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The Tempest Miranda Essay Contest

Actors David Anthony Smith (as Prospero) and Katie Willmorth (as Miranda) take center stage in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actors David Anthony Smith (as Prospero) and Katie Willmorth (as Miranda) share a tender moment in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actor David Anthony Smith (left, as Prospero) gives instructions to Ryan David O'Byrne (right, as his spirit servant Ariel) in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actor Patrick Riley (right, as Ferdinand) is haunted by David Anthony Smith (left, as Prospero) in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actors Tom Ford (right, as Stephano) and Dustin Tucker (left, as Trinculo) ply J. Todd Adams (below, as the monster Caliban) with wine to comic effect in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actor J. Todd Adams (as the monster Caliban) takes center stage in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actor David Anthony Smith (right, as Prospero) chastens Patrick Riley (center, as daughter's suitor, Ferdinand) as Katie Willmorth (as Miranda, his daughter) observes in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Spirits of a different sort prepare actor Katie Willmorth (center, as Miranda) for a magical wedding in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actors Katie Willmorth (as Miranda) and Patrick Riley (as Ferdinand) make a perfect couple in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actor David Anthony Smith (as Prospero) takes center stage in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actors Katie Willmorth (as Miranda) and Patrick Riley (as Ferdinand) make a perfect couple in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actors Katie Willmorth (as Miranda) and Patrick Riley (as Ferdinand) make a perfect couple and Dougfred Miller (center, as Ferdinand’s father Alonso) approves of the union in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

From the Director...

From as far back as Aristotle to the forefront of modern neuroscience, we have linked our fundamental conception of humanity to the notion of consciousness - the spark of awareness that makes us us. Consciousness fuels our innate curiosity about the world, as well as provides the window through which we perceive that world. It establishes both the “I” and the “eye” of the beholder. In The Tempest’s spare and tantalizing allusiveness, Shakespeare delves deeper into the thrilling mystery of life than in any of his earlier plays. Written at a time when new learning was remapping the frontiers of human knowledge, The Tempest explores a paradox of human consciousness: awareness of one’s self in the world can prevent one from feeling connected to the world.

Albert Einstein once wrote:
"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us."

Prospero, who has devoted his life to knowing all there is to know about the universe, must confront the extent to which he does not know himself and can never fully know others. In recognizing the limits of his comprehensive power, Prospero learns how to broaden the scope of his empathic ability and prepares for a journey that will enable him to rectify the misdeeds of his selfish past. Yet, as its title implies, The Tempest is ultimately concerned with much more than one man’s evolution.

Shakespeare, whom Ben Jonson called “the Soul of the age” —an age that considered the soul to be the seat of both thought and feeling—at once celebrates the awesome curiosity and capacity of the human mind and exposes the fears, anxieties and selfserving impulses that threaten to overwhelm it. That which makes us human, as Shakespeare shows us time and time again, is our struggle to reconcile the enormity of our dreams with the exquisite vulnerability of our brief lives.

The characters in The Tempest confront physical and emotional landscapes that force them to question fundamental truths about who they think themselves to be. Fatigued and isolated, having been traumatically ripped from their everyday world, Prospero’s prisoners stumble through dizzying states of consciousness, uncertain whether they can trust what they see, hear or feel. Haunted by memories of their past and tempted by visions of an imagined future, the people of The Tempest struggle to comprehend the insistent present at work in Prospero’s plan.

The island, with its mysterious sights and sounds, becomes a physical manifestation of the human mind—a lens that both reveals and obscures. In Shakespeare’s day, magicians gazed for hours by candlelight into obsidian mirrors. This occult art, called “scrying,” transported its practitioners into the supernatural realm. The terra incognita of Shakespeare’s The Tempest facilitates a similar magic, bestowing upon its audience the power to participate in both sides of the act of knowing. Our need to understand leads us to identify with both the ruler and the subject; we are both the observer and the observed.

As he reveals the extent to which human beings are enslaved by their senses, Shakespeare offers glimpses of the transformative power of perception: how the unknown can be turned into monster or god and how brief moments contain lifetimes of experience. We wonder at what it is to wonder and marvel at our capacity for the marvelous. We appreciate, in the midst of our tempestuous lives, how rare and precious are those moments when we can truly see, can truly touch, can truly feel the humanity of those around us.

There’s something resonantly modern in Shakespeare’s exploration of human consciousness. Writing twenty years before Rene Descartes shook the philosophical world with his foundational assertion, “I think therefore I am,” and three hundred years before Albert Einstein formulated his theories of relativity, Shakespeare dramatized the power of the mind both to imprison and to liberate. Like his contemporary, John Donne, Shakespeare reminds us that “No man is an island;” The Tempest dares us to open our hearts and minds fully enough to drown with all the world in the deluge of our senses.

-Drew Barr, Director
THE TEMPEST

Synopsis

King Alonso of Naples and his entourage sail home for Italy after attending his daughter Claribel’s wedding in Tunis, Africa. They encounter a violent tempest. As their ship splits, everyone jumps overboard. The King and his party arewashed ashore on a strange island inhabited by the magician Prospero, who has deliberately conjured up the storm. Prospero is, in fact, the rightful Duke of Milan. Twelve years previously, his brother, Antonio, conspired
with King Alonso to seize the dukedom. Prospero’s sole friend at court, Gonzalo, provided supplies, including some treasured books, for his enforced flight.

