15 February 2014
“My View of The Tempest”
William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, one of Shakespeare’s final plays and debat-ably his final play ever written, focused on man’s gluttonous desire for power. Power manifests itself in “The Tempest” in many different ways, including the exploration of the power of betrayal, the universal desire for power between men. The power of a mas-ter over his slave, and the power of magic and illusion. Although this is clear, many in-terpretations over time have changed regarding the theme of power, which has resulted in questions as to whether power in the play is represented as good or bad. Shakespeare pre-sents these forms of power in different ways. Namely, through his character Prospero, who was once the duke of Milan but was betrayed by his brother, Antonio, and Alonso, the king of Naples. Prospero was kidnapped and left to die on a raft at sea, but Prospero and his daughter survive because Gonzalo leaves them supplies and Prospero’s books, which are the source of his magic and power. Prospero and his daughter Miranda arrive on an island where Prospero takes control after the witch dies. Also on the island is the spirit, Ariel, and the witch’s son, Caliban. Prospero appears to hold the majority of the power throughout the play.
But in Julie Taymore’s interpretation of “The Tempest” she takes the lead charac-ter Prospero that was originally a man and in her interoperation Prospero becomes Pros-pera a female. She adds a simple tweak that changes the face of the play. Watching the movie you can’t help to notice the change of gender and how the play makes out. But does the role become weak now that it's being playing played by a female? Or a thought that crossed my mind when Shakespeare was neither working writing this play did he consider whither nor not Prospero should have been Prospera? Another important ques-tion, does the ending of the play leave a lot of unanswered questions?
During the Renaissance era when Shakespeare did his many of his writings and even in his plays males would play both the male and female roles. This brings up the question of was Shakespeare a sexist or was it society’s prospective on things to be the reasons why females were viewed this way in his writings? But looking at Shakespeare work females did play both supporting and central characters. Is this answer the question that Shakespeare might have considered the idea that Julie Taymore used for her interpre-tation of “The Tempest” I think that the switch of roles from the original play in the mov-ie makes a big difference in my view. Reading the original piece I get the imagination of every character other then Miranda and Aerial being a self-center manipulative mescaline male egger for power or control of another. Looking back at the Renaissance era you wouldn’t find any female in power or playing a major role in society that for me was one of the reasons why I couldn’t picture the...