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The Tempest Day One ENGL 305 Dr. Fike. Research Paper Drafts Portfolios are due on the final day of class. Next time I will talk about the abstract assignment.

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Presentation on theme: "The Tempest Day One ENGL 305 Dr. Fike. Research Paper Drafts Portfolios are due on the final day of class. Next time I will talk about the abstract assignment."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Tempest Day One ENGL 305 Dr. Fike

2 Research Paper Drafts Portfolios are due on the final day of class. Next time I will talk about the abstract assignment. Do not just run off a clean copy and resubmit the draft. Make sure that you have sent your paper to Really think hard about your paper’s organization. Every paper must have a review of previous criticism. Lower-order stuff: see the previous PowerPoint (King Lear day 3). But here are the top two problems: –Overuse of the word “this.” –Passive constructions.

3 Outline Day One –Romance Definition Bad stuff –Unities Aristotle’s Poetics The Tempest Other plays –The island Old world and new world elements The storm Dualities

4 Outline, continued Day Two: ENGL%20305/305%20Tempest%20hand out.htm ENGL%20305/305%20Tempest%20hand out.htm Day Three: There’s a handout on the course calendar; you might use it to prepare for our Montaigne activity. (Montaigne is pronounced mon-TEN.)

5 Not the Best Definition for Our Purposes “In common usage, [romance] refers to works with extravagant characters, remote and exotic places, highly exciting and heroic events, passionate love, or mysterious or supernatural experiences. In another and more sophisticated sense, romance refers to works relatively free of the more restrictive aspects of realistic verisimilitude” (Harmon and Holman, A Handbook to Literature).

6 A Better Definition of Romance Bedford 95: “The cardinal feature of the form, the key to its emotional power, is the gap between the desperate middle and the joyful ending.” POINT: A romance has greater tragic potential—a greater gap—than a comedy. A comic ending asserts itself, but the opposing forces of tragedy are stronger. Thus romance is more generically complicated than comedy.

7 Grouping The Tempest is grouped with Pericles, Cymbeline, and The Winter’s Tale. These plays are comedies, but they are different from Shakespeare’s earlier comedies, though they were all together AS comedies in the first folio (1623). Take, for example, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a “festive comedy” (C. L. Barber’s term): despite the mention of the “jaws of darkness” (1.1.148), its tragic undertones are muted; there is very little suggestion that any of the characters will come to lasting harm. In terms of tragic potential, a “problem” comedy is closer to romance than a festive comedy is.

8 It’s like a continuum. Festive comedy  problem comedy  romance Festive comedy (least potential for tragedy) Problem comedy (greater potential for tragedy) Romance (greatest potential for tragedy). POINT: In romance, the difficulties that characters encounter are more challenging.

9 Focused Listing What kind of bad stuff is there in The Tempest? Write your answers in your notebooks.

10 Possible Answers Antonio has overthrown and exiled Prospero. Caliban has tried to rape Miranda. There are various plots to murder people. The closest thing in the comedies we read would be Shylock’s determination to kill Antonio.

11 POINT Harm COULD erupt in this play.

12 Transition Although The Tempest is a late play (in fact, the last one Shakespeare wrote on his own), it has something interesting in common with his first play, The Comedy of Errors: namely, classical unities.

13 The Two/Three Unities from Aristotle’s Poetics ACTION: A tragedy is “an imitation of an action” (Bedford Companion 101), and that single action has a beginning, middle, and end. TIME: That action takes place in one 24-hour period (“a single revolution of the sun”). So the staging of a play and the time the play depicts are roughly equivalent. Can you think of a contemporary example?

14 Contemporary Example 24: The time it takes to watch the show corresponds to the time that the show depicts, right?

15 A Third Unity? PLACE: It follows from limited action and time that there must also be unity of place. Aristotle does not say anything about place, but Italian literary theorists derived it from his statements about the unities of action and time.

16 Question Do we have the unities in The Tempest? –Action: 1 action with beginning, middle, and end? –Time: “a single revolution of the sun”? –Place: unified setting?

17 Do we have the unities in The Tempest? Action: YES: The multiple plots all fall under the rubric of the renewal that Prospero engineers. We have a beginning (the “shipwreck”), the long middle (the courtship, the plots), and an ending (the comic resolution, the reunion). Time: YES: 5.1.135, 188, and 225 (all of these refer to three hours) –ab ovo? – html html –Retrospective narration (as in the Odyssey). Place: YES: Everything takes place on the island. We get references to far-flung places, but we do not actually travel there.

