The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0890 Thursday, 24 September 1998.
Date: Wednesday, 23 Sep 1998 10:29:01 -0400
Subject: Tempest Doubling and Apocrypha
I was speaking to an actress recently, who described a staging of the
Tempest, in which she doubled for both Ariel and Miranda. I don't know
how typical that is, she said they had to rework the text a little to
make it happen; but all in all, it sounded like an interesting notion to
me. Apparently, in the production we were discussing, only Miranda and
Ariel were doubled and I don't know if it was for pragmatic reasons
(small cast) or thematic, but I could help trying to identify a suitable
double for Caliban. My compulsive sense of balance made me think that
if Ariel has a "real world" double, then so should Caliban. Perhaps
Antonio, suggesting Prospero's dark side in the form of an evil brother
or Ferdinand, to suggest that Ariel and Caliban are a pair. I know I'm
grasping. How and what are the typical doubling for The Tempest? and
what are the whys and wherefores for those choices?
After many years of returning to Shakespeare's plays, I've been getting
curious about the plays that are questionably ascribed to Shakespeare.
(I equate this to discovering Asbury Jukes, having bought all of Bruce
Springsteen's albums) The only summation I found of the Apocrypha, was
a 1908 book by C F Tucker Brooke. I assume that the thinking has
changed since 1908 and was wondering if anyone had a favorite discussion
of the "questionable" plays that they might point me to.