The Tempest is a creative little play- quite different from all the other Shakespeare plays I have read. The main character is Prospero, a magician stranded on an island with his daughter Miranda, who used to be the duke of Milan before his brother usurped him. But this isn’t just any island. It is inhabited by spirits and the son of a witch who is a degenerate creature that may or may not be entirely human. The story begins when a ship carrying the (usurping) duke of Milan, the King of Naples and the prince of Naples is shipwrecked on the islands, because of a tempest that Prospero has had a spirit he controls create.
Hell is empty, and all the devils are here
The story continues to be driven by Prospero’s magic tricks, and the spirit’s illusions. Prospero has some kind of plan, but we are not quite sure what- he obviously plans for his daughter to marry the prince, but then plays the role of the disapproving father. He lets the King believe his son is dead, and leads the groups of shipwrecked sailors around the island, mystifying them and plaguing them. Is he going to seek revenge? Is he going to be cruel to them? He is at times cruel to his servants- in the case of the witches son it is somewhat understandable given he tried to rape his daughter, but the spirit has never done anything wrong except need his help. But he seems to ascribe to the idea espoused by Thrasymachus’ in Plato’s republic- that justice is nothing but the advantage of the stronger- having magic makes him the most powerful person on the island, and so he pretty much does what he wants. In the end he chooses to forgive his enemies and release his servant spirit, and all ends happily. I think we could have guessed that he would choose a happy ending over revenge when we saw his reasoning behind how he treated the prince. He sets Miranda up to meet the prince, but then confronts the prince, accuses him of lying, enprisons him, and forces him to do hard labour. But this is all to make sure they have a strong relationship.
They are both in either’s powers, but this swift business
I must uneasy make, lest too light winning
Make the prize light
Other book related things:
Coffee Addicted Writer question of the week:Have you ever wanted to write a book? If so, what genre would you choose? And…have you been successful in writing a book?
Oh ye, I have wanted to write so many books. As a child I wrote a lot of short stories, but when school took over and I spent years doing mostly factual, precise writing, I felt like I forgot how to write creatively. And I think being an adult now there is also the mental block, that we don’t just want to write- we want to write something good. I mostly have ideas for fantasy novels, but have not yet completed any. In some ways this blog is a way for me to get used to writing again.
Book Beginnings on Fridays: The Tempest
A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightening heard. Enter a ship-master and a Botswain.
It does set the scene up quickly, I must say.
Friday 56: (a quote from page 56, or 56% of the way through)
Sebastian and Antonio decide to kill the king while he sleeps, but he awakens to them with their swords drawn over him. They make up a story to explain this, which somehow he accepts despite their words being drawn towards him rather than to an outside force.
Whiles we stood here securing your repose,
Even now, we heard a hollow burst if bellowing
like bulls or rather lions. Did’t not wake you?