Prospero’s spirit-servant, Ariel, assures him the ship is intact, its crew and passengers safe, with Ferdinand, Alonso’s son and heir, separated from the others. The prince is brought to Miranda, Prospero’s daughter, and they fall in love. Prospero must act quickly to take full advantage of his favorable circumstances. He enforces hard labor on Ferdinand to test him, and, with Ariel’s help, spell-binds the court into deep slumber. But, Antonio and Alonso’s brother, Sebastian, do not succumb and they plot to murder the sleeping King and Gonzalo. Ariel foils their plan at the last moment. Meanwhile, two other survivors, Trinculo and Stephano, fall in with Caliban, who lived alone on the island before Prospero and Miranda’s arrival. Caliban believes he is the island’s rightful ruler, having inherited it from his mother, the witch Sycorax. He offers to make Stephano his king, if Stephano will kill Prospero. Prospero presents Alonso and his guilty courtiers with a banquet of delights which turns terrifying with the arrival of Ariel in the form of a vengeful harpy. Alonso, believing that his crime against the exiled duke has resulted in the death of Ferdinand, is deeply traumatized.

Prospero rewards the constancy of the lovers with a celebratory betrothal masque. At its climax, suddenly recalling Caliban’s conspiracy, he transforms the spirit-actors into dogs who hound the miscreants. The sense of danger narrowly averted and the power of human compassion evoked by Ariel prompt Prospero to renounce his magic. He brings everyone together, thanks to Gonzalo for his fidelity, and confronts his enemies. Ferdinand is reunited with his grateful father, who breaks the pact with Antonio and obliges him to restore the dukedom to Prospero. Caliban regrets his misplaced confidence in Stephano. As the royal and ducal groups prepare to return to Italy, Ariel is given his freedom and Caliban regains the island.

Cleveland's Classic Company's TEMPEST Storms Hanna Theatre

April 01, 2015

CLEVELAND, OH - Great Lakes Theater (GLT), Cleveland’s Classic Company, crowns its 2014-15 season with William Shakespeare magical masterpiece, The Tempest. The production will be performed in the company’s intimate and audience-friendly home at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square, April 10-26, 2014. Drew Barr directs the production.

Generous production support for The Tempest was provided by John and Barbara Schubert. Special Student Matinee Series support for The Tempest was provided by AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings and GLT’s Student Subscription Program was generously sponsored by Eaton Corporation. GLT is supported in great part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a...

Actors David Anthony Smith (as Prospero) and Katie Willmorth (as Miranda) take center stage in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actors David Anthony Smith (as Prospero) and Katie Willmorth (as Miranda) share a tender moment in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actor David Anthony Smith (left, as Prospero) gives instructions to Ryan David O'Byrne (right, as his spirit servant Ariel) in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actor Patrick Riley (right, as Ferdinand) is haunted by David Anthony Smith (left, as Prospero) in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actors Tom Ford (right, as Stephano) and Dustin Tucker (left, as Trinculo) ply J. Todd Adams (below, as the monster Caliban) with wine to comic effect in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actor J. Todd Adams (as the monster Caliban) takes center stage in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actor David Anthony Smith (right, as Prospero) chastens Patrick Riley (center, as daughter's suitor, Ferdinand) as Katie Willmorth (as Miranda, his daughter) observes in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Spirits of a different sort prepare actor Katie Willmorth (center, as Miranda) for a magical wedding in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actors Katie Willmorth (as Miranda) and Patrick Riley (as Ferdinand) make a perfect couple in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actor David Anthony Smith (as Prospero) takes center stage in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actors Katie Willmorth (as Miranda) and Patrick Riley (as Ferdinand) make a perfect couple in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Actors Katie Willmorth (as Miranda) and Patrick Riley (as Ferdinand) make a perfect couple and Dougfred Miller (center, as Ferdinand’s father Alonso) approves of the union in the Great Lakes Theater production of Shakespeare's magical masterpiece THE TEMPEST at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square which runs through April 26. (Photo by Roger Mastroianni)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

...a delight that brings Shakespeare to life. Don't miss this one.

By Examiner.com

Examiner.com

Defending Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay

1771 Words8 Pages

Defending Prospero in The Tempest

In William Shakespeare's The Tempest, the character of Prospero brings about a great deal of debate. Modern literary critics are quick to use him as a poster child for English colonial practice in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Many see him as person who desires complete control of everything around him from the fish-like monster Caliban to his spirit servant Ariel, even his own daughter Miranda. Others believe that Prospero's sole motive is revenge on his brother Antonio and those associated with the established power in Naples and Milan. Taken out of context, these are reasonable conclusions. However, in the development of the play, it is quite clear that these critics are incorrect.…show more content…

Prospero is wise and would not knowledgeably violate the trust of not only his daughter, but the only person on the island that cares for him. However, even if these words were empty, his actions are not. When Caliban threatened to attack and rape Miranda, Prospero was forced to use his magic to keep Caliban captive so that there would no longer be any immediate threat to her. Prospero's decision to indenture Caliban puts him on tentative moral footing, but it is difficult to believe that Prospero had any other choice. His only other options would have been to kill Caliban or to leave the island himself. To readjust Caliban's nature would have been impossible considering that Caliban himself implies that if he had another opportunity, he would try to rape Miranda again. Leaving the island altogether is the completely moral choice, but obviously if had been that simple, Prospero would already have escaped rather than causing a storm to set events in motion.

Furthermore, Prospero's decision to try to couple Miranda and Ferdinand was an act of love, not a play for power. Had unbridled ambition been his only goal, Prospero would not have sought to make the union between the two more difficult "They are both in either's powers. But this swift business I would uneasy make, lest too light winning make the prize light" (Prospero, I, ii, 541-544). Prospero clearly intends for his daughter to fall in love with Ferdinand, but wants

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