges into the forbidden quarters."
Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth Read it carefully
Discuss it and try to figure out what Fanon is saying
Write it in your own words
Find a quotation from the play which proves or disproves what the quotation says
Try to explain how your quotation proves or disproves Fanon's ideas Look at the quotation you've been given from one of Fanon's books.
Your challenge is to... High-Level Thinking You have 15 minutes.
Be prepared to feedback to the class. If you plan effectively, writing an essay doesn't have to be difficult. Introduction Paragraph 1 Paragraph 2 Paragraph 3 Conclusion Using high level vocabulary in the right way can significantly raise your grade. INTELLIGENT
CAPABLE
KNOWLEDGEABLE
RESOURCEFUL
JUST NAIVE
IGNORANT
FEARFUL
TRUSTING
GULLIBLE
ISOLATED
ALIENATED
DISPOSSESSED
ORPHANED FEARED
STRONG
CONSCIOUS
AN AGENT
WILLFUL
DESIRING SUBJUGATED
OBJECTIFIED
DOMINATED
ENSLAVED
MARGINALIZED High-Level Thinking Lyrics Eugene McDaniels – Parasite

They landed at Plymouth
With a smile on their face
They said “We’re your brothers
From a faraway place.”
The Indians greeted them
With wide open arms
Too simple minded and trusting
To see through the charms

Ex-hoodlums and jail birds
With backgrounds of crime
They had a chance to breathe freely
For the very first time
To drink cool clear water
From clean mountain streams
When taken for granted it’s not what it seems

They landed at Plymouth
With a smile on their face
They said “We’re your brothers
From a faraway place.”
I know the Indians greeted them
With wide open arms
Too simple minded
To see through the charms

Slowly but surely
In came the forked tongues
To trick those who trusted
Humiliate the young
They said “Indians are different
They got to stay in their place
Not pure and holy
An inferior race.”

They landed at Plymouth
With a smile on their face
They said “We’re your brothers
From a faraway place.”
I know the Indians greeted them
With wide open arms
Too simple minded and trusting
To see through the charms

In came the religions
The liquor, and the guns
They claimed to be good guys
Yeah but they acted like cons
Creating chaos, spreading disease
As agents of god
They did damn well what they please

They landed at Plymouth
With a smile on their face
They said “We’re your brothers
From a faraway place.”
The Indians greeted them
With wide open arms
Too simple minded
To see through the charms

Polluting the water
God damn, defiling the air
Rewriting the standards
Of what’s good, and fair
Promote law and order
Yeah, just let justice go to hell
If the laws hard to swallow
Use the old wishing well

They landed at Plymouth
With a smile on their face
They said “We’re your brothers
From a faraway place.”
The Indians greeted them
With wide open arms
Too simple minded
To see through the charms

Now the sun's slowly setting
Yes and the Indians are few
They’ve been murdered and pillaged
My god, what they’ve been through
Stranded on deserts
Where it’s barren and dry
With bad air and foul water, yeah
They exist ‘til they die

They landed at Plymouth
With a smile on their face
They said “We’re your brothers
From a faraway place.”
The Indians greeted them with wide open arms…
(screams of terror…) What have you learnt?
Let's recap. Explain what you understand about the question. Why is Caliban such a significant character to explore. What does the word 'presented' mean? 'Presented' to who and for what purpose? What other intentions might Shakespeare have had? Your introduction should make it clear to the marker that you understand what is being asked of you and give him or her an initial idea of how you are going to approach the question. So, in it you need to... Explain how you are going to approach the question and what your initial response is. Are you going to look at Caliban from many different angles? If so, what angles? How do you think he is presented in the scene and the rest of the play and what do you think Shakespeare's intentions were? Your first paragraph should include your strongest and most personally believed interpretation of the character. That way, your marker will get to know your strengths straight away.

Although it outght to contain some context, it SHOULD NOT waffle on endlessly about the social, cultural or historical background of the play. Only include context that is relevant to your points. For example, if you are beginning by exploring Caliban's subjugation, then it would be appropriate to bring in what you know about colonial expansion in Shakespeare's time.

You must also include:
well-selected quotations
analysis of language
analysis of structure, if relevant Your second paragraph should follow on logically from your first. For example, if you discussed the subjugation of Caliban in your first, it would make sense to discuss him as an agent of his own free will in your second. This shows the marker that you have considered different interpretations and understand how they relate to one another.

At this point, you should also begin to analyse structure in more depth. You could, for example, begin to compare how Caliban is presented in Act 1, Scene 2 with Act 2, Scene 2 or with the end of the play.

You still need to remember to include well-selected quotations and analysis of language. Now, begin to offer some other interpretations and ideas. It's really up to you to decide what these are, but here are a few ideas:

Caliban as naive
How Prospero maintains mastery of Caliban
How Caliban's relationship with Prospero and other characters affects the way we view him
Caliban as brutish, deformed and a savage Remember to include well-selected quotations, analyse language and comment on structure if it is relevant. It would also be a good idea to include something here which relates to the context of the play, e.g. How you think Shakespeare intended his audiences to view Caliban, why he did so and whether he would have been successful or not. Now you need to pull together everything you've said about Caliban. So, begin your conclusion by BRIEFLY summarising your main points.

Secondly, you need to show that understand either the COMPLEXITY or SIMPLICITY (you decide which) of the way Shakespeare has presented Caliban.

Put simply, say WHAT YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT THIS CHARACTER.

Finally, explain what you think Shakespeare's audiences might have thought about Caliban and briefly talk about why. THE END! YEY! In groups, look up the list of words you've been given and find a quotation from the scene (or anywhere in the play) which illustrates that Caliban has been presented in that way. High-Level Thinking Other Tempest essay questions to get your teeth into:

1.Prospero is overbearing and unnecessarily controlling. Discuss?
2.Caliban is unfairly punished by a man who shouldn’t have any authority over him. Is this a fair description of his situation.
3.The island is a place removed from normal social context; it can make a fool into a king and a king into nothing. To what extent does the setting allow for characters to reinvent themselves?
4.Prospero fails in his duty to keep control over the island. Do you agree? The word “villain”, used by Miranda to address Caliban in Act 1 Scene 2, suggests that...

The word “profit” is used repeatedly in relation to Caliban in Act 1 Scene 2 which suggests that...

Prospero calls Caliban “thou earth” at the beginning of Act 1 Scene 2 showing that... savage define this word What would life be like if everyone lived by these beliefs? Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was laoned to you by your children.

When we show respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us.

Lose your temper and you lose a friend, lie and lose yourself. How can people who hold these beliefs be called 'savage'? Write a diary entry or monologue from the point of view of Caliban which includes one or more of these Native American beliefs. Extension:
Include one or more phrases used by Caliban in the play.

Write it in the style of Shakespearean verse. 1. Write out what you can remember of The Ten Commandments.

2. Write out what your Ten Commandments would be for making an effective society.

What are the similarities and differences?
Is there anything 'savage' about them?
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