26 Feb. Tempest Final & Best Possible Futures

Housekeeping:

  • 1. You all did such an awesome job on the remote worksheet that I feel like we should have remote classes more often! Bravo! 
  • 2. If there’s ever a discrepancy between the course site prompts and the Canvas prompt, follow the course cite.

Class Leads

  • Give us a quick overview of the main highlights from the Google Doc discussion and then write your discussion questions on the board

Class Section Students
ENGL 1102.F3 Omar, Catherine, & Darren
ENGL 1102.HP3 Craig & Danielle
ENGL 112.D3 Michael

Problems in Shakespeare’s Tempest

Let’s chat about the following:
  • 1. What are some examples in The Tempest of the ways in which spaces or geographical regions or nature is/are never really empty of life or even civilization? What are the implications of Shakespeare’s critique of the castaway’s or settler’s expectations of empty landscapes?
  • 2. What are some examples in The Tempest of way in which it is difficult or impossible for the characters to start over or erase their pasts? What are the implications of Shakespeares critique of the ways that attempts to erase history effect the present?
  • 3. What are some examples of “soft power” and its applications in The Tempest? How well does “soft power” influence characters’ behavior and/or enact or even undermine state power?
  • 4. What are some examples of objects used on stage or in the characters’ imaginations that can represent the world of The Tempest as a whole?

New World Curiosities

Fold-out engraving from Ferrante Imperato’s Dell’Historia Naturale (Naples 1599), the earliest illustration of a natural history cabinet

 

Problems in Our Futures

Get into small groups, read over each others’ Blog Post 4: Advertise Your Future, respond to the following in conversation, and then be prepared to share your answers:
  • 1. Whose future world would you most like to visit & why? I whose future world would you most like to live & why?
  • 2. Given some of the critiques of rational society building that Shakespeare raises in his play, discuss how the futures you have invented are vulnerable in the same ways as Prospero’s or Caliban’s worlds are.

RQ: The Tempest, Acts 4 & 5

Directions

Keep the following questions in mind as you read The Tempest, Act 4.& 5 The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

What’s the relationship between the disappearing banquet in 3.3 and the nuptial masque in 4.1?

In his aside at the end of act 3, Prospero says, “My high charms work” (3.3.88). What does he mean? Should we credit Prospero with saving Alonso or stirring up trouble between Trinculo and Stephano? Then compare Prospero’s previous claims to “art” with the play-in-the-play that he calls, “Some vanity of mine art” (4.1.41) he puts on for Miranda and Ferdinand.

What sorts of stipulations does Prospero attach to the the “gift” he gives to Ferdinand? What sorts of things will befall the couple if they do not follow Prospero’s instructions?

Compare Iris’ opening intonation to Ceres in the masque to Gonzalo’s utopian vision of the island? What rhetorical features do they share?

Does the weird pagan celebration at the heart of this play seem pagan and/or potentially sacrilegious? Is this the blessing that Prospero warned the couple to wait for?

Why can’t Venus come to the wedding celebration?

What sorts of blessings do the goddesses wish on the couple?

What does Ferdinand mean when he says: “Let me live here ever;/So rare a wondered father and a wise/Makes this place a paradise” (4.1.123-5)?

How & why does the masque end?

How does Prospero comfort Miranda and Ferdinand? Is he successful?

How does Prospero snare the conspirators?

Where does Prospero’s magic (or technical knowledge) come from?

Why does Prospero want to toss out his magic book and staff? Is he successful?

What is Prospero wearing when he reveals himself as “sometime Milan”?

Does Prospero get his revenge on Alonso? On Antonio?

How have the characters transformed over the course of the play? Is it possible for them to ever change back to what they were before the island?

Do the Europeans ever leave?

How does The Tempest end & why?

What’s “Original Pronunciation”? How does it compare to the pronunciation we’ve heard so far?

Why does The Tempest feel so contemporary? To what uses can put it in our world?

 

RQ: The Tempest, Act 1

Directions

Keep the following questions in mind as you read The Tempest, Act 1. The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

How does Prospero cause the storm? Does he cause it? Why does he cause the tempest that seems, to the nobles and sailors, at least, to wreck their ship?

How does Shakespeare make the play feel like its set in the future?

What do Sycorax to Prospero have in common? What do Ariel to Miranda have in common? What do Caliban and Ferdinand have in common?

What sorts of transformations have all of the characters on the island undergone by the end of the first act?

Does Prospero manipulate Miranda and Ferdinand at the end of act one, or do they really experience “love at first site”? How does the “love a first site” motif compare to the tempest with which the play opens?

Feel free to use the a database such as Open Source Shakespeare for these sorts of usage questions: What’s the relationship between the words ‘wrack’ and ‘rack’? What does the lack of aural distinction imply? Does Shakespeare repeat any other words or phrases in the first act? If yes, what are the implications?

If you had to stage the magical elements the first act of The Tempest how would you do it? In other words, how would you communicate storm at sea (1.1); Ariel’s invisibility (1.2.374); or Caliban’s supposed strangeness?