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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: November ::
Re: Psychology in The Tempest
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1945  Wednesday, 10 November 1999.

[1]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Nov 1999 11:42:22 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1917 Psychology in The Tempest

[2]     From:   Vince Locke <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Nov 1999 06:04:36 PST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1917 Psychology in The Tempest


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 10 Nov 1999 11:42:22 GMT
Subject: 10.1917 Psychology in The Tempest
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1917 Psychology in The Tempest

That Caliban and Ariel might be read as 'aspects of Prospero's mind' is
a view with a long history - Auden's 'The Sea and the Mirror' and the
film 'The Forbidden Planet' are but two of the psychologising spin-offs
from the play.  The problem with such readings was put succinctly to me
by Timothy Walker, who played the part of Caliban in the
Leeds/Kelly/McKellen Tempest, and had previously played Prospero in a
Cheek by Jowl production. 'When I played Prospero I did to some extent
think of Caliban as a manifestation and extension of myself ... [but]
you can't as an actor [playing Caliban] play an extension of Prospero.'

There is perhaps a clear tension between the syntheses that readers can
perform, and the material, oppositional realities that actors must play?

David Lindley
School of English
University of Leeds

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Vince Locke <
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Date:           Wednesday, 10 Nov 1999 06:04:36 PST
Subject: 10.1917 Psychology in The Tempest
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1917 Psychology in The Tempest

>Hello Everyone, I have a curiosity about the two slaves on Prospero's
>island.  It seemed to me that Caliban and Ariel could be read as
>symbolic aspects of Prospero's mind.  Sort of like the Superego and Id,
>though I don't believe those terms had been coined at Shakespeare's
>time.  Nonetheless, I think that the idea of a basic human dichotomy
>would be acceptable.  First off, is there any evidence to support my
>view, or am I just wandering off track>
>-J. Deman

I think your interpretation is rather accurate; check out the sci-fi
movie classic Forbidden Planet.  Essentially, it's the Tempest in space
with "id monsters."  Incidentally, the film contains the first
appearance of Robbie the Robot.

Vince Locke
Eastern Michigan University
 

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