Critical Interpretation - The Tempest Flashcards Preview

English A2 > Critical Interpretation - The Tempest > Flashcards

Flashcards in Critical Interpretation - The Tempest Deck (21):

Deborah Willis - Colonialism, Caliban as a monster [1]

- the presentation of Caliban as a monster; as "the threatening 'Other' is used by colonial power to display its own godliness and to justify the colonial project morally"


Anna Larson - Prospero is superior

- "Prospero's arrival upon the island heralds a civilising society of a far higher order than already exists there. This superiority is conveyed through Prospero's controlling art"


Anna Larson - Caliban can't be civilised v. Caliban is intelligent, Trinculo, Stephano

- "we might be forced to conclude that his nature is beyond regeneration by civilising processes and that the civilising process is infinitely slow"

- "Caliban proves himself continually more intelligent than Trinculo and Stephano. It is significantly when he learns the ways of men and takes to the bottle that he seems diminished"


Anna Larson - Antonio is immoral

- "Antonio's total lack of values is backed by a blatant cynicism about virtue and status. In comparison, Caliban's seems less corruptible "


Anna Larson - Shakespeare

- "What he communicates is a marvellous recognition of the potentialities of human civilisation - its art, its orderliness, its intelligence"

- renaissance
- new theatre
- exploration in science


Diana Devlin - Caliban is intelligent [7]

- "Ariel embodies the elements of air and fire and is called 'fine apparition', but caliban is called 'earth', 'tortoise', and 'hag-seed'"

- "Caliban sees himself as a man, but he is so unlike those from Italy that his humanity is ambiguous to them"

- "Caliban's receptiveness to the island expresses a spirituality which raises him above base humanity"

- "In Caliban, Shakespeare depicts, with almost prophetic insight, the white man's attitude to indigenous populations: the change from kindness to oppression"

- "We might interpret this rudimentary education as a symbolic release from the imprisonment of ignorance"

- "in the character of Caliban we see illustrated the beginning of social awareness, the first gropings towards an understanding of relationship"


Andrew Green - Prospero, performance and magic [3]

- "The widely varied nature of these sounds and music reflects the changeable and often contradictory nature of Prospero, the ruler of the island, and his domain"

- the characters are in effect, as Andrew Green suggests, "performers in Prospero's composition"
("Throughout the play Prospero uses his powers to control the characters he brings onto the island, making them, in effect, performers within his composition")

- through magic and the control of characters, "Prospero takes on an almost sadistic quality"


(find essays)

'Ferdinand' by If an Meredith
'Caliban' by Charles A. Buchel
'Trinculo, Stephano and Calibna' by John Gilbert
'Prospero, Miranda and Caliban' from C and M. Lamb
'The Wreck of the Sea Venture off Bermuda in 1609' Christopher Grimes


Matt Simpson [2] - Love (F+M)

- Matt Simpson questions whether the love between Ferdinand and Miranda is true love

- "their love is of course being made available to us through art, which teasingly requires us to wonder whether it is possible in real life."

Q - "The fringed curtains of thine eye advance"


Saunders - Utopianism, Gonzalo, Antonio and Sebastian [3]

- "Gonzalo's dream contrasts with the power-obsessed ideas of most of the other characters, including Prospero. He would do away with the very master-servant motif that lies at the heart of The Tempest"

Q - "No sovereignty"

- "Antonio and Sebastian use their verbal wit to cover up their darker and more wicked impulses"

Q - "you may thank yourself for this great loss, / That would not bless our Europe with your daughter / But rather lose her to an African"

- "The absurdly aggressive behaviour of Antonio and Sebastian makes Prospero's exercise of power seem necessary"

Q - "My strong imagination sees a crown / Dropping upon thy head"


Thomas McFarland - Pastoral and Prospero [2]

- he views The Tempest as an affirmation of pastoral values that combines Christian and pastoral perspectives.

- The critic maintains that Prospero is a godlike figure who presides over a golden world, a place of social harmony where evil is defeated

F - "So rare a wondered father and a wife/makes this place Paradise"


Kevin Pask - Anti-Pastoral Reading [1]

- Pask argues that a number of Prospero's actions in The Tempest are incongruous (not in harmony) with the values of the pastoral genre

Q - "graves at my command / Have waked their sleepers"
Q - "Sometime / Am I all wound with adders, who with cloven tongues / Do hiss me into madness"

- (The most prominent of these, the critic claims, are Prospero's masterminding of the marriage of Ferdinand and Miranda to serve imperialist aims and the denial of Caliban's claim to the sovereignty of the island through his mother Sycorax)


Frank Kermode - Miranda and Prospero [2]

- he contrasts Miranda and Ferdinand as possessing nobility and Caliban as without it. He says "the play opposes civilised and sophisticated values with 'primitive' existence"

Q - "Some kinds of baseness are nobly undergone"

- "Miranda is inexperienced, but not naive, educated but more candid than another young might be [...] she emphasises her chastity as her father would wish, but declares her love"

Q - "Do you love me?"
Q - "The jewel in my dower"

- "Prospero's arts are not only a beneficent magic in contrast to an evil one [...] it is the means of Grace"


Ania Loomba - Prospero [1]

- "Prospero's takeover is both racial plunder (steal using force) and a transfer to patriarchy"

- transfer to western ideals, 17th century society


Hazlitt - Caliban is noble [1]

- "Caliban's deformity whether of body or of mind is redeemed by the power and truth of the imagination displayed in it"

Q - "Debauched fish"
Q - "The isle is full of noises, sounds and sweet airs..."


Jonathan Miller - Caliban is mistreated [1]

- "Caliban is demoralised, detribalised, dispossessed"

demoralised: made to lose confident or hope
detribalised: stripped from his cultural tribal traditions
dispossessed: deprived of his land, property and possession

Q - "this island is mine, by Sycorax my mother, / Which thou tak'st from me"
Q - "Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil himself"
Q - "You taught me language and my profit on't / Is, I know how to curse"


Keith Sagar - Prospero is good [1]

- "Prospero is a god-like being, totally in control of himself and everyone else which was for centuries the traditional and orthodox reading of the play."

Q - "Now does my project gather to a head. / My charms crack not, my spirits obey, and Time / Goes upright with his carriage"
Q - "My charms I'll break, their senses I'll restore"


Anthony Harris - Prospero is evil [1]

"prospero's magical practices, however elevated they might appear, are in the final analysis as damnable as the blackest witchcraft"

Q - "graves at my command / Have waked their sleepers"
Q - "Sometime / Am I all wound with adders, who with cloven tongues / Do hiss me into madness"


Coleridge - Caliban is noble [1]

- deems Caliban as a noble being
- morally and spiritually good

Q - "be not afeared..."


Some critics ague that Caliban...

...expresses a natural desire to be servile

Q - "I'll kiss thy foot [...] Prithee be my god"
Q - "I'll be wise hereafter / And seek for grace"


Madeleine Doran - Prospero is moral [1]

- she maintains that the play is about "Prospero's discovery of his own ethic of forgiveness, and renunciation (rejection) of his magical powers"

Q - "this rough magic I here abjure"
Q - "I'll break my staff, / Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, / And deeper than did ever plummet sound / I'll drown my book"