I love the way Prospero speaks! Although I hate his character, his way of speaking is eloquently bitingwhether he is speaking lovingly to his daughter or abusively to Caliban, he gets his point across beautifully. I tried with all my might to decide whether I like Prospero but to no avail. I had a bad taste in my mouth from the get-go because I remembered a comment about the ambiguity of the Caliban situationhow maybe he did try to rape Miranda, but maybe he didn’t, so maybe Prospero was noble by enslaving Caliban but maybe he was tyrannical. Prospero definitely reminded me of The Duke (Measure for Measure). Both played God-like roles, deceiving for a good cause yet deceiving nonetheless.
I also love how Ferdinand sees Miranda, walks up to her, and says, “Hey baby, you single? A virgin? Attached? Wanna be a queen?” and that’s all he has to do. Besides Prospero’s fake-objections and all the wood-hauling, Miranda is as good as won. They have some really great lines between themit’s one of my favorite love-dialogues. It probably helped that he thought he was gonna die and she had only seen two other men in her entire life. But love’s love. My favorite part was how he, a prince, stooped to a “patient log-man” level to prove his love for her, and how she offered to help while he rested!
When Ferdinand first sees Miranda and promptly begins wooing, Prospero accuses him of attempted usurpation. I thought this was ironic and then realized that usurpation may be a theme that runs through the course of the play. Which it is. I think. Because Antonio usurped Prospero (right?), Prospero usurped Caliban, Sebastian is thinking about usurping Alonso, and Caliban is lookin to usurp Prospero. Maybe usurp’ isn’t the right word for all of these casesmaybe kill’ would suffice. I’m not sure of the exact definition of usurp, but I’m pretty sure a transfer of power via overthrow or murder plays a part.
Onward to conventions! I saw lots of dark/light imagery, storms (of course), magic (also of coursethere was a magic cloak, after all), nature vs. nurture, water imagery, ocean imagery, talk of art in many contexts, and comic puns and physical assault, like always. Thematically, usurping, sleeping/waking, alcohol, and servitude pop up a lot.
I liked this playit was fantastical, imaginative, and carried my mind across the waters to the island and through the tempest. It really did. And I appreciated the journey, after all the circles Shakespeare’s had me traveling in for the past semester. It was fun to have an adventure for once.