Video appunto: Shakespeare, William - The Tempest, plotThe settings are a ship and an island, and the action takes place in three hours. The island may be located somewhere in the Mediterranean since the King of Naples were travelling between Naples and Tunis when the storm hit them. So it is away from national claimsand and this makes it theatrical, the ideal stage for a series of magical occurrences. The main characters are:
-Prospero the Duke of Milan deposed and exiled with his daughter Miranda on the orders of his brother Antonio. He is a magician: his magic powers come from his studies and he tries to use them to do good. I think Prospero is a strong man because he keep cultivating his passion for magic after the exile although everyone believes it was wrong. I consider him also wise and clever, because, at the end, he decides to free his brother and to destroy his magic book.
-Ariel a spirit of the air who is very fast, can become invisible and can change his appearance; he used to be in the service of the witch Sycorax. After twelve years’ imprisonment, he was released by Prospero. The meaning of his name is ‘Lion of the Lord’, and his voice sometimes sounds like a lion’s roar.
-Caliban the only native of the island, he is the son of Sycorax. Caliban’s name may derive from ‘cannibal’, a term used to describe flesh-eaters. When Prospero came to the island, he showed him how to survive and Prospero taught him to speak. Later he tried to rape Miranda and Prospero enslaved and punished him.
-Miranda the girl who embodies female perfection.
The Tempest belongs to the last period of Shakespeare’s work and he seems eager to show that good may come of evil. The most interesting themes are:
Forgiveness: all ends in peace and reconciliation, with music intensifying the atmosphere of enchantment.
The magic and its representation as ‘theatrical illusion’.
A warning against the dangers of English expansion abroad. Shakespeare used different levels of speech and a character may switch from everyday prose to solemn verse. Sometimes are included allegorical scenes, noises, the sounds of the sea, songs, music and dances, magical transformations.