Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: June ::
Qs: Prospero and Miranda; Submitting an Essay
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0537.  Thursday, 16 June 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Lonnie J Durham <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Jun 1994 09:32:48 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Prospero and Miranda
 
(2)     From:   Leslie Harris <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, Jun 15 14:31:23 EDT 1994
        Subj:   Submitting an Essay
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lonnie J Durham <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Jun 1994 09:32:48 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Prospero and Miranda
 
As much as I hate departing from this fascinating subject, nudity, I'd like to
tap some opinion about an interpretive strategy re *The Tempest*. First, I
assume that Prospero has always had a distaste for the soiled usages of this
fallen world, and that is why he was so easily deposed. The island is a natural
extension of his flight from the world and the flesh.
 
Second, I assume that any New World offers the prospect of starting all over
again, reinventing society (as Gonzalo proposes) starting from this recovered
Eden.  However, the return to Eden is a return to a world outside of, or
previous to, all notions of law.  Here, strictly speaking, there can be no such
thing as rape or incest or insubordination.  In other words, without P.'s
dragging in precepts from the old corrupt society, there is no reason
whatsoever that Caliban should not be the New Adam to Miranda's Eve.
 
Therefore, the first thing P. does in response to signs of Miranda's sexual
maturity is to project his incestuous impulses onto the "native" and use the
excuse of the savage's uncontrollable appetite to harness him in involuntary
servitude (all of which Miranda heartily agrees to).
 
I imagine all this is old hat, but I don't like to leave it there.  I also want
to argue that the chief aim of P's machinations is to change his own nature,
transforming his possessive, incestuous longings toward Miranda, brought on by
his desires to keep her from being corrupted by the Great World, into a
selfless, relinquishing love.  That is, to change the Edenic (therefore
lawless) Caliban into the courtly, rule-governed, chess-playing Ferdinand.  P.
is so angry throughout this process because it is so painful to have to agree
with Sebastian's and Antonio's mockery of Gonzalo that utopian schemes cannot
avoid transporting the old Adam to the New World.
 
What I want to know, being an old poop, is how such interpretive moves are
regarded these days.  Has Richard Levin (that IS his name, isn't it?)
frightened every one off such allegorical play?
 
Yours expectantly,   Lonnie Durham
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Leslie Harris <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, Jun 15 14:31:23 EDT 1994
Subject:        Submitting an Essay
 
Hi, folks.  This isn't a Shakespeare posting _per se_, but I thought I would
reach lots of people with a background in the English Renaissance, one of whom
might be able to help me.
 
In about a week, I'm presenting a paper at the University of Wyoming Conference
on English.  I call my paper "Cultural Ethnocentricity: A Renaissance Critique
of _Cultural Literacy_."  I critique Hirsch's argument in his book, and then I
set his work (very briefly) within the tradition of the Renaissance courtesy
book.  My basic argument is that, like the courtesy book, _Cultural Literacy_
is really an attempt by a dominant class to maintain its privileged status.
 
I originally thought that this would just be a conference paper and go no
further, but now that I've written the thing, I kind of like my argument, and
I'd like to submit it to a journal.
 
I was wondering if anyone (perhaps with a background in editing or evaluating
articles for academic journals) would be willing to read my essay and give me
some feedback on it.  This could all probably be done via e-mail, since I can
attach text files to my messages.
 
Since I've only just finished my first year as an assistant professor, a
publication in my field would help me considerably.
 
Thanks.
Leslie Harris

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.