Prospero

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  • Propsero
    • Interpretations
      • Peter Brooks 1957
        • John Gielgud played an obsessive, brooding Prospero in this dark interpretation of the play.
        • The design's gloomy caves, overgrown with tangles and foliage and creepers seemed a manifestation of Prospero's inner world.
      • Peter Hall 1973
        • John Gielgud who played Propsero, was dressed to resemble John Dee - Elizabethan magnus and astrologer to Queen Elizabeth.
      • 1922 @ The Royal Exchange Theatre ( Manchester)
        • Braham Murray's Strom Scene was played out in Prospero's book lined study, with Prospero seated at his desk throughout.
        • This study remained as the permanent set, matching Propsero's former chosen isolation in his library in Milan with his current enforced imprisonment in his book-filled cell.
      • Adrian Nobles' 1998
        • Prospero draped himself in the huge curtains descending from the roof. Coloured sky blue and sea-green, and played on by shimmering lights, these curtains seemed to be the natural elements themselves.
      • Rupert Goold 2006
        • Prospero wore furs and had delicate tattooed patterns running across his head, inspired by traditional inuit designs.
    • Critics
      • David Sundelson
        • "Prospero surrenders to Ferdinand the pleasure of possessing Miranda"
      • Edward Said
        • "there is nothing mysterious or natural about authority"
      • Hiewon Shin
        • " The tempest revelas some of the Humanist' anxieties and paranoia about women's knowledge"
      • Jonathan Miller
        • "It is difficult for the modern audience to feel sympathy for Prospero"
      • Trevor R. Griffiths
        • "Caliban is lost without the civilising influence exerted on him by Prospero"
      • Michael Hebron
        • The masque celebrates Prospero's paternal magnanimity and his ability to defy the laws of time and nature."
      • Robert Wilson
        • "Prospero is the controller, the manipulatior"
      • Taylor Sharpe
        • "Every character is driven by an internal cry for freedom"
    • Context
      • In Jacobean / Elizabethan time women were subservient to men, property of their husband, and children were to give respect to their parents as a slave would and were used to form powerful alliances through marriages. It was also considered foolish to marry for love. Women were not allowed to perfom in theatre BUT women at court were allowed to perform masques.
      • Social Structure (Hierarchical Structure)
        • 'The great chain of being'
          • God -> King -> Man -> Woman -> Animal
      • Prospero may be viewed as a 'renaissance magnus' which is someone who understands the cosmos and devotes himself  to the pursuit of wisdom.
      • Prospero has been likened to Shakespeare, as the play was on of his last. If this reading is taken to be true then Prospero's magic can be seen as a metaphor for Shakespeare's ability to write and his abjuration of magic is Shakespeare's retirement - supported by Prospero's constant breaking of the fourth wall an the epilogue, where Prospero asks audience to clap the same way a playwright would -> "The Tempest represents Shakespeare's farewell to his art"
      • Prospero  uses the water at his method of control and as definer of his omnipotence, conjured the Tempest. His constant allusion to his Godly power reinforces his utter control and dominance as well as being wholly blasphemous to an Elizabethan audience.
      • Prospero is the manipulator and domination of each scene - either him or Ariel are the commanders of the narrative, driving the plot or overseeing the action, Therefore it can be said that none of the character are under free will - it is an illusion (appearance vs reality). Social commentary of the hierarchy of Elizabethan societal structure and the treatment of the perceived lower classes by nobility.

Comments

ruth.kelly

Very useful- vast amount of information

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