The Tempest and A tempest Essay
Carrie’s island is not the heather mind; it is a model of a Caribbean society in which human relations are determined by a dialectic of opposites grounded in “master/slave” and extending to “sadism/masochism. ” The reader of the play is informed at the outset of some major alterations. Easier has added an African god, Sees, to counterbalance the divinities of classical antiquity in the masque of Shakespearean Act ‘V. In designating Ariel as a slave (ethnically a mulatto) and Clinical as a black slave, Easier has set the action within a recognizable set of Caribbean problems of material and cultural dominance.
Not so identified is “El Manner De Jew” who holds forth as the players choose the masks of the characters whose roles they are to assume. The atmosphere to play which en suggests is reinforced by the stage directions specifying psychodrama as the generic type of play. Although contemporary in the appeal it makes to the audience, Carrie’s Tempest in this respect does have a distant analogue in Shakespeare. Prosperous Epilogue functions in part to draw the audience into the illusion, requesting their collaboration by way of conclusion. Prosper thus identifies himself as the masque presenter.
Easier solicits his audience before
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We shall see in due course that this narrowing of the focus of the play responds to a quite different set of exigencies. Shakespearean marvelous opening scene with its direct presentation of the storm at sea has been largely rewritten by Easier, who has cut out the nautical stage business almost completely. Furthermore, details which in Shakespeare are related by Ariel to Prosper (l. Ii) are reassigned by Easier to Gonzalez and Ferdinand at the end of Scene I. The first of Carrie’s systematic anachronisms occurs here as well: he has the crew of the presumably sinking ship raise a chorus of “Nearer My 237 COMPARATIVE
LITERATURE God to Thee. ” When the play was staged at the Cite Universities of the University of Paris in October-November 1969, the two colonizing drunken sailors Trillion and Stephan in a later scene sang the “International” to the great distress of the reviewer for the Communist Letters franchises. 3 Since this detail does not appear in the printed text of the play it may well have been introduced by Jean-Marie Surreal, as the same reviewer surmised. We may initially interpret these occasionally Jarring devices as formal reminders that we are not to rely on the plays Shakespearean origins for our understanding of it.
The derisive function of this and related techniques may in fact be a legacy of Breech by way of Surreal, whose stage practice he has strongly influenced. In the second scene Easier has economized on the exposition of the plot while introducing two non-Shakespearean themes: colonialism and religious fanaticism, the latter functioning in collaboration with the former. Prosperous relation of their history to Miranda is interrupted by a retrospective scene, presumably announced by a lighting change, in which an agent of the Inquisition reads the charges brought against Prosper.
In Carrie’s version it was this arm of he Church which abandoned Prosper and his daughter on the desert isle rather than face a trial in which Prosper would presumably have made a good defense of his humanist practice. Nor is this the only change in motivation on which Easier has based his plot. Shakespearean palace revolt has been displaced in favor of a grander scheme more in accord with the thematic complex of exploration, conquest, exploitation, and enslavement, all of which are closely related and finally inseparableness Easier.
Alonso and Antonio sought to divide between them the colonial empire Prosper himself had intended to found in the lands recently explored as a result of his own projections and mapping. At this very early point in the play Easier reorients our understanding of the complete Renaissance man: he is the learned humanist who is suspect to the Church but, more importantly, he is the explorer-navigator whose enormous energies are directed toward territorial expansion through colonization. On a more personal plane this motivation will later be supplemented by the revelation in Prosper of a quite Deadlier complex of domination.
For Easier this psychological trait is a personal development of the expansion of Europe, not in any sense its cause. Our latterly Prosper is presented as the agent of European capitalism at its inception. Alonso and Antonio are not essentially different from him in this respect. Quite consistent in their actions, they have merely dispossessed Prosper so that they may better exploit his lands for their own profit. 3 E. C. , “Nun ‘trance disincentive,” Less Letters franchise, No. 1306 (Cot. Novo. 4, 1969), 17.