18 What about the unities in our other plays? ActionTimePlace MSND MV AYLI R2 1H4 Hamlet Lear

19 Do you agree? ActionTimePlace MSNDNoYesNo MVNoNoNo AYLINoNoNo R2YesNoNo 1H4NoNoNo HamletYesNoYes LearNoNoNo

20 Other Concepts from Aristotle’s Poetics Fear and pity: fear that the same thing will befall us, pity for the hero Catharsis: purgation, cleansing Peripety: “An abrupt or unexpected change in a course of events or situation, esp. in a literary work”; it is from the Greek word meaning “to change suddenly” (American Heritage Dictionary). Anagnorisis (an-ag-nawr-uh-sis): Discovery or recognition that leads to the peripity/reversal. Hamartia (hah-mahr-tee-uh ): “error” (105) or mistake; it is often mistranslated as “tragic flaw.” (The pronunciations comes from

21 The Island It is located in the Mediterranean Sea: note the references to Naples (1.2 236, 438), Milan (1.2.109), Algiers (1.2.162), Tunis (2.1.73), and Carthage (2.1.84). But other geographical references relate to the new world: –The Bermudas (1.2.230) –Caliban’s god, Setebos (SEH-tih-bahs), is a Patagonian deity (1.2.376). –Patagonian reference (2.2.170) –New world societies (2.1.150ff.—the Montaigne stuff: next slide)

22 More on Montaigne Gonzalo’s speech at 2.1.150ff. regarding an ideal commonwealth echoes Montaigne’s “Of Cannibals” (see Bedford 157). Montaigne says that new world societies are living in a relatively unfallen state. Gonzalo describes just such a state. How Shakespeare appropriates Montaigne’s statement is one of our topics for Day Three.

23 The Bermudas The play (1611) responds to an event that had occurred two years earlier. In 1609, a ship, the Sea Venture, went aground on Bermuda. The sailors spend the winter there, build another ship, and finished their voyage to Virginia. In our play, a ship supposedly runs aground, and passengers come ashore. See 1.2.199: “I flamed amazement.”

24 Bedford 180-82 “Only upon the Thursday night Sir George Summers, being upon the watch, had an apparition of a little round light, like a faint star, trembling, and streaming along with a sparkling blaze, half the height upon the mainmast, and shooting sometimes from shroud to shroud, tempting to settle as it were upon any of the four shrouds; and for three or four hours together, or rather more, half the night it kept with us, running sometimes along the main-yard to the very end, and then returning.... The superstitious sea-men make many constructions of this sea-fire, which nevertheless is usual in storms.... The Italians, and such who lie open to the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Sea, call it (a sacred Body) Corpo sancto; the Spaniards call it Saint Elmo, and have an authentic and miraculous legend for it.”

25 Saint Elmo’s Fire “Luminous discharge of electricity extending into the atmosphere from some projecting or elevated object. It is usually observed (often during a snowstorm or a dust storm) as brushlike fiery jets extending from the tips of a ship's mast or spar, a wing, propeller, or other part of an aircraft, a steeple, a mountain top, or even from blades of grass or horns of cattle. Sometimes it plays about the head of a person, causing a tingling sensation. The phenomenon occurs when the atmosphere becomes charged and an electrical potential strong enough to cause a discharge is created between an object and the air around it. The amount of electricity involved is not great enough to be dangerous. The appearance of St. Elmo's fire is regarded as a portent of bad weather. The phenomenon, also known as corposant, was long regarded with superstitious awe.” Source:

26 St. Elmo = Erasmus: Patron Saint of Sailors “‘Elmo’, through ‘Ermo’, is an Italian alteration of ‘Erasmus’, the name of a 4th- century Syrian bishop who came to be regarded as the patron saint of seamen, and St Elmo's fire was attributed to him.” (This Erasmus is not the Renaissance Humanist with the same name.) Source:

27 One Explanation of Erasmus as Patron Saint of Sailors “A small electrical discharge, with a luminous appearance, that is associated with stormy weather and seen around the extremities of tall objects, such as the tops of trees and mastheads. It is caused by ionization of the air in the electric field created around sharp projections. It is named after St Elmo (otherwise known as St Erasmus) who was, according to legend, martyred by having his intestines wound out of his body on a windlass or capstan. This vaguely nautical connection served to make him the patron saint of sailors; St Elmo's fire was taken as a sign that Elmo would protect any vessel that exhibited it.” Source: Credo Reference: http://0- 1&secid=.http://0- 1&secid

28 Another Explanation of Erasmus as Patron Saint of Sailors “Erasmus may have become the patron of sailors because he is said to have continued preaching even after a thunderbolt struck the ground beside him. This prompted sailors, who were in danger from sudden storms and lightning to claim his prayers. The electrical discharges at the mastheads of ships were read as a sign of his protection and came to be called ‘Saint Elmo’s Fire.’” Source of this slide and the next:


30 Question Where have you encountered St. Elmo’s fire elsewhere in literature?

31 Moby Dick, Chapter 119: “The Candles” “Look aloft!” cried Starbuck. “The St. Elmo’s Lights (corpus sancti) corposants [holy body]! The corposants!” All the yard-arms were tipped with pallid fire; and touched at each tri-pointed lightning-rod-end with three tapering white flames, each of the three tall masts was silently burning in that sulphurous air, like three gigantic wax tapers before an altar. “Blast the boat! Let it go!” cried Stubb at this instant…and immediately shifting his tone, he cried—“The corposants have mercy on us all!”

