Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: April ::
Re: The Tempest and Chess. . .
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0330  Thursday, 9 April 1998.

[1]     From:   David L. Middleton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 8 Apr 1998 09:41:54 -0500
        Subj:   Re: The Tempest and  Chess. . .

[2]     From:   David Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 8 Apr 1998 17:33:03 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0316  Re: The Tempest


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David L. Middleton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 8 Apr 1998 09:41:54 -0500
Subject:        Re: The Tempest and  Chess. . .

I think chess is a perfectly appropriate activity for Miranda and
Ferdinand, given the way dramatic romance works (storms that don't
destroy; murderers frozen in place; visions; blessings).  Someone once
said it's a genre that represents life as we would like it to be.  I
always distribute a poem by Lawrence Raab which I copied in the past
(source forgotten) that provokes a wonderful class discussion about the
motives back of this kind of theatre-always in my classroom so
offputting to students who have just finished King Lear or Othello.  For
readers who are interested, I cite the poem in its entirety:

        The Revised Versions
Even Samuel Johnson found that ending
unbearable, and for over a hundred years
Lear was allowed to live, along with Cordelia,
who marries Edgar, who tried so hard
to do the right thing.  Don't they deserve
some happiness, after all that suffering?
So Antony keeps his temper, takes Cleopatra
aside to say:  No more games, dear,
we need to talk this through.  And Hamlet?
Send him back to school to learn
no one ever really pleases his father.
And while he's reading he'll remember
how pretty Ophelia was, how much
she admired his poems.  It's not easy
being king, having to worry every day
about the ambitions of your friends.
Who needs a bigger castle?
Let's sleep on it, Macbeth might tell his wife,
wait and see what comes along.
And Othello should have a friend to explain
it's natural for newlyweds to quarrel,
especially if the bride is so much younger.
Why not make what you can of love?
It's what we want for ourselves,
anxious to avoid another scene, and wary
of starting a fight, having suffered
through too many funerals and heard
how eloquently the dead are praised,
who threw their lives away.

So although we may posit sweaty groping between real Mirandas and
Ferdinands, The Tempest is a play that works quite logically (by its own
rules) in different terms.  It may not be real, but to me it's entirely
credible and utterly true.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 8 Apr 1998 17:33:03 GMT
Subject: 9.0316  Re: The Tempest
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0316  Re: The Tempest

In reply to Larry Weiss - Posthumous forgives Im[nn]ogen for wrying just
a little in Cymbeline - a forgiveness which Anne Barton discusses in her
important essay on the play.

David Lindley
School of English
University of Leeds
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.