Wednesday, May 01, 2019

The Tempest

The Tempest. William Shakespeare. 1623. 127 pages. [Source: Bought]
Master: Boatswain!
Boatswain: Here, master: what cheer?
Master: Good, speak to the mariners: fall to't, yarely, or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.
Premise/plot: Miranda has grown up on an island only knowing her father, Prospero, and Caliban, an unpleasant fellow, the son of a witch. She's in for quite a surprise when a shipwreck brings more people to the island. The shipwreck is no accident; it is the work of her sorcerer father, Prospero, aided by ARIEL. Prospero has a complex, master plan.

Miranda falls MADLY, DEEPLY in love with the first man she sees, Ferdinand. Fortunately, I suppose, he likewise falls in love with her. This union might be phase two of her father's master plan...

My thoughts: I really enjoyed reading William Shakespeare's The Tempest. It was a new-to-me Shakespeare play. (There are still a good many in this category). I found the play to be compelling and easy to follow--relatively. Yes, it has POLITICS and SCHEMING. But this is all handled in a back-story or info dump. (This info dump actually puts Miranda to sleep.)

There are a few characters in The Tempest that seem like they are unnecessary or superfluous--Caliban and the two drunkards--but perhaps these are solely for comedic effect which doesn't translate well when it is just read and not performed.

Quotes:
MIRANDA If by your art, my dearest father, you have Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
[Enter ARIEL.] ARIEL All hail, great Master! grave sir, hail! 
I come To answer thy best pleasure; be’t to fly, To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride On the curl’d clouds; to thy strong bidding task Ariel and all his quality.
MIRANDA I might call him A thing divine; for nothing natural I ever saw so noble.
MIRANDA Why speaks my father so ungently?
This Is the third man that e’er I saw; the first
That e’er I sigh’d for; pity move my father
To be inclined my way!
PROSPERO Soft, sir! one word more.
[Aside.] They are both in either’s powers: but this swift business
I must uneasy make, lest too light winning
Make the prize light.
MIRANDA There’s nothing ill can dwell in such a temple: 
If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
Good things will strive to dwell with’t.
SEBASTIAN He receives comfort like cold porridge.
GONZALO It is foul weather in us all, good sir,
When you are cloudy. 
SEBASTIAN I do: and surely
It is a sleepy language, and thou speak’st
Out of thy sleep.
What is it thou didst say?
This is a strange repose, to be asleep
With eyes wide open; standing, speaking, moving,
And yet so fast asleep.
SEBASTIAN Do so: to ebb, Hereditary sloth instructs me.
MIRANDA I am a fool
To weep at what I am glad of.
 PROSPERO Our revels now are ended.
These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, 
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself, 
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve 
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, 
Leave not a rack behind.
We are such stuff 
As dreams are made on, and our little life 
Is rounded with a sleep.  

MIRANDA O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world
That has such people in’t!



© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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