CORSAIR AND SHAKESPEARE Several elements essential to the plot of Shakespearean Temperatures disappear entirely or are pushed discreetly into the background as a result of this major shift of emphasis. Carrie’s Prosper is not primarily a magician; the important references to his art, his robes, and his books have no significant function here. Aside from the magical pass which immobilizers the sword arm of Ferdinand, Easier has ignored the magical import of numerous phenomena in the play. Whereas Ariel informs Ferdinand that Prosper is a magician, Clinical refers to him as an inventor.
The illusions of Shakespearean Prosper become weapons in the arsenal of Carrie’s, who is already a Cartesian rationalist in his approach to problem solving. The reconciliation theme, which for many Shakespeare scholars has assumed paramount importance,4 builds to its climax and resolution in the final scene of the Elizabethan play. With the union of Ferdinand and Miranda, itself related to the theme of reconciliation, and Prosperous renunciation to his magic, it constitutes the whole to Shakespearean denouement (V. I). Easier of course has quite another end in view.
This explains the haste with which he dispatches the reconciliation much earlier in the play (al. Iii) at the close of the second act. In Act l, Scene it, Easier appears to accumulate a series of inconsistencies any one of which would stand out as a flaw in more conventional dramatic terms. Even summing the motivation assigned to Alonso and Antonio, we find our sense of verisimilitude stretched beyond reasonable bounds when we are invited to accept that they themselves, as reigning heads of Renaissance city states, should have made a perilous sea voyage to supervise the progress of colonization.
Easier expects his audience to grasp this inconsistency and to draw appropriate conclusions. The time being played out before us is not to be taken as a historical moment in the development of colonialism. If Alonso and Antonio stand symbolically at the beginning of that history, Carrie’s Clinical pressures its end in his cry of “Freedom! Now! ” Prosper draws together these otherwise incompatible characters on the psychological, not the historical, plane. The time of Carrie’s play is itself a symbol of history achieved by telescoping the several moments of its process.
Again we find ourselves at a great remove from the sense of the symbolic in Shakespeare. In the same way we are obliged to correct our perspective on Ariel when (in l. Ii) he expresses his concern that the ship bearing the royal party may indeed have been lost in the storm. Ariel himself is identified as an “intellectual” by Prosper, who has only disdain for Riel’s attack of conscience. Insofar as we may con Frank Corrode, “Introduction,” Arden Edition of the Outworks of William Shakespeare: The Tempest (London, 1954), Section 6, especially up. Iii-live.
All references The Temperatures to this edition. 239 COMPARATIVE LITERATURE tinge to regard Carrie’s Ariel as a spirit, he now appears in the guise of a Hegelian pure spirit, as reviewed and corrected by Marx. There has been no agreement beforehand concerning the term of Riel’s service to Prosper. Our colonial ruler will consult only his own advantage and good pleasure in deciding to grant freedom to Ariel at the end of the play. History as it has been understood by positivist scholarship is likewise of questionable assistance in the interpretation of Scallion’s shout of “Our! That an African slave in the Caribbean is unlikely to have spoken Swahili is true enough. But the aim of this detail is, like the foregoing examples, not narrowly historical. The cry “Our has gained a universal currency since it first shook European colonialism in the asses. It is a contemporary symbolic import that C’shirtsleeves to achieve. A remarkableness of means has enabled him to provide his audience Witt these various guides to interpretation by the end to Act I The essentially comic scene (11. 1) in which Shakespeare pits Sebastian and Antonio against Gonzalez does not survive adaptation intact.
Some elements are segmented and redistributed by Carrier (in al. Ii), notably Gonzales monologue-deriving from Imitation-on the ideal commonwealth. However, the Utopian elements are submerged so as to render Gonzales position as a mere variation on colonialism. Gonzalez, too, intends to colonize the island but without corrupting the noble savage by importing European values. He would keep his Utopia as a place of rest and recreation for tired Europeans: in terms of contemporary Mortician reality a retype for the Club Mediterranean (idyllic but rigidly set apart from “native” life).
