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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: September ::
My Reading of "The Tempest"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0764  Tuesday, 5 September 2006

From: 		Gabriel Egan <
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Date: 		Friday, 1 Sep 2006 14:21:48 +0100
Subject: 17.0761 My Reading of "The Tempest"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0761 My Reading of "The Tempest"

Joe Egert wrote that

 >the gray magus [Prospero] . . . late in the play . . . buries
 >but does not destroy his instruments of power.

I assume that's an allusion to:

    5.1.54  [PROSPERO]  I'll break my staff,
    5.1.55  Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
    5.1.56  And deeper than did ever plummet sound
    5.1.57  I'll drown my book.

This is a promise, not an action, and I don't see textual warrant for 
believing that it is fulfilled.  Drowning a book would probably destroy 
it, and breaking a magic staff would certain destroy it, so if Egert 
thinks the promise is fulfilled then it's hard understand his 
implication that Prospero might later dig up these object to recover 
their power.

Gabriel Egan

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