This Islands Mine Appropriating The Tempest The isle
This Islands Mine Appropriating The Tempest The isle is full of noises Kenneth Branagh as Isambard Kingdom Brunel at the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony www.youtube.com/watch?v=4As0e4de-rI&t=0h16m18s Stop! Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill at the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij3sgRG5sPY&t=0h12m51s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij3sgRG5sPY&t=0h15m0s
Look to the light Ian McKellen as Prospero and Nicola Miles-Wildin as Miranda at the 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0etI3Dg6UiY&t=2h59m10s The Tempest in context The Tempest alludes to the shipwreck of the Sea Venture on Bermuda (1609), which resulted in the crew and passengers spending nine months in Bermuda, during which time one faction attempted mutiny: William Stracheys True Reportory of the Wracke, and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates (1610, pub. 1625); Sylvester Jourdains A Discovery of the Barmudas,
otherwise Called the Ile of Devils (1610); Richard Richs Newes from Virginia: The Lost Flock Triumphant (1610). The Tempest in context Shakespeare was writing, of course, during the early stages of Europes colonisation of the Americas and large-scale exploitation Africa. Stephen Greenblatt quotes the Requerimiento (1513), the document drawn up by the Spanish to be read to newly encountered peoples in the New World. These peoples were to be warned that in the instance of any refusal to recognise the king and queen of Spain as their legitimate rulers, [w]e shall take you and your wives and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their Highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals
who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him; and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their Highnesses, or ours, nor of these cavaliers who come with us. (1990: 29) The Tempest in context TRINCULO. Were I in England now, as once I was, and had but this fish painted, not a holiday-fool there but would give a piece of silver. There would this monster make a man. Any strange beast there makes a man. When they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian. (2.2.27-33) When Sir Martin Frobisher sailed to the New World in 1576, he brought back with him a captive, as a sufficient witnesse of the captaines farre and tedious travell towards the unknowen parts of the world, as did
well appeare by this strange infidell, whose like was never seene, read, nor heard of before, and whose language was neither knowen nor understood of any (quoted in Greenblatt 1990: 18). The Tempest in context The Italian historian Peter Martyr dAnghiera wrote in 1516 that: They say there are certeyne wyld men whiche lyue in the caues and dennes of the montaynes, contented onely with wilde fruites. These men neuer vsed the companye of any other: nor wyll by any meanes becoome tame. They lyue without any certaine dwellynge places, and with owte tyllage or culturynge of the grounde, as wee reade of them whiche in oulde tyme lyued in the golden age. They say also that these men are withowte any certaine language. They are sumtymes seene. But owre men haue yet layde handes on none of them.
(quoted in Greenblatt 1990: 22) There is a strong sense that European accounts of colonised peoples were reflecting the fears and desires of the colonising nations. The Tempest in context French philosopher Michel de Montaignes essay Of the Cannibals (c. 1578 and trans. 1603) was about the inhabitants of the New World, especially Brazil: It is a nation that hath no kinde of traffike, no knowledge of Letters, no intelligence of numbers, no name of magistrate, nor of politike superioritie; no use of service, of riches or of povertie; no contracts, no successions, no partitions, no occupation but idle; no respect of kindred, but common, no apparell but naturall, no manuring of lands, no use of wine, corne, or mettle. The very words that import
lying, falshood, treason, dissimulations, covetousnes, envie, detraction, and pardon, were never heard of amongst them. Shakespeare quotes Montaigne directly in Gonzalos description of his Utopian vision for the island The Tempest in context GONZALO. Had I plantation of this isle, my lord  And were the king ont, what would I do?  I th commonwealth I would by contraries Execute all things. For no kind of traffic Would I admit, no name of magistrate; Letters should not be known; riches, poverty, And use of service, none; contract,
