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The	  Tempest	  and	  the	  TimelineRavensbourne	  Theory	  and	  Context	  Course
The	  Tempest	  is	  Shakespeare’s                                                                             8inal	  pla...
Shakespeare	  weaves	  a	  tale                                                                 around	  Prospero’s	  magi...
Prospero’s	  Books	  by                                                                                          Peter	  G...
Prospero’s	  Books	  by                                                                                                  P...
John	  Dee	  (1520-­‐1609)                                                                                             by	...
The	  Forbidden	  Planet                                                                                        1956.As	  ...
The	  Forbidden	  Planet                                                                                      1956.The	  T...
John	  Gielgud	  as	  Prospero	  in 1991,	  at	  the	  age	  of	  86The	  Tempest	  is	  the	  last	  of	  several	  “late...
The	  Tempest	  is	  not	  merely	  a	  Renaissance                                          fable.	  It	  incorporates	  ...
John	  Gielgud	  as	  Prospero	  in                                                                                       ...
John	  Gielgud	  as	  Prospero	  in                                                                                  1991,...
John	  Gielgud	  as	  Prospero	  in                                                                                 1991,	...
John	  Gielgud	  as	  Prospero	  in                                                                                  1991,...
John	  Gielgud	  as	  Prospero	  in                                                                                 1991,	...
John	  Gielgud	  as	  Prospero	  in                                   1991,	  at	  the	  age	  of	  86Timelines	  can	  sh...
John	  Gielgud	  as	  Prospero	  in                                   1991,	  at	  the	  age	  of	  86Timelines	  can	  sh...
John	  Gielgud	  as	  Prospero	  in                                   1991,	  at	  the	  age	  of	  86Timelines	  can	  sh...
John	  Gielgud	  as	  Prospero	  in                                   1991,	  at	  the	  age	  of	  86Timelines	  can	  sh...
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Nicholas Lambert - Week 3: The tempest and the timeline

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Transcript of "Nicholas Lambert - Week 3: The tempest and the timeline"

  1. 1. The  Tempest  and  the  TimelineRavensbourne  Theory  and  Context  Course
  2. 2. The  Tempest  is  Shakespeare’s 8inal  play,  written  in  1610-­‐11. The  story  describes  the  intricate scheme  weaved  by  Prospero,  the rightful  duke  of  Milan,  to  regain his  former  domain  after  being deposed  by  his  brother  and  the King  of  Naples. Though  exiled  to  a  remote  island with  his  daughter  Miranda, Prospero  is  a  magician  of  great power  who  compels  spirits  to serve  him.  He  causes  his enemies’  ship  to  run  aground  on the  island,  and  then  bewitches them  for  a  while,  to  punish  their treachery.  Miranda  falls  in  love with  the  King’s  son,  Ferdinand, and  ultimately  everyone  isProspero  and  Miranda  by  William  Maw  Egley;  c.  1850 reconciled
  3. 3. Shakespeare  weaves  a  tale around  Prospero’s  magical activities,  following  him  as  he sets  up  everything  from  the storm  at  the  beginning  to  the masque  at  the  end,  which  brings all  the  strands  together. As  a  Renaissance  magician, Prospero’s  powers  come  fromThe  Tempest  by  James  Henry  Nixon;  c.  1840 binding  spirits  to  do  his  bidding. His  main  servant  is  called  Ariel, who  represents  the  elements  of 8ire  and  air. Most  of  Prospero’s  displays  of power  are  elaborate  illusions, combined  with  a  shrewd understanding  of  human psychology.
  4. 4. Prospero’s  Books  by Peter  Greenaway,  1991 Sir  John  Gielgud  as ProsperoMuch  of  the  interest  in  The  Tempest  comes  from  the  idea  that  Prosperois  Shakespeare,  the  master  playwright  constructing  a  staged  reality  toterrify  and  delight  his  audience.In  Peter  Greenaway’s  8ilm  adaptation,  Prospero’s  Books,  Prospero  isseen  writing  the  play’s  text  and  later  adds  it  to  a  folio  of  Shakespeare’sworks.
  5. 5. Prospero’s  Books  by Peter  Greenaway,  1991The  play  re8lects  on  the  nature  of  illusion,  spectacle  and  the  role  of  the  “artist”.In  Renaissance  England,  the  “arts”  included  areas  such  as  mathematics  andchemistry,  and  the  “artist”  was  a  master  practitioner  of  one  of  these  disciplines.Alchemists  frequently  referred  to  themselves  as  “artists”.  The  division  betweenthe  Arts  and  Sciences,  and  between  Fine  and  Applied  Art,  had  not  yet  occurred.Visual  artists  and  architects  such  as  Inigo  Jones  produced  lavish  theatricalspectacles  called  masques,  combining  acting  and  music,  that  led  to  thedevelopment  of  opera.
