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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0779  Thursday, 5 April 2001

[1]     From:   John Velz <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 04 Apr 2001 11:46:10 -0600
        Subj:   Tempest and Chess

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 04 Apr 2001 11:52:54 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 12.0756 Re: Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <
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Date:           Wednesday, 04 Apr 2001 11:46:10 -0600
Subject:        Tempest and Chess

About the chess game near the end of the play.  In April 1978 I was with
a group of French university students and their teachers at Stratford at
the Shakespeare Institute.  David Suchet who played Caliban in the
current production was answering questions from the group about the
production.  One person asked him why they had cut the chess playing
scene.  He answered that it was superfluous.  The questioner objected
that it points to Prospero who plays chess with the living characters on
the chessboard of the island.  Suchet was interested.  When I returned
to Stratford in August of that year and saw the show again, the chess
scene had been restored to its place in the production.

Cheers,
John Velz

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 04 Apr 2001 11:52:54 -0700
Subject: Re: Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess
Comment:        SHK 12.0756 Re: Tempest, Renaissance Education and Chess

Stetner writes,

> The game of chess is simply a metaphor for a meeting of
> the minds versus bodily fluids.

Shakespeare wrote,

MIRANDA Sweet lord, you play me false.

FERDINAND No, my dear'st love, I would not for the world.

MIRANDA Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle,
And I would call it, fair play.

Since this continues the theme of claiming kingdoms, I don't think the
chatter is without meaning.  I would not claim that Miranda's gender as
a chess player is significant.  Stetner may be right about that, but in
the context of this play, her comment is too pointed to be ignored.

Mike Jensen
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