succession, Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none; No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil; No occupation; all men idle, all; And women too but innocent and pure; No sovereignty SEBASTIAN. (to Antonio) Yet he would be king ont. ANTONIO. The latter end of his commonwealth forgets the beginning. GONZALO. (to Alonso) All things in common nature should produce Without sweat or endeavour. Treason, felony, Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of
any engine, Would I not have; but nature should bring forth Of its own kind all foison, all abundance, To feed my innocent people. SEBASTIAN. (to Antonio) No marrying mong his subjects? ANTONIO. None, man, all idle: whores and knaves. GONZALO. (to Alonso) I would with such perfection govern, sir, Texcel the Golden Age. (2.1.149-74) Language and empire language is the perfect instrument of empire (Antonio de Nebrija, the bishop of Avila, quoted in Greenblatt 1990: 17)
Greenblatt quotes Samuel Daniel (1599): What worlds in thyet unformed Occident / May come refind with thaccents that are ours? MIRANDA. When thou didst not, savage, Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like A thing most brutish, I endowed thy purposes With words that made them known. But thy vile race, Though thou didst not learn, had that int which good natures Could not abide to be with CALIBAN. You taught me language, and my profit ont Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you For learning me your language! (1.2.357-67) Language and empire Caliban to Stefano in 3.2, on Prospero (moments before the speech quoted at the
start of this lecture): CALIBAN. Remember First to possess his books, for without them Hes but a sot as I am, nor hath not One spirit to command they all do hate him As rootedly as I. (3.2.92-6) Caliban the colonised Caliban = cannibal? Moments before Calibans first appearance: MIRANDA. Tis a villain, sir, I do not love to look on. PROSPERO. But as tis, We cannot miss him. He does make our fire, Fetch in our wood, and serves in offices
That profit us. (1.2.311-15) Caliban the colonised CALIBAN. This islands mine, by Sycorax my mother, Which thou takst from me. When thou camst first, Thou strokst me and made much of me, wouldst give me Water with berries int, and teach me how To name the bigger light, and how the less, That burn by day and night; and then I loved thee, And showed thee all the qualities o th isle, The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile Cursed be I that did so! All the charms Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you; For I am all the subjects that you have, Which first was mine own king, and here you sty me In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me The rest o th island. (1.2.333-46)
Caliban the colonised CALIBAN. (to Stefano) Ill show thee every fertile inch o th island; And I will kiss thy foot. I prithee, be my god. TRINCULO. By this light, a most perfidious and drunken monster! Whens gods asleep, hell rob his bottle. CALIBAN. (to Stefano) Ill kiss thy foot. Ill swear myself thy subject. STEFANO. Come on then; down, and swear. (2.2.147-52) Appropriating The Tempest: The Enchanted Island (1667) William Davenant and John Drydens adaptation, The Tempest, or The Enchanted Island (1667), displaced
Shakespeares play for a century and a half, achieving almost annual revivals over the first few decades of the 18th century. Diana E. Henderson argues that it catered especially to its largely aristocratic Restoration audience, understating the Antonio/Sebastian political plot, and mocking its non-aristocratic characters aspirations in a parody of republicanism: Trinculo and Stephano, joined by Mustacho and Ventoso, quarrel as they attempt to challenge Prosperos regime of power, thus deflating the pretensions of less elevated citizens to wield social authority. (2003: 220) Appropriating The Tempest: The Enchanted Island (1667) Michael Dobson, meanwhile, sees the adaptation as an
