Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: November ::
Re: Psychology in The Tempest
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1958  Thursday, 11 November 1999.

[1]     From:   Al Cacicedo <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Nov 1999 15:21:46 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1945 Re: Psychology in The Tempest

[2]     From:   Charles D. Adler <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Nov 1999 16:00:11 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1945 Re: Psychology in The Tempest


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Cacicedo <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 10 Nov 1999 15:21:46 -0500
Subject: 10.1945 Re: Psychology in The Tempest
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1945 Re: Psychology in The Tempest

One of the "beautiful" things about Tempest is that one can engage it at
whatever level one wants.  In graduate school once I was teaching the
play with a Christian humanist slant to the presentation.  From such a
perspective, Prospero is not the "ego," but rather the human being who
navigates the temptations of the flesh (Caliban, of course) in order to
achieve the spiritual purity of forgiveness (as Ariel encourages
Prospero to do). Suddenly a student in the class, a man of color, from
Puerto Rico, stood up and said, "But I AM Caliban."  I guess he'd been
reading Cesaire and I hadn't-but in any case, the result was that I
could no longer consider the Christian humanist reading without hearing
the postcolonial voice of Caliban reminding me that the beauty Prospero
creates is at the cost of (theatrically) real people.  I've come to see
the play as being about what costs one pays in order to create what
Cesaire calls the "new world order" (before George Herbert W.  Bush, so
no irony in that regard??).  Is it Miranda's freedom?  or Ferdinand's
loyalty to his father? or Caliban's independence? or . .  .  Certainly
one of the costs can be the satisfaction of the "id."

Al Cacicedo
Albright College

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles D. Adler <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 10 Nov 1999 16:00:11 -0500
Subject: 10.1945 Re: Psychology in The Tempest
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1945 Re: Psychology in The Tempest

I too have toyed with this approach and thought that Shakespeare himself
bids us farewell having arranged and balanced in Prospero aspects of his
own and finally, having reduced them to some version of desire (Ariel)
and fear (Caliban), he surrenders the former and embraces the latter.
This is right within the mythological death and resurrection motif where
the death is psychological or spiritual followed by rebirth, in the same
body and into the same place but newly attuned to the essential oneness
of all things.  A fresh perspective, if you will.

Prospero alludes to his transformation as his essence drifts away
leaving the mortal shape who slowly materializes in present dialogue
with the audience.  Prospero and yet not Prospero.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.