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Shakespeare's writing style

Caliban warns Stefano that he must possess what before killing Prospero?

❶Let me lick thy shoe. Although The Tempest provides the first masque within a play, the idea of a play within a play had occurred in earlier works, such as Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing.

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Iambic Pentameter, Prose
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The rhymed five-stress iambic couplet was one of the conventional verse forms for Masques, and as such it is employed in the 54 lines of dialogue between Iris, Ceres, and Juno.

In these Masque couplets, Shakespeare shows a marked tendency to run-on lines. This use of rhyme, contingent on special reasons for its introduction, has no weight in determining the date of the play by application of the rhyme test.

Like the scrolls within the caskets in The Merchant of Venice and the speeches of the Weird Sisters in Macbeth the Epilogue in The Tempest has as its dominant measure four-stress tetrameter trochaic verse catalectic, varied by the introduction of normal four-stress iambic lines see note, Epilogue.

Ariel's snatch sung in Gonzalo's ear, II, i, , is also in four-stress trochaic verse with tail lines of two-stress iambic. His similar snatch, IV, i, , begins with iambic verse and passes into trochaic. The songs of Juno and Ceres within the Masque are in four-stress trochaic verse.

Unrhymed, this is the measure of Longfellow's Hiawatha. Starting out with a rollicking four-stress amphibrachic line catalectic, Stephano's sailor song, II, ii, , passes into irregular iambic verse, but the amphibrachic rhythm is recaptured towards the climax of the stanza.

In the first two songs sung by Ariel, "Come unto these yellow sands," I, ii, , and "Full fathom five thy father lies," I, ii, , the rare melodic effect is gained in great measure by the alternation of iambic and trochaic lines.

In "Where the bee sucks, there suck I," V, i, 88, the verse is trochaic, changing to a rapid dactylic movement in the last two lines: Merrily, merrily shall I live now Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

PROSE In the development of the English drama the use of prose as a vehicle of expression entided to equal rights with verse was due to Lyly. He was the first to use prose with power and distinction in original plays, and did memorable service in preparing the way for Shakespeare's achievement. Interesting attempts have been made to explain Shakespeare's distinctive use of verse and prose; and of recent years there has been much discussion of the question whether we are justified in supposing that Shakespeare was guided by any fixed principle in his employment of verse and prose, or whether he merely employed them, as fancy suggested, for the sake of variety and relief.

It is a significant fact that in many of his earlier plays there is little or no prose, and that the proportion of prose to blank verse increases with the decrease of rhyme. In the later plays five distinct varieties of prose may be distingushed: All the prose of The Tempest may be regarded as belonging to only the first of these varieties, but no other play illustrates more clearly some of the principles which underlie Shakespeare's transition from prose to verse and from verse to prose.

The greater part of the dialogue in I, i, is naturally in prose, but at line 46, "where all is lost, and tragedy begins, blank verse also begins. In II, i, the first speech is that in which Gonzalo comforts Alonso, and it is in blank verse; then follows the humorous dialogue between Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo which is in prose; the transition to blank verse occurs when Alonso tells how the reference to his daughter's wedding recalls him to a sense of his bereavement.

The good-natured banter which succeeds Gonzalo's description of his commonwealth is in prose, but when the "strange drowsiness possesses" all except Antonio and Sebastian, and they fall to plotting the murder of Alonso, the dialogue changes to blank verse.

Stephano and Trinculo always talk in prose; Caliban, who belongs to the poetry of the play, speaks in verse see note, II, ii, The Tempest has only one female character, Miranda. Other women, such as Caliban's mother Sycorax , Miranda's mother and Alonso's daughter Claribel, are only mentioned. Because of the small role women play in the story in comparison to other Shakespeare plays, The Tempest has attracted much feminist criticism.

Miranda is typically viewed as being completely deprived of freedom by her father. Her only duty in his eyes is to remain chaste. Ann Thompson argues that Miranda, in a manner typical of women in a colonial atmosphere, has completely internalised the patriarchal order of things, thinking of herself as subordinate to her father.

The less-prominent women mentioned in the play are subordinated as well, as they are only described through the men of the play. Most of what is said about Sycorax, for example, is said by Prospero. Further, Stephen Orgel notes that Prospero has never met Sycorax — all he learned about her he learned from Ariel.

According to Orgel, Prospero's suspicion of women makes him an unreliable source of information. Orgel suggests that he is sceptical of female virtue in general, citing his ambiguous remark about his wife's fidelity.

The play was one of the six Shakespearean plays and eight others for a total of 14 acted at court during the winter of —13 as part of the festivities surrounding the marriage of Princess Elizabeth with Frederick V , the Elector of the Palatinate of the Rhine.

Adaptations of the play, not Shakespeare's original, dominated the performance history of The Tempest from the English Restoration until the midth century. Upon the restoration of the monarchy in , two patent companies —the King's Company and the Duke's Company —were established, and the existing theatrical repertoire divided between them.