attempt to address the issue of power primarily in terms of patriarchal authority within the family: The Enchanted Island sets out to prove, in a manner half way between that of a court masque and a Royal Society experiment, that patriarchal authority can be rationally deduced from nature. (1991: 99-100) MIRANDA. shortly we may chance to see that thing, Which you have heard my Father call, a Man. DORINDA. But what is that? for yet he never told me. MIRANDA. I know no more than you: but I have heard My Father say we Women were made for him.  Th effect of his great Art I long to see, Which will perform as much as Magick can. DORINDA. And I, methinks, more long to see a Man. Appropriating The Tempest:
The Enchanted Island (1667) So thoroughgoing is The Enchanted Island in its emphasis on gender that it virtually occludes Caliban altogether (Dobson 1991: 101) The Enchanted Island was itself revised into an opera by Thomas Shadwell in 1674, and a parodic version by Thomas Duffett called The Mock-Tempest (1674), which transferred the action to Bridewell prison: PROSPERO. Miranda, you must now leave this Tom-rigging, and learn to behave yourself with a grandeur and state, befitting your illustrious birth and quality. Thy father, Miranda, was 50 years ago a man of great power, Duke of my Lord Mayors dogkennel. MIRANDA. O lo, why Father, Father, are not I Miranda Whiffe, sooth, and arnt you Prospero Whiffe, sooth, Keeper of Bridewell, my Father? 18th century political Tempests
In the 18th century, argues Jonathan Bate, The Tempest became a frequent point of reference for political satirists: The enclosed Enchanted Island, potentially a Utopia but harbouring a rebellious faction consisting of a monster and two upstart drunkards, becomes a favourite image of England or of the realm of high politics. (1989: 6-7) David Taylor explores some of these in his article The Disenchanted Island (2012) William Dents Reynards Hope, A Scene in the Tempest (1784) This cartoon depicts
Whig leader Charles James Fox as Stefano; the Prince of Wales as Trinculo; and the recently deposed prime minister Lord North as Caliban. PRINCE. Give me dear woman and give me good wine And you may govern all things else as thine. FOX. Taffy when the Islands ours my brave Boy I Ill be King and you shall be Viceroy.
NORTH. My Jove, Ill lick your shoes & obey your nod, And his, for sure hes 18th century political Tempests Taylor explains: Dents casting of Fox as Stephano indexes his political position. From their beginnings as a party in the 1670s, the Whigs cohered around a determination to limit the power of the crown and assert the authority of Parliament  The influence of the Crown was, Fox had exclaimed to the House of Commons in 1781, the one grand domestic evil, from which all our other evils, foreign and domestic, had sprung. For his supporters, such rhetoric made Fox the man of the people ; for his detractors, it
suggested Foxs hubristic determination to appropriate the powers of the crown for Parliament and himself. (2012: 497) In Isaac Cruikshanks Prospero and Caliban in the Enchanted Island (1798), argues Taylor, The Tempest is no longer appropriated as a narrative of rebellion; rather, it offers, in the shape of Caliban, a syntax of Prospero on the Enchanted Island (1798) The need for a national poet in times of revolution and imperial war would create new associations for Shakespeare, and
would lead to new perceptions of The Tempest. In political engravings from the 1790s, when Britain feared the consequences of the French Revolution and Napoleons rise, The Enchanted Island was no longer a utopian fairyland or even a place for comic jabs at social upstarts; it became a label for Caliban by the Yellow
Sands (1916) Percy MacKayes Caliban by the Yellow Sands was performed at Lewisohn Stadium, New York, in 1916, for the tercentenary anniversary of Shakespeares death. Henderson reports that it was performed for crowds of 135,000 people over ten nights (2003: 224). According to Brinda Charry, the masque tried to demonstrate how Caliban, through education and exposure to the gifts of Western civilization, fights against his lust and barbarism  and becomes
civilized, like Prospero and Miranda (2013: 152). Caliban by the Yellow Sands (1916) Caliban, explains Henderson, is educated by Prospero through the process of watching scenes from Western history and drama, especially the works of Shakespeare. However, he repeatedly backslides into lust and violence as when riled by the Once more unto the breach speech from Henry V and must be humbled into penitence (2003: 225).