32 Example of St. Elmo’s Fire s s's+fire&rlz=1T4MXGB_enUS593US594&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=1rNwVOWiBcjgs ASWxoCgBQ&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAg&biw=1920&bih=846#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=cIffxaAey7PF7M%253A%3BA9YIhtuDrMl9GM%3Bhtt m%252Fwatch%253Fv%253DzyWX3VRsk38%3B1280%3B720

33 The Movie ttexst_exst_tt ttexst_exst_tt _Fire_%28film%29 _Fire_%28film%29 _Fire_%28film%29#mediaviewer/File:St_e lmo%27s_fire.jpg _Fire_%28film%29#mediaviewer/File:St_e lmo%27s_fire.jpg

34 The Point Shakespeare’s borrows from Sir William Strachey’s A True Reportory of the Wreck and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates, Knight, upon and from the Islands of the Bermudas, His coming to Virginia, and the Estate of That Colony. Shakespeare lived during the age of exploration and expansion; The Tempest reflects this quite nicely. Also, this borrowing clearly illustrates the historicity of texts that we discussed last time.

35 Still More New World References POINT: It is possible to read Caliban as a native American. 2.2.33: “dead Indian” Stephano and Trinculo introduce Caliban to whiskey, much as the Europeans introduced the Native Americans to it. (Anyone working on Caliban-as-Native- American should feel free to chime in.) Caliban as an African slave?

36 Part of Sally Shader’s Introduction “When drunken buffoons Stephano and Trinculo give Caliban his first taste of liquor in The Tempest, it is symbolic of the first time a European colonist gives alcohol to a Native American in the New World. Linking Caliban to native Americans is nothing new, but the role of alcohol in this connection has yet to be sufficiently explored. While Caliban’s drunken actions are somewhat exaggerated portrayals of what really happened in the Americas, this only highlights the negative role that alcohol has played in the Native American community. The interpretation of Caliban as a Native American thus reflects issues that these oppressed peoples, past and present, have experienced with alcohol.” “‘The liquor is not earthly’: The Tempest and the Downfall of Native Americans,” The Oswald Review 11 (2009): 23-36.

37 Harold Bloom, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human 663 Interpretations of Caliban: “a snail on all fours, a gorilla, the Missing Link or ape man, and at last... a Neanderthal... Java Man…a South American Indian field hand... Caliban and Ariel, both black slaves.” “Fashions tire; the early twenty-first century may still have mock scholars moaning about neocolonialism, but I assume that by then Caliban and Ariel will be extra-terrestrials— perhaps they already are.”

38 Digression Colonial literature celebrates the colonizers’ domination of a foreign people. Postcolonial literature is the colonized people’s reply to colonial oppression and their attempt to rebuilt or resurrect their own culture. POINT: Prospero is to colonialism as Caliban is to postcolonialism. In other words, Caliban replies to colonialism (Prospero’s colonizing emphasis); Shakespeare provides a postcolonial voice within a narrative that has a colonial emphasis. –1.2.334-35: “This island’s mine, by Sycorax my mother, / Which thou tak’st from me.” (But what is the qualification here? See 1.2.265ff.) –1.2.366-67: “You taught me language, and my profit on ’t / Is I know how to curse.” –1.2.299: Ariel says, “I will be correspondent to command.”

39 Summary Shakespeare preserves the unities. The play is laced with old and new world references. Therefore, it is a place of the imagination like the forests in MSND and AYLI or the Bohemian sea coast in The Winter’s Tale.

40 The Storm Watch video clip. What points arise from this scene?

41 Possible Points about the Storm The storm enables Shakespeare to present an image of men in society and the disorder that attends their interaction—chaos, struggle, quarrel, prayer, terror, helplessness. The storm brings all men down to the same level, the level of survival: “What cares these roarers for the name of king? (1.1.16- 17). Cf. Lear on the heath. Point: The “ship of state” is an appropriate emblem of the state from which Prospero has been exiled. This is the image of humanity on which his magic will work. The ship may also be an image of Prospero’s psyche. Anger? Revenge? Karma? Analogies? –Antonio’s plot to kill Gonzalo and Alonso. –Caliban’s plot to kill Prospero with the help of Stephano and Trinculo.

42 Point: Dualities Storm yields to calm. Storm and calm are one of the play’s dualities. What others do you find? Make a list for next time. END

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