They tried to appeal to upper-class audiences by emphasising royalist political and social ideals: Miranda has a sister, named Dorinda; and Caliban a sister, also named Sycorax. In , Thomas Shadwell re-adapted Dryden and Davenant as an opera of the same name, usually meaning a play with sections that were to be sung or danced. Samuel Pepys , for example, described it as "an old play of Shakespeares" [40] in his diary.

The opera was extremely popular, and "full of so good variety, that I cannot be more pleased almost in a comedy" [40] according to Pepys. Eckhard Auberlen describes him as "reduced to the status of a Polonius -like overbusy father, intent on protecting the chastity of his two sexually naive daughters while planning advantageous dynastic marriages for them. It opened with what appeared to be a tempest, but turns out to be a riot in a brothel.

Ariel was—with two exceptions—played by a woman, and invariably by a graceful dancer and superb singer. Caliban was a comedian's role, played by actors "known for their awkward figures".

In , David Garrick staged another operatic version, a "three-act extravaganza" with music by John Christopher Smith. The Tempest was one of the staples of the repertoire of Romantic Era theatres. John Philip Kemble produced an acting version which was closer to Shakespeare's original, but nevertheless retained Dorinda and Hippolito.

Kemble's Dorinda and Miranda, for example, were played "in white ornamented with spotted furs". In , a year after the debut of his operatic version, David Garrick produced a heavily cut performance of Shakespeare's script at Drury Lane , and it was revived, profitably, throughout the century.

It was not until William Charles Macready 's influential production in that Shakespeare's text established its primacy over the adapted and operatic versions which had been popular for most of the previous two centuries.

The performance was particularly admired for George Bennett 's performance as Caliban; it was described by Patrick MacDonnell—in his An Essay on the Play of The Tempest published in —as "maintaining in his mind, a strong resistance to that tyranny, which held him in the thraldom of slavery". The Victorian era marked the height of the movement which would later be described as "pictorial": Hans Christian Andersen also saw this production and described Ariel as "isolated by the electric ray", referring to the effect of a carbon arc lamp directed at the actress playing the role.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Caliban, not Prospero, was perceived as the star act of The Tempest , and was the role which the actor-managers chose for themselves. Frank Benson researched the role by viewing monkeys and baboons at the zoo; on stage, he hung upside-down from a tree and gibbered.

Continuing the lateth-century tradition, in Herbert Beerbohm Tree wore fur and seaweed to play Caliban , with waist-length hair and apelike bearing, suggestive of a primitive part-animal part-human stage of evolution.

John Gielgud played Prospero numerous times, and is, according to Douglas Brode, "universally heralded as … [the 20th] century's greatest stage Prospero". Peter Brook directed an experimental production at the Round House in , in which the text was "almost wholly abandoned" in favour of mime. In spite of the existing tradition of a black actor playing Caliban opposite a white Prospero, colonial interpretations of the play did not find their way onto the stage until the s.

Miller's production was described, by David Hirst, as depicting "the tragic and inevitable disintegration of a more primitive culture as the result of European invasion and colonisation". This used a mixed cast made up of white actors as the humans and black actors playing the spirits and creatures of the island.

According to Michael Billington , "von Sydow's Prospero became a white overlord manipulating a mutinous black Caliban and a collaborative Ariel keenly mimicking the gestures of the island's invaders. The colonial metaphor was pushed through to its logical conclusion so that finally Ariel gathered up the pieces of Prospero's abandoned staff and, watched by awe-struck tribesmen, fitted them back together to hold his wand of office aloft before an immobilised Caliban.

The Tempest suddenly acquired a new political dimension unforeseen by Shakespeare. Psychoanalytic interpretations have proved more difficult to depict on stage.

However neither was regarded as wholly successful: Shakespeare Quarterly , reviewing Freedman's production, commented, "Mr. Freedman did nothing on stage to make such a notion clear to any audience that had not heard of it before. In , John Wood played Prospero for the RSC , emphasising the character's human complexity, in a performance a reviewer described as "a demented stage manager on a theatrical island suspended between smouldering rage at his usurpation and unbridled glee at his alternative ethereal power".

Japanese theatre styles have been applied to The Tempest. It was staged as a rehearsal of a Noh drama, with a traditional Noh theatre at the back of the stage, but also using elements which were at odds with Noh conventions. Controversially, in the early performances of the run, Ariel spat at Prospero, once granted his freedom.

Wolfe in the outdoor New York Shakespeare Festival production of , where the casting of Aunjanue Ellis as Ariel opposite Patrick Stewart 's Prospero charged the production with erotic tensions.

