Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Ariel's Gender
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0861  Tuesday, 17 April 2001

[1]     From:   Stuart Manger <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 16 Apr 2001 17:59:48 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 12.0838 Re: Ariel's Gender

[2]     From:   David Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 16 Apr 2001 18:11:05 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0838 Re: Ariel's Gender


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 16 Apr 2001 17:59:48 +0100
Subject: Re: Ariel's Gender
Comment:        SHK 12.0838 Re: Ariel's Gender

Larry, 'Bird' does not necessarily connote girl. Lady Macduff calls her
boy 'poor bird'. Maybe it is an icon of freedom, youth, vulnerability,
un-tameability?

Stuart Manger

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 16 Apr 2001 18:11:05 +0100
Subject: 12.0838 Re: Ariel's Gender
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0838 Re: Ariel's Gender

Gabriel Egan writes:

> Prospero tells Ariel to "Be subject / To no sight but thine and mine",
> which is so silly (as though he'd become invisible to himself) that we
> are justified in wondering if something's dropped out of the metrically
> defective passage. Stephen Orgel, editing the play for the Oxford
> Shakespeare, suggested that what has dropped out here are instructions
> about the spirits who sing "Come unto these yellow sands" and it they
> who must remain invisible to all but Ariel and Prospero.

I'm not persuaded of this.  Yes, considered logically, it's redundant,
even 'silly' - but the audience need to be told that Ariel is invisible,
and the costume he adopts is appropriate to his function here, as his
later costumings are to his various emblematic functions.  There is,
after all, no evidence that any other character than Prospero sees Ariel
in his 'own' shape - Miranda,  Ferdinand, Trinculo, Stephano and Caliban
all seem equally unaware of him.

I respect Stephen Orgel's edition enormously, but on this occasion beg
to differ.  The logical implication of his suggestion would be not
merely that the attendant spirits were invisible to Ferdinand, but,
conversely, that Ariel was.  Yet Ferdinand speaks only of disembodied
'music' creeping by him on the waters.

What I think IS silly is the effort in some productions to make Ariel
invisible to Prospero.  Gielgud claimed that he never looked at Ariel in
any performance, and Noble in 1998 tried (unsuccessfully to most of the
audience) to suggest that Prospero couldn't see Ariel at all.  This, to
my mind, makes nonsense of the relationship between Prospero and Ariel,
however one wants to construe it.

David Lindley

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.