Carrie’s derisive critical spirit thus spares not even the good Gonzalez, who emerges (in al. Ii) as a Renaissance proponent of international tourism. Easier has chosen to open his second act at the moment of Act II, Scene it, in Shakespeare. He substitutes for Scallion’s opening soliloquy on Prosperous magic a work song honoring Shannon the African war god and Voodoo Lola. This thematic Fractionation is strongly reinforced by its position as the opening scene, which in all other respects is entirely of Carrie’s invention. It is transformed into a dialogue on slavery and freedom between Clinicians Ariel.
The Fractionation of Clinical,who has already begun to assume the position of protagonist, is again reinforced by his affirmation of indigenous cultural values and most particularly by his insistence on the necessity of seizing his freedom. Riel’s role now becomes clear. He articulates coherently the position of moderation, conciliation, and nonviolence. He persists in believing that Prosper will eventually grant them their freedom if only they are clever and patient enough to appeal to his better nature. This is an absurd and self- defeating position in Scallion’s view.
In terms of the broader tidied Scuffles AND SHAKESPEARE lactic of colonialism in Characteristic’s Riel’s is the position occupied by Hammerhead’s in Nun Saigon AU Congo. Riel’s position is quite untenable in that he recognizes a bond with Clinical (their common enslavement) while attempting to play Prosperous game. His attitudes and behavior are of course discredited by Easier in the unfolding of the play. The overall thrust of this scene in dramatic terms is to give special prominence to the political and racial themes by subordinating those elements of Shakespearean play which occupied this crucial position.
The comic treatment of the meeting between Stephan and Trillion, their Joint project of dominion over the island and exploitation of Clinical (Shakespearean al. Ii), is held in reserve by Easier for the second scene of Act Ill, where it will not assume comparable importance. Carrie’s second act, unlike Shakespearean, is comprised of three scenes. At first view it might seem that Easier has simply pushed back the opening scene to his model Witt the alterations already mentioned . This would be tar room accurate. An important ideological shift is implicit in the motif of the noble savage as Carrie’s Gonzalez articulates it.
In Shakespeare the inhabitation the island, our Clinical,has a double genealogy through the Wild Man of Renaissance drama, “an inverted pastoral hero” (Corrode, p. Chili), and through the neo-Platonic doctrine according to which Scallion’s “deformity is the result of evil natural magic” (p. XSL). The implications of this set of assumptions, the foremost being the Justification of Scallion’s enslavement, are unacceptable to Cascade; indeed they are repugnant. Therefore he has drawn Gonzales commonwealth in the direction of a reading of Imitation such as we might attribute a Bernardino De Saint-Pierre.
The aspect of Gonzales commonwealth that Easier stresses appears then as a caricature of the denned vision of this naive disciple of Rousseau. He can satisfy thereby two requirements of his play: saturating a humbug version of colonialism while avoiding the nastier implications of the scene in Shakespeare. Having accomplished this, Secretariats to Shakespearean Act Ill, Scene iii (p. 84 of the 1954 Arden edition of The Tempest), with Alonso fatigue as his only transitional device. The fairy banquet, like the other scenes of a spectacular nature, is treated somewhat perfunctorily.
The modern stage as Easier uses it does not call for the kind of elaborate machinery common to Renaissance court entertainments of the type Shakespeare was practicing here. 5 More importantly Carrier could ill afford to keep intact scenes that represent digressions from the 5 It should be noted in this regard that J. -M. Surreal, in staging Carrie’s Nun Template,employed techniques used earlier by J. -L. Brutal for Clause’s El Sillier De satin in order to create a multimedia effect: projection of slides, music, and figurative rhythm. See E. Bruno, “Nun tempests,” Approved, No. 48 (Cot. -Deck. 1969), 156. 41 very spare elements of plot which he had retained from the Shakespearean play. We can attribute to thematic concerns (in the absence of a developed reconciliation motif) his dropping of Riel’s reprimanded Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio. Finally Shakespeare has the banquet table removed without permitting the royal party to dine. In Carrie’s corresponding scene Prosper forces them to eat against their will. Here he takes advantage of a situation imposed by Shakespeare (the illusory banquet) to develop an aspect of a character which is quite lacking in Shakespeare ND which profoundly modifies our conception of that character.
