The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0601  Thursday, 16 October 2008

From:       The Independent Eye <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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 
are welcome.

Peace & joy-
Conrad B.

  [<http://www.independenteye.org/news/index.html>for our Tempest weblong]

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