Caliban by the Yellow Sands was, Henderson notes, performed the very spring that Woodrow Wilson was being pushed vigorously towards war with Germany (2003: 225-6). Postcolonial Tempests Octave Mannonis Prospero and Caliban: The Psychology of Colonization (1950, trans. 1956) was enormously influential in applying the play to a psychological study of the coloniser and the colonised. The book influenced, for example, Jonathan Millers 1970 production of the play for the Mermaid Theatre, in which black actors were cast as both Ariel and Caliban (Norman Beaton and Rudolph Walker respectively). The production concluded with Walkers Caliban
furiously shaking his fist at the departing colonisers, and Beatons fly-whisk-carrying Ariel quietly repairing Prosperos broken staff. Une tempte (1969) Martiniquan writer Aim Csaires Une tempte (A Tempest) was performed in Tunisia in 1969. Csaire is especially inspired by Negritude, a political movement whose aim was to create a global black identity based on origins in the African continent and pride in black heritage.  the central conflict is between Prospero and a black Caliban, who is definitely
the heroic centre of the piece and cast as the oppressed but defiant slave and colonial subject. (Charry 2013: 156) Une tempte (1969) Calibans entrance: PROSPERO. (Calling) Caliban! Caliban! (He sighs.) Enter CALIBAN. CALIBAN. Uhuru! PROSPERO. What did you say? CALIBAN. I said, Uhuru! PROSPERO. Mumbling your native language again! Ive already told you, I dont like it.
[Note: Uhuru means freedom in Swahili] Une tempte (1969) Csaire himself says of the play: I was trying to de-mythify the tale. To me Prospero is the complete totalitarian. I am always surprised when others consider him the wise man who forgives. What is most obvious, even in Shakespeares version, is the mans absolute will to power. Prospero is the man of cold reason, the man of methodical conquest in other words, a portrait of the enlightened European.  Caliban is the man who is still close to his beginnings, whose link with the natural world has not yet been broken. Caliban can still participate in a world of marvels, whereas his master can merely create them through his acquired
knowledge. (quoted in Nixon 1987: 571) Une tempte (1969) As Rob Nixon notes, Csaires Caliban christens himself X in a Black Muslim gesture that commemorates his lost name, buried beneath layers of colonial culture: The play supposes, in sum, that Caribbean colonial subjects can best fortify their revolt by reviving, wherever possible, cultural forms dating back to before that wracking sea-change which was the Middle Passage. (1987: 572) Une tempte (1969) from Calibans perspective Ariel is a colonial collaborator, a political and cultural sellout who,
aspiring both to rid himself nonviolently of Prospero and to emulate his values, is reduced to negotiating for liberty from a position of powerlessness. (Nixon 1987: 573) ARIEL. I dont believe in violence. CALIBAN. What do you believe in, then? In cowardice? In giving up? In kneeling and groveling? Thats it, someone strikes you on the right cheek and you offer the left. Une tempte (1969) In semi-darkness Prospero appears, aged and weary. His gestures are stiff and automatic, his speech weak and listless. PROSPERO. Funny, for some time now, weve been invaded by opossums. Theyre everywhere Peccaries, wild boar, all those unclean beasts! But, above all, opossums. Oh, those eyes! And that hideous leer! Youd swear the jungle wanted to invade the cave
But Ill defend myself... I will not let my work perish... (Roaring) I will defend civilization! (He fires in all directions.) Theyve got what was coming to them Now, this way, Ill have some peace for a blessed while But its cold Funny, the climates changed Cold on this island Have to think about making a fire Ah well, my old Caliban, were the only two left on this island, just you and me. You and me! You-me! Me-you! But what the hells he up to? (Roaring) Caliban! In the distance, above the sound of the surf and the mewing of birds, snatches of Calibans song can be heard. LIBERTY, OH-AY! LIBERTY! The Tempest and gender H. D.s (Hilda Doolittles) poem The Tempest in By Avon River (1949):
I came home driven by The Tempest; That was after the wedding-feast; Twas a sweet marriage, we are told; And she a paragon who is now queen, And the rarest that eer came there; We know little of the kings fair daughter Claribel; her father was Alonso, King of Naples, her brother Ferdinand, And we read later, in a voyage Did Claribel her husband find at Tunis: Claribel was outside all of this, The Tempest came after they left her; Read for yourself, Dramatis Personae.  Read through again, Dramatis Personae;