It is at this point that Prosper reveals in a sadistic act that he is driven by a need to dominate: “Quills SE segment manger Dana ma main come des opposing. Chest nun marquee De commission queue Excise deed’s. “6 To Riel’s observation at TN it is wrong to toy Witt legitimate appetites and emotions of those already in his control Prosper retorts: “Chest a cell queue SE measure la puissant. Jew Isis la Puissant” (p. 44). Easier has introduced a third and final scene in Act II which takes up the theme developed by Shakespeare in 11. : the abortive plot against Alonso life.
Once again, since the theme of reconciliation has been dispensed with, the significance of the plot is drastically altered. Shakespearean Ariel intervenes only by waking Alonso and Gonzalez, thus staying the hand of the conspirators. Carrie’s Ariel reveals immediately to Alonso that Prosper has Just spared his life. Rather than signify something like the spiritual reconciliation so important to Shakespeare and presumably to his audience, this gesture by Ariel serves to indicate that Alonso is entirely in the power of Prosper who has, for his own reasons, spared the life of his rival.
Taking Act II as a whole we find that Easier has placed Clinical solidly in the position of the protagonist with Prosper as his antagonist. Consequently the affairs of Prosper, Alonso, and Antonio-and their eventual resolution-are reduced to the status of a secondary plot in which the Europeans, colonialists to a man, are seen not as different in their nature but as occupying different positions on a scale of power: from the impotent but greedy Stephan and Trillion to the all-powerful, godlike Prosper. In Shakespeare a fourth and fifth act of one scene each conclude the play.
There is n internal logic to Carrie’s incorporating both within a structure in three acts. The fourth act included the masque and, according to some interpreters, the antiques in which Scallion’s crew is chased by Prosperous hounds. These elements of Renaissance drama had no place in Carrie’s poetics. As we shall see, the introduction of 6 Mime Easier, Nun Temping … (Paris, 1969), p. 43; hereafter cited in the text by page number. 242 CORSAIR AND SHAKESPEARE Sees into the ballet of goddesses serves to transform what little he does retain of the Shakespearean masque.
The purpose of Act V, devoted to the pardon and conciliation of one generation and the union of the second through Ferdinand and Miranda, has already been summarily treated by Easier (in al. Iii). The result is an important gain in concentration of the dramatic action as it has been conceived by Easier, who opens his third and final act in a way designed to incorporate these modifications so as to enhance the role of Clinical. Just as Chilblains given the first word in Act II, so he is present at the interview (Ill. ) between Ferdinand and Miranda, thereby denying even momentary prominence to their courtship, which Easier handles in a very UN-Shakespearean manner. Taking up once again the working hypothesis of a caricature of Bernardino De Saint-Pierre, we can readily see its zestfulness in aiding the transformation to the young lovers Ferdinand and Miranda into an ironic portrayal of Paul and Virginia. It is possible although by no means self-evident that Easier has suggested this parallel (in Ill. Ii), following the first interview between Ferdinand and Miranda.
The name Virginia occurs in Triathlons song ambiguously and can refer either to a woman or to the colony in the New World. The suggestion would in this case be a subliminal one for he reader or spectator. This parallel is far more likely to occur to a French audience, for whom Paul and Virginia function as the cultural archetype of the innocent young lovers on a remote and naturally beneficent island. A sophisticated French audience could likewise be expected to accept the caricature this Rousseau idyll in an ironic spirit.
Whether or not this ironic reading of the scene occurs to a particular audience, Easier has provided an effective critical parallel in the relation to labor of Ferdinand and Clinical. The latter, as a slave, is ordered by Prosper to complete Ferdinand task when he is satisfied that Ferdinand has withstood the trial in proper gentlemanly fashion. For Ferdinand labor is occasional and nonessential; for Clinical it is the principle which defines his existence. Easier underscores the difference quite deftly in this scene through Clarification’s chant, “Mounded, Mounded, Mounded Macadam. 7 Easier has further trivialize the courtship of Ferdinand and Miranda through their language, that of Miranda in particular. In Carrie’s play she expresses herself in a decidedly vulgar manner. When Ferdinand speaks her name, whispered to him by Clinical, she snaps: “Ah! Thomas A. Hale has identified this chant as a borrowing from H. E. Kerchief’s Afro-American Folksongs (New York, 1914), which includes the complete text of the song as collected by Loafed Hear in Louisiana around 1880.
