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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: March ::
Re: Kermode (Tempest Reference)
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0603  Wednesday, 14 March 2001

[1]     From:   J. Birjepatil <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 11:33:52 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0571 Re: Tempest Reference

[2]     From:   Philip Tomposki <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 11:13:29 EST
        Subj:   Re: Kermode (Tempest Reference)

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 09:30:25 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0595 Re: Kermode (Tempest Reference)

[4]     From:   Vick Bennison <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 12:42:22 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0595 Re: Kermode (Tempest Reference)

[5]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 21:14:23 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0595 Re: Kermode (Tempest Reference)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           J. Birjepatil <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 11:33:52 +0000
Subject: 12.0571 Re: Tempest Reference
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0571 Re: Tempest Reference

I feel that the clearest statement of Kermode's position on the question
of 'history' verses 'poetry' is his introduction to the book Appetite
For Poetry. The genesis of this controversy is Malcom Evans's book
Signifying Nothing where he questions Kermodes silence on the colonial
question in the Arden Edition edited by him. In his introduction Kermode
refers to the Bermuda Pamphlets as one of the sources for The Tempest
but doesn't allow himself to be drawn into a political reading of the
play. Anyone who has read Kermode's A Sense of an Ending, Genesis of
secrecy and his book on The Classic (the exact title escapes me now)
knows that Kermode has always operated at the forefront of postmodern
discourse. Which is why his critique deserves serious consideration
whether one agrees with him or not.

J. Birjepatil

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Philip Tomposki <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 11:13:29 EST
Subject:        Re: Kermode (Tempest Reference)

Larry Weiss writes "The references in the play suggesting that the
Island is in the south Mediterranean is just one of those
inconsistencies or errors -- like the seacoast of Bohemia -- about which
WS just didn't give much thought (or about as much as it needed)."

Actually I believe the change is driven by plot considerations.  S has
to get his brother, the usurping Duke of Milan, with his fellow
travelers, which includes the King of Naples & his son, close enough to
Prospero's island for him to work his magic.  If the island is Bermuda,
the only conceivable destination is the New World.  That two heads of
state would undertake such a perilous voyage to such a wild destination
is unlikely.  Therefore S shifts the scene to the Mediterranean, where
he can nicely arrange the trip between Italy & Tunisia for the wedding
of the King's daughter.

Philip Tomposki

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Tuesday, 13 Mar 2001 09:30:25 -0800
Subject: 12.0595 Re: Kermode (Tempest Reference)
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0595 Re: Kermode (Tempest Reference)

Just to further complicate Larry Weiss's already complex treatment of
the location of the island in The Tempest, one might note that a
particular island off Newfoundland, called Fulk Island, I believe, was
famous for being covered with birds, perhaps because the Beothuk lacked
ocean-going vessels to get to it.  Most fishermen, and certainly Jacques
Cartier, stopped there to re-provision themselves after the Atlantic
voyage.  So if we take "docks and mallows" to be a reference to birds,
not weeds, we could shift the location even further north.

Of course, Sebastian and Antonio have so different an impression of the
island from Gonzalo that they might be talking about a different place
altogether.  This being fiction, and dramatically presented on a bare
stage, there's no particular reason why characters who share the stage
can't be in two places at the same time.

Cheers,
Se

 

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