The Tempest was performed at the Globe Theatre in with Vanessa Redgrave as Prospero, playing the role as neither male nor female, but with "authority, humanity and humour The performance was in collaboration with The Imaginarium and Intel , and featured "some gorgeous [and] some interesting" [79] use of light, special effects, and set design.

The Tempest has more music than any other Shakespeare play, and has proved more popular as a subject for composers than most of Shakespeare's plays. Scholar Julie Sanders ascribes this to the "perceived 'musicality' or lyricism" of the play.

Two settings of songs from The Tempest which may have been used in performances during Shakespeare's lifetime have survived. The Tempest has also influenced songs written in the folk and hippie traditions: At least forty-six operas or semi-operas based on The Tempest exist.

In Act 3, a psychoanalyst, Mangus, pretends to be Prospero and uses situations from Shakespeare's play in his therapy sessions. This opera is unique in that the three vocalists, a soprano , contralto , and tenor , are voices rather than individual characters, with the tenor just as likely as the soprano to sing Miranda, or all three sing as one character.

There is an instrumental alter ego cello also for Prospero. Ballet sequences have been used in many performances of the play since Restoration times. Ludwig van Beethoven 's Piano Sonata No. But this story comes from his associate Anton Schindler , who is often not trustworthy. Stage musicals derived from The Tempest have been produced.

A production called The Tempest: Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the earliest poets to be influenced by The Tempest. The poem uses simple diction to convey Ariel's closeness to nature and "imitates the straightforward beauty of Shakespeare's original songs".

One writer who explored these ideas was Robert Browning , whose poem " Caliban upon Setebos " sets Shakespeare's character pondering theological and philosophical questions.

Sequel to The Tempest , in This features a female Ariel who follows Prospero back to Milan, and a Caliban who leads a coup against Prospero, after the success of which he actively imitates his former master's virtues. Auden 's "long poem" The Sea and the Mirror takes the form of a reflection by each of the supporting characters of The Tempest on their experiences.

The poem takes a Freudian viewpoint, seeing Caliban whose lengthy contribution is a prose poem as Prospero's libido. From the midth century, Shakespeare's plays, including The Tempest , began to appear as the subject of paintings. In the late 19th century, artists tended to depict Caliban as a Darwinian "missing-link", with fish-like or ape-like features, as evidenced in Noel Paton 's Caliban.

The work attempted to translate the contents of the plays into pictorial form. This extended not just to the action, but also to images and metaphors: Gonzalo's line about "mountaineers dewlapped like bulls" is illustrated with a picture of a Swiss peasant with a goitre. The illustrations highlight the fairy-tale quality of the play, avoiding its dark side.

Of the 40, only 12 are direct depictions of the action of the play: Fantasy writer Neil Gaiman based a story on the play in one issue of his comics series The Sandman. The comic stands as a sequel to the earlier Midsummer Night's Dream issue.

This issue follows Shakespeare over a period of several months as he writes the play, which is named as his last solo project, as the final part of his bargain with the Dream King to write two plays celebrating dreams. The story draws many parallels between the characters and events in the play and Shakespeare's life and family relationships at the time. The Tempest first appeared on the screen in In , Percy Stowe directed a Tempest running a little over ten minutes, which is now a part of the British Film Institute 's compilation Silent Shakespeare.

Much of its action takes place on Prospero's island before the storm which opens Shakespeare's play. At least two other silent versions, one from by Edwin Thanhouser , are known to have existed, but have been lost.

Wellman , in The science fiction film Forbidden Planet set the story on a planet in space, Altair IV, instead of an island. Professor Morbius and his daughter Altaira Anne Francis are the Prospero and Miranda figures both Prospero and Morbius having harnessed the mighty forces that inhabit their new homes.

Ariel is represented by the helpful Robby the Robot , while Sycorax is replaced with the powerful race of the Krell. Caliban is represented by the dangerous and invisible "monster from the id", a projection of Morbius' psyche born from the Krell technology instead of Sycorax's womb.

In the opinion of Douglas Brode, there has only been one screen "performance" of The Tempest since the silent era, he describes all other versions as "variations". It cut the play to slightly less than ninety minutes. A episode of the television series Star Trek , " Requiem for Methuselah ", again set the story in space on the apparently deserted planet Holberg G. In , Derek Jarman produced a homoerotic Tempest that used Shakespeare's language, but was most notable for its deviations from Shakespeare.

The film reaches its climax with Elisabeth Welch belting out Stormy Weather. Several other television versions of the play have been broadcast; among the most notable is the BBC Shakespeare production, virtually complete, starring Michael Hordern as Prospero. Paul Mazursky 's modern-language adaptation of The Tempest , with Philip Dimitrius Prospero as a disillusioned New York architect who retreats to a lonely Greek island with his daughter Miranda after learning of his wife Antonia's infidelity with Alonzo, dealt frankly with the sexual tensions of the characters' isolated existence.