She is not there at all, but Claribel, Claribel, the birds shrill, Claribel, Claribel echoes from the rainbow-shell I stooped just now to gather from the sand. The Tempest and gender James R. Andreas cites Gloria Naylors novel Mama Day (1988) as one of the most thoroughgoing interrogations of Shakespeares highly patriarchal text: Mama Day systematically turns The Tempest upside down, putting women on top and immigrant Natives fully in charge of the island. It displaces Prospero with the character of Miranda, a Black witch who
converts patriarchy to matriarchy The novel both feminizes and negrifies the patriarchal story line of the play, replacing European characters with an entirely African American cast and restoring the power over reproduction usurped by Prospero to its proper source, women. (Andreas 1999: 106) Andreass essay describes the intertextual approach exemplified by Naylors work as signifying: To signify in African and African American cultures is to improvise on a given topos, narrative, or joke the way a jazz musician improvises on a progression of chords, melodic structure, or spontaneous riff in the previous musicians solo The function of signifying, like jazz improvisation, is never to replicate or even simulate, but to complicate, explicate, and recreate. (Andreas 1999: 107) Appropriating The Tempest
Terence Hawkes concludes his book That Shakespeherian Rag with the suggestion that the Shakespearean text, like jazz music, provides a site for conflicting and often contradictory potential interpretations, no one or group of which can claim intrinsic primacy or inherent authority (1986: 117): For the jazz musician, the text of a melody is a means, not an end. Interpretation in that context is not parasitic but symbiotic in its relationship with its object. Its role is not limited to the service, or the revelation, or the celebration of the authors/composers art. Quite the reverse: interpretation constitutes the art of the jazz musician. (1986: 1178) It is an analogy which has been picked up in Shakespearean scholarship more recently by Andrew James Hartley: authentic Shakespeare is impossible, he argues, because theatre, like jazz, authorizes itself (2005: 61).
Which Shakespeare? Which Tempest? Which Shakespeare? Which Tempest? Gary Taylor concludes his study Reinventing Shakespeare by comparing Shakespeare with a black hole: Shakespeare himself no longer transmits visible light; his stellar energies have been trapped within the gravity well of his own reputation. We find in Shakespeare only what we bring to him or what others have left behind; he gives us back our own values. And it is no use pretending that some uniquely clever, honest, and disciplined critic can find a technique, an angle, that will enable us to lead a mass escape from this trap. (1990: 411)
As Terence Hawkes put it rather more succinctly: Shakespeare doesnt mean: we mean by Shakespeare. (1992: 3) References Andreas, James R. (1999) Signifin on The Tempest in Gloria Naylors Mama Day, in Christy Desmet & Robert Sawyer [eds] Shakespeare and Appropriation, London & New York: Routledge, 103-118. Bate, Jonathan (1989) Shakespearean Constitutions: Politics, Theatre, Criticism, 17301830, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Charry, Brinda (2013) The Tempest: Language and Writing, London: Bloomsbury / Arden Shakespeare. Dobson, Michael (1991) Remember/First to Possess his Books: The Appropriation of The Tempest, 1700-1800, Shakespeare Survey 43, pp. 99-108 Greenblatt, Stephen (1990) Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture, New York & London: Routledge.
Hartley, Andrew James (2005) The Shakespearean Dramaturg: A Theoretical and Practical Guide, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. References Hawkes, Terence (1986) That Shakespeherian Rag, London & New York: Methuen. Hawkes, Terence (1992) Meaning by Shakespeare, London & New York: Routledge. Henderson, Diana E. (2003) The Tempest in Performance, in Richard Dutton & Jean E. Howard [eds] A Companion to Shakespeares Works, Volume IV: The Poems, Problem Comedies, Late Plays, Oxford: Blackwell, 216-39. Nixon, Rob (1987) Caribbean and African Appropriations of The Tempest, Critical Inquiry, 13: 3, 557-578. Taylor, David Francis (2012) The Disenchanted Island: A Political History of The Tempest, 1760-1830, Shakespeare Quarterly, 63: 4, 487-517. Taylor, Gary (1990) Reinventing Shakespeare: A Cultural History from
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