|Robert Browning – Caliban upon setebos
||‘an attack upon such deterministic religious sects as Calvinism, which picture a God who saves or damns human beings, punishes or rewards them, wholly according to whim.’Caliban represents ignorance -The best way to “escape [Setebos’s] ire,” Caliban believes, is to feign misery. He believes that showing Setebos happiness is sure to bring pain down on oneself, and so Caliban only dances “on dark nights,” while he at other times works to look miserable and angry.
|Slyvia Plath – Ariel
||‘it’s both about losing your grip on a horse that is galloping way too fast, and about losing your grip in a more metaphorical way—losing your grip on life itself.’Metaphor for colonialism – at first wild unknown things are frightening and the person in control (the speaker) feels like she needs to change (or educate) them. However, loss of control leads to happiness.
|Ted Hughes: Setebos
||Who could play Miranda? Only you. Ferdinand — onlyme.Describes desperate relationship like Ferdinand and Miranda’s as Hughes and Plath met and their courtship was quick before a hasty marriage. They adored each other, wrote with each other, and were each other’s best critics.The Minotaur is often thought of as a symbol of the human body being led or taken over by animal instinct. The relationship between Hughes and Plath is known to have dissolved quickly near the end with Hughes having an affair with another woman. The Minotaur could symbolize the universal need for another being’s touch that he could not receive from Plath due to her depression and mood swings.Sycorax represents Plath’s mental illness. The tempest then would be representing the storm and destruction of their relationship to come.
|Aldous Huxley – Brave New World
||Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress. Like Caliban, John “the Savage” is an outcast, despised for his appearance. In The Tempest, the island represents the natural order.
|Margaret Atwood – Hag Seed
||With the help of their own interpretations, digital effects, and the talents of a professional actress and choreographer, the Burgess Correctional Players prepare to video their Tempest. Not surprisingly, they view Caliban as the character with whom they have the most in common.
|Marina Warner – Indigo
||The characters of Miranda and Caliban (recreated as Dulé and George/Shaka) are unified in a shared acknowledgement of past colonial wrongs.
|Aimé Césaire – Une Tempête
||The island is somewhere in the Caribbean, Ariel is a mulatto slave rather than a sprite, and Caliban is a black slave. A Tempest focuses on the plight of Ariel and Caliban—the never-ending quest to gain freedom from Prospero and his rule over the island. Ariel, dutiful to Prospero, follows all orders given to him and sincerely believes that Prospero will honor his promise of emancipation. Caliban, on the other hand, slights Prospero at every opportunity: upon entering the first act, Caliban greets Prospero by saying “Uhuru!”, the Swahili word for “freedom.” Prospero complains that Caliban often speaks in his native language which Prospero has forbidden. This prompts Caliban to attempt to claim birthrights to the island, angering Prospero who threatens to whip Caliban. During their argument, Caliban tells Prospero that he no longer wants to be called Caliban, “Call me X. That would be best. Like a man without a name. Or, to be more precise, a man whose name has been stolen.” The allusion to Malcolm X cements the aura of cultural reclamation that serves as the foundational element of A Tempest. Cesaire has also included the character Eshu who in the play is cast as a black devil-god. Calling on the Yoruba mythological traditions of West Africa, Eshu assumes the archetypal role of the trickster and thwarts Prospero’s power and authority during assemblies. Near the end of the play, Prospero sends all the lieutenants off the island to procure a place in Naples for his daughter Miranda and her husband Ferdinand. When the fleet begs him to leave, Prospero refuses and claims that the island cannot stand without him; in the end, only he and Caliban remain. As Prospero continues to assert his hold on the island, Caliban’s freedom song can be heard in the background. Thus, Cesaire leaves his audience to consider the lasting effects of colonialism.
|Edgar Allan Poe – the masque of the red death
||Prince Prospero is a terrible ruler who leaves his subjects to die whilst he holds a party until death. Prospero also abandoned his people for his magic. Both rulers are artistic. Prince Prospero creates a masquerade ball in which he designs everything, down to the costumes of the attendees. Prince Prospero also creates seven rooms which represent an idealized world. They symbolize the whole of human life and Prospero wants those rooms to contain not only life, but also death – which is why there’s a black room. It’s almost like Prospero wants to conquer death with his art.As such, Prince Prospero is outraged when the Red Death shows up. The Red Death’s arrival means that Prospero has lost control of the situation: it is real death, not just imagined death. And that death conquers Prospero, in the very spot where he had hoped to conquer it. In The Tempest, Prospero’s masque is interrupted by the plot of Caliban. Where The Tempest depicts Prospero’s victory over sin, death, and time, Poe’s mythic pattern depicts the triumph of these agents of destruction over man.
|James Henry Nixon – The Tempest
||“Hell is empty, And all the devils are here” However, in the painting, Ferdinand appears to flee from Ariel’s, the “devil’s”, presence rather than trying to escape the waters around him. Ariel’s arms stretch open, controlling the Tempest, but his angelic arms also stretch open toward a cowering Ferdinand, who symbolizes King James’ reasoning for rejecting magic: fear of magic bringing about curiosity far beyond what God has given to humans. Ferdinand cowers from an angelic Ariel, symbolizing King James’ ignorance. Ariel and Ferdinand are also placed on completely opposite sides of the painting, neither in the center; the whirling waters between them symbolizing the separation between the two sides of this argument. On one side of the painting, Ferdinand tries to clamber up the side and become evenly level with Ariel, who levitates higher than Ferdinand. This represents a fear the English society had of the power of the theurgists, highlighting another reason many of the English feared all magic: the society didn’t understand the difference between theurgy and goety in relation to human choice in the magic performed. Ariel represents theurgy, which allows magicians to keep the power of human choice when deciding which magical acts to perform. However, Ferdinand cowers away from the theurgy, assuming it is goety Nixon’s central portrayal of Ariel as an angelic figure suggests Ariel sees himself as a benevolent magician with control over his actions, but the hellish light around him may suggest he feels controlled by the irrational spirits of goety (i.e. Prospero). This internal conflict within Ariel over theurgy and goety in his true nature gives depth to Shakespeare’s largely unexplored portrayal of Ariel.
|George Romney -Emma Hart as Miranda
||“not exactly an actress, just as she was not exactly a prostitute.”Here Miranda looks beseechingly upwards, lips parted, her expression one of concern and pleading as she urges her father to calm the tempestuous seas. In the light of Emma’s subsequent fate, Romney’s decision to paint her as Miranda in the opening act of The Tempest is one of the little ironies of history. In 1786 the impoverished Greville [her lover when she met Romney] dispatched his Miranda to Naples to the care of his elderly uncle Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803), ambassador to the court of Naples. A kindly widower and scholar (an archaeologist and volcanologist), Sir William could easily have been cast in the role of the magician Prospero. He took Emma in, first, as his mistress, later, in September 1791, as his wife. As the wife of the British Minister to Naples during the first decade of the Napoleonic Wars, and as the intimate friend of the Bourbon Queen Caroline, Marie Antoinette’s sister, Lady Hamilton played her part in, and perhaps influenced, the history of Europe. Then, to complete the (imperfect) analogy to the story of The Tempest, Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), like Ferdinand in Shakespeare’s play, sailed into the Bay of Naples and won Emma’s heart. Their love affair, apparently condoned by Sir William, was the talk of Europe and lasted until Nelson’s death at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. By that time Romney, the Caliban of the story, was also dead. There is little doubt that he had always loved Emma but never possessed her. His hundreds of portraits of her, of which Miranda is one of the finest, must, finally, be seen as his way of holding on to this remarkable woman.