The Caliban character, the goatherd Kalibanos, asks Philip which of them is going to have sex with Miranda. Susan Sarandon plays the Ariel character, Philip's frequently bored girlfriend Aretha. The film has been criticised as "overlong and rambling", but also praised for its good humour, especially in a sequence in which Kalibanos' and his goats dance to Kander and Ebb 's New York, New York.

John Gielgud has written that playing Prospero in a film of The Tempest was his life's ambition. John Simon called it "contemptible and pretentious". Closer to the spirit of Shakespeare's original, in the view of critics such as Brode, is Leon Garfield 's abridgement of the play for S4C 's Shakespeare: The Animated Tales series. The minute production, directed by Stanislav Sokolov and featuring Timothy West as the voice of Prospero, used stop-motion puppets to capture the fairy-tale quality of the play.

A magician who has learned his art from one of his slaves, Prosper uses his magic to protect his teenage daughter and to assist the Union Army.

Tiny crustacean creatures collected from Bermuda were named Quadrimaera ariel , Quadrimaera caliban , Quadrimaera ceres and Quadrimaera miranda , after characters in The Tempest , because the play was inspired by a shipwreck on Bermuda in the 16th century. Under their referencing system, 4. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Shakespeare play. For other uses, see The Tempest disambiguation. Prospero —the rightful Duke of Milan Miranda —Prospero's daughter Ariel —a sprite in service to Prospero Caliban —Sycorax's son, now in service to Prospero Sycorax —an Algerian sorceress, now dead Alonso—the King of Naples Sebastian—Alonso's brother Antonio—Prospero's brother, usurper Duke of Milan Ferdinand —Alonso's son Gonzalo —a kindly Neapolitan courtier Adrian—a lord serving under Alonso Francisco—a lord serving under Alonso Trinculo—the King's jester and friend of Stephano Stephano —the King's drunken butler and friend of Trinculo Juno —the chief Roman goddess Ceres —Roman goddess of agriculture Iris —Greek goddess of the sea and sky Master—master of the boat carrying Alonso and his court Boatswain—servant of the master.

Studies in English Literary Culture, — Avery, Susan 1 May Retrieved 22 February Billington, Michael 1 January The New York Times. Retrieved 20 December Blades, James; Holland, James In Sadie, Stanley; Tyrrell, John. Shakespeare in the Movies: From the Silent Era to Today. Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare. Routledge and Kegan Paul. National Council of Teachers of English.

University of Wisconsin Press. Chambers, Edmund Kerchever A Study of Facts and Problems. A Guide to the Play. Coveney, Michael 11 August Ferociously intelligent actor who reigned supreme in Stoppard and Shakespeare".

Cowdrey, Katherine 23 February In Wells, Stanley; Stanton, Sarah. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage. The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation and Authorship, — Petty Treason and the Forms of Domestic Rebellion". Johns Hopkins University Press. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film. A Life in Letters. A Shakespeare Companion — Hitchings, Henry 18 November Theatre's traditional virtues endure in tech-heavy show". Arthur Sullivan — A Victorian Musician.

Jordison, Sam 24 April The Works of Ralph Vaughan Williams. Kermode, Frank , ed. The Arden Shakespeare , second series. La Rocco, Claudia 10 September Archived from the original on 13 December An Account of the Incidents, from which the Title and Part of the Story of Shakespeare's Tempest were derived, and its true date ascertained.

In Wells, Stanley ; Stanton, Sarah. McElroy, Steven 24 November The Tempest and the Final Frontier".

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However, in The Tempest, Shakespeare does something a little bit different. Prospero's slave, Caliban, speaks prose (especially when he's cursing at Prospero), but he also speaks a lot of verse, which makes sense since Prospero taught him to talk.

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Shakespeare combined the two throughout his career, with Romeo and Juliet perhaps the best example of the mixing of the styles. By the time of Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, and A Midsummer Night's Dream in the mids, Shakespeare had begun to write a more natural poetry.

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Style. Shakespeare wrote much of The Tempest in a dense, poetic language whose complexity and solemnity reflects the noble status of the majority of its characters. Prospero in particular tends to speak in long, compound sentences. The Tempest differs from Shakespeare's other plays in its observation of a stricter, more organised neoclassical style. The clearest indication of this is Shakespeare's respect for the three unities in the play: the Unities of Time, Place, and Action.

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Shakespeare's style of writing is to take the audience on a voyage of emotions by way of his iambic verse and crafted prose. He incorporates perceived truth with actual events and provides a glimpse of what could have been or a perspective of what might happened. About The Tempest: Language and Writing. Arden Student Guides: Language and Writing offer a new type of study aid which combines lively critical insight with practical guidance on the critical writing skills you need to develop in order to engage fully with Shakespeare's texts. The books' core focus is on language: both understanding and enjoying Shakespeare's complex dramatic language, and .