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The Tempest

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Greta Baldi

on 21 February 2015

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Transcript of The Tempest

Characters
The Tempest
'
'We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep''

''The Tempest''
is the last play that William Shakespeare wrote alone, between 1610-1611. So it is often considered like an
autobiography
of the author and the main character of Prospero as a representation of Shakespeare.
This play is one of the most complicated of Shakespearian's
Corpus
because full of different means.
Moreover the story draws on the
tradition of the romance
, it was influenced by
tragicomedy
and it has a
neoclassical style
.
Prospero
The
protagonist
of the play.
He's the rightful duke of Milan but he lives on an island with his daughter and has become a
great sorcerer
,
He's the one who stages all the play and makes move the other characters on the scene like a
real playwright
.
Miranda & Ferdinand
Miranda was
Prospero's daughter
and Ferdinand was the
Prince of Naples
.
They meet each other for the first time on the island and
fall in love
immediately even if the meeting is secretly organized by Prospero.
Alonso & Gonzalo
Alonso
is the
King of Naples
and Ferdinand's father.

Gonzalo
is the
King's counsellor
but he secretly helped Prospero and Miranda when they were exiled twelve years before the time of the story.
Antonio & Sebastian
They are
treacherous characters
because they are both
power-hungry
. In fact Antonio is the one who usurped Prospero's position as Duke of Milan and he will plot with Sebastian to kill Alonso and his family to come to the throne during the story.
Stephano & Trinculo
They are the
clowns
of the play and are protagonist of funny moments during the story. But after meeting Caliban, they plot with him to kill Prospero and get the power of the island.

Caliban
He's a
native deformed creature
of the island, son of a witch named Sycorax. He consider himself
mistreated and overworked
by Prospero.
He's a
brutal intelligence
and his language is full of curses.
During the story he will plot to kill Prospero with Stephano and Trinculo.
Ariel
He's an
airy spirit
and become
Prospero's agent
after twelve years of imprisonment. However he's still
waiting for freedom
.
He's the one who help Prospero to set up his play thanks to his power control of all elemental spirits and other magic powers.
So
every theatrical tools converge in Ariel
.
The
first act
opens with a
furious tempest
caused by Ariel while a ship carrying Alonso, Ferdinand, Antonio and other nobles is crossing the sea near the island. All the nobles are magically washed up safe and sound on the island by Prospero. This is the
beginning of the plan
of him but first he tells
the truth
to his daughter Miranda.
After the shipwreck King Alonso thinks his son
Ferdinand
has drowned during the tempest. Indeed, he's roaming all over the island guided by Ariel's singing when he
meets Miranda and falls in love
with her.
Meanwhile
Antonio and Sebastian attempt in vane to kill Alonso and Gonzalo
.
In another part of the island
Caliban meets Stephano and Trinculo
.
In the
third act Prospero makes Ferdinand perform menial tasks
to test his love toward Miranda.
At the same time
Caliban proposes
to Stephano and Trinculo
to kill Prospero
but Ariel listens to them and reports to Prospero the plan.
Meantime
Alonso and his three courtiers are searching the Prince
all over the island when
suddenly magical spirits appear bringing a banquet
in front of the hungry men but
it's just an Ariel's trap
.
The
fourth act
is a sort of interval in which
Prospero blesses the union of Ferdinand and Miranda
entertaining them while he's completing his plans.
In the
last act
all the characters are united in front of
Prospero
finally.
He
forgives his brother
Antonio,
renounces to his magic powers

coming back to his dukedom
and
releasing Ariel
.
Miranda and Ferdinand
will
get married
in Naples and
Caliban
...
he's
left alone on the island
!
Now my charms are all overthrown,
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.
Themes
Forgiveness
Magic
Slavery, colonization and New World
Woman's
importance
''The storm'', act 1, scene 1
A realistic beginning
The play begin with
a seeming natural phenomenon
: a
TEMPEST
. It is central to the plot but,
indeed
, as the audience will read later the tempest
is a deliberate magical conjuring by Prospero.
This
opening scene
certainly
contains spectacle
because in terms of stagecraft, it was a significant hazard for Shakespeare to open his play with this spectacular natural event.
In fact in the seventeenth century special effects were largely furthest to the audience’s imagination.
But Shakespeare sorted this problem out using little devices:

stage directions
: ''a tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard.''

The first word, “Boatswain!”
immediately indicates that the scene is the deck of a ship.

Characters rush frantically in and out
, often with no purpose indicating the general level of chaos and confusion.

Cries from off-stage
create the illusion of a space below-decks.
'
'The Tempest''
is an extraordinary example of one of the first story with special effects.
In fact the play is
steeped in magic and illusion
.
Full transcript