The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0601 Thursday, 16 October 2008
From: The Independent Eye <
Date: Wednesday, 15 Oct 2008 11:26:15 -0700
Subject: Gonzalo Question
Question on The Tempest. Doing pre-production work and considering excising
Gonzalo's lines on his utopian vision in 2:1.
Any thoughts about this? I like it as literature: It underlines Gonzalo's
volubility, but more than that a kind of sweet wonder. His stated motivation is
to distract Alonso from his grief, but it's a unique portrait of an aged
politician suddenly inspired by the island's magic to come forth with this
vision, even to the extent of denying monarchy in the presence of his monarch.
Seeing the island as a "new world" stands in ironic contrast to the dynamics
that actually play out: the island as a holding bin for everyone's karmic
baggage. Certainly it suggests he's a bit dotty, but dotty in the direction of
an essential goodness -- a texture very different from his cousin Polonius.
But still it seems weakly motivated, extends Sebastian & Antonio's mockery
longer than needed, and retards the scenic action. It's such a singular riff
that I question my instinct for just wanting to get on with things, but with it
the scene seems out of balance.
I'd be most interested in responses from anyone who's produced the play or
specifically remembers this scene from productions you've seen, but all thoughts
Peace & joy-
[<http://www.independenteye.org/news/index.html>for our Tempest weblong]
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