  6. 6. John  Dee  (1520-­‐1609) by  a  16th  c  artist  and Quentin  BlakeSimilarly,  there  was  no  real  division  between  we  now  call  “science”  and“magic”.  Not  only  was  there  widespread  suspicion  of  scienti8ic  knowledge,  butthe  world  was  perceived  primarily  as  a  magic  and  religious  construct.  It  wasconsidered  possible  to  control  its  underlying  forces.The  Elizabethan  mathematician  and  magus  Dr  John  Dee  was  a  famous  8igurewho  spanned  the  scienti8ic  and  magical  worlds.  He  studied  cartography,cryptography  and  geometry,  was  a  close  adviser  to  Queen  Elizabeth  I  andcoined  the  term  “the  British  Empire”.  He  also  used  mediums  to  talk  to  angels,conducted  alchemical  experiments  and  acted  as  a  spy.  He  was  a  model  forProspero
  7. 7. The  Forbidden  Planet 1956.As  the  16th  century  turned  towards  the  17th,  scienti8ic  rationalism  began  to  replace  themagical  worldview  and  technology  -­‐  already  important  through  gunpowder,  ships  andthe  printing  press  -­‐  began  to  transform  society.  The  modern-­‐day  equivalent  of  theProspero  8igure  is  the  scientist,  with  an  array  of  knowledge  and  technologies  at  theirdisposal.This  idea  informed  the  1956  8ilm  Forbidden  Planet,  directed  by  Fred  Wilcox  and  starringLeslie  Nielsen.  The  island  becomes  a  remote  planet;  Prospero’s  role  is  taken  by  DrMorbius,  Ariel  is  represented  by  Robby  the  Robot,  and  instead  of  Caliban  there  is  a  maligninvisible  force  that  affects  everyone  apart  from  Morbius  and  his  daughter  Altaira.
  8. 8. The  Forbidden  Planet 1956.The  Tempest  is  also  about  the  discovery  of  the  New  World,  the  Americas,  which  wastaking  place  throughout  the  16th  century.  The  play  was  partly  inspired  by  the  accountof  shipwrecked  English  sailors  on  Bermuda  that  was  published  in  1609.Prospero’s  role  as  lord  of  the  island,  and  his  enslavement  of  its  original  inhabitantCaliban  (whom  he  educates  until  Caliban  attempts  to  rape  Miranda),  is  now  seen  as  astudy  of  colonial  power  and  its  effects.  Prospero  exploits  the  magical  powers  of  hisisland  after  Caliban  informs  him  about  them,  leading  to  his  own  enslavement.
  9. 9. John  Gielgud  as  Prospero  in 1991,  at  the  age  of  86The  Tempest  is  the  last  of  several  “late  plays”  from  Shakespeare  that  include  Pericles,Prince  of  Tyre;  Cymbeline;  The  Winters  Tale.  These  “romances”  include  commonelements  such  as  pagan  gods  and  goddesses,  masques  and  dancing,  scenes  of  potentialtragedy  averted  at  the  end,  and  a  reconciliation  between  long-­‐lost  family  members.They  are  neither  strictly  “comic”  nor  “tragic”  but  end  on  a  happy  note.It  is  signi8icant  that  Prospero’s  8inal  speech  includes  a  symbolic  farewell  to  magic,when  he  breaks  his  wizard’s  staff;  and  a  real  farewell  signifying  the  conclusion  of  all  hisschemes  and  his  retirement  to  Milan  where  “every  third  thought  shall  be  my  grave.”  Heasks  the  audience  to  free  him  from  the  island  by  clapping  at  the  end  of  the  play.  Is  thisalso  Shakespeare’s  farewell  to  play-­‐writing?
  10. 10. The  Tempest  is  not  merely  a  Renaissance fable.  It  incorporates  several  themes  that still  resonate  today: 1.  Art  and  illusion;  the  artist  as  magician 2.  Art  and  power:  the  artist  asJohn  Gielgud  as  Prospero  in manipulator1991,  at  the  age  of  86 3.  Art  and  technology:  the  artist  as  user  of scienti8ic  knowledge 4.  New  worlds  and  their  exploration  and colonisation  -­‐  in  fact,  The  Tempest  was the  8irst  use  of  the  term  “Brave  New World” 5.  The  role  of  the  artist  in  society
  11. 11. John  Gielgud  as  Prospero  in 1991,  at  the  age  of  86The  Tempest  and  the  timeline.  What  is  the  connection?Basically  The  Tempest  was  written  at  a  speci8ic  juncture:  the  rise  of  the  Age  of  Empire,  theAge  of  Science  and  the  end  of  the  Renaissance  and  the  medieval-­‐magical  worldview.  Itlooks  both  back  and  forward.
  12. 12. John  Gielgud  as  Prospero  in 1991,  at  the  age  of  86Timelines  can  show  at  a  glance  the  evolution  of  something,  e.g.  Photoshop
  13. 13. John  Gielgud  as  Prospero  in 1991,  at  the  age  of  86Timelines  can  show  at  a  glance  the  evolution  of  something,  e.g.  computers  and  processors
  14. 14. John  Gielgud  as  Prospero  in 1991,  at  the  age  of  86Timelines  can  show  at  a  glance  the  evolution  of  something,  e.g.  Nokia  phones
  15. 15. John  Gielgud  as  Prospero  in 1991,  at  the  age  of  86Timelines  can  show  at  a  glance  the  evolution  of  something,e.g.  the  history  of  20th  century  art
  16. 16. John  Gielgud  as  Prospero  in 1991,  at  the  age  of  86Timelines  can  show  at  a  glance  the  evolution  of  something,e.g.  the  history  of  20th  century  art
  17. 17. John  Gielgud  as  Prospero  in 1991,  at  the  age  of  86Timelines  can  show  at  a  glance  the  evolution  of  something,e.g.  the  history  of  20th  century  art
  18. 18. John  Gielgud  as  Prospero  in 1991,  at  the  age  of  86Timelines  can  show  at  a  glance  the  evolution  of  something,e.g.  the  history  of  20th  century  art
  19. 19. John  Gielgud  as  Prospero  in 1991,  at  the  age  of  86Timelines  can  show  at  a  glance  the  evolution  of  something,e.g.  the  history  of  20th  century  art
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