Hale has reprinted Heart’s letter to Kerchief and the text of the song-in Creole and English-as an appendix to his article in Pl études literates (see n. 2 above). 243 ? A alarms! El villain trickier l” Or, when her father approaches: “Updraft pas quail onus surprises. ” These are words more appropriate a shop girl in a naturalistic novel than to the princess of pastoral tradition. Had Easier been in the least concerned with the conventions of pastoral he would have adopted here the language of durra or possibly, in a somewhat more modern guise, the badinage of Marinara.
But as we have seen in several instances already, Easier is prepared to modify every element of composition and stagecraft to his own end. It was surely important to Easier not to follow Shakespeare here since to, do so would have been to risk introducing linguistically the doctrine of high birth predisposing toward virtue, a doctrine he had taken care to exclude boot structurally and thematically. The question of language is in fact a broad one with implications for each major character and for the drama as a whole.
Easier has differentiated the characters linguistically according to social position. Probably in no other respect is his departure from Shakespeare so evident. Prosperous speech varies in a range from something approaching the tone of a Balzac lawyer to the crude expression of a coarse military officer in his more domineering moods. When Prosper explains to Miranda (l. Ii) the reasons for her sojourn on the island he is nearer the former: “Chest UN pee De tout cell a la Foss quail stag’s. Et dabber densities politesse, denigrates quasi, dun cadet ambitious …
Comment leers ambitions SE congruent, comment moon FRR “redefine el complicit De moon rival, comment celli-chi prompt a celli-la as protection en meme temps queue moon throne, el edible sell sati comment cues echoes guaranteeing” (p. 20). In the same scene Prosper, angered by Riel’s doubts, drops even the semblance of respectability: “Loans bon! Ta crises ! Chest tossups come GA eaves less intellectuals ! … Et pups cut ! Ce quiz interferes, CE en sons pas tees trances, maims tees severe” (p. 23). And later, still more brutally: “Cares! Jew minima pas less arbors pa’ roles. Quant TA liberty, TU Laura, maims a moon here” (ibid. . We are given to understand that in both cases we are witnessing aspects of a phenomenon of class. Ariel, although a slave, aspires to the bourgeois values of Prosper. His adoption of a purer form of speech represents an imaginary identification with the power that Prosper, wields in fact. His lyrical flight of fancy on the theme of freedom, which elicits Prosperous brutal “Cares! ” is patterned on a emotionless model: “Balmier! Fustian tree haute nun nonchalance oh”engage nun chance De people. Baobab! O Douched identifiable des monsters ! Demanded-el Pluto Louise calla quiz say cluster nun Saigon. Cab!
People AU sole fleer! Osseous! Less series palatines Dana el vii De la there (p. 23). One is struck here by the suggestion that Seafarer’s critical representation of the colonized man 244 SEASCAPE AND SHAKESPEARE as lyric poet may apply to himself, the more so as he has taken some pains to draw out the Caribbean elements of A Tempest. Primarily, however, we see in Ariel another embodiment of the phenomenon of black skin, white mask on which Fanons has written so brilliantly. Thus Riel’s mode of speech in the play functions to situate him just as effectively as do his statements to Coalition moderation and patience.
The language of Clinical is proletarian as befits his station, and it possesses its own nobility. The term nobility in this context is paradoxical only if it be taken in its connotation of a norm established by the dominant class. In the present case nobility refers to that quality of spirit that refuses to be crushed. Carrie’s Ceaselessness’s that quality. In this sense Easier has attributed to Clinical a human authenticity which he denies to the highborn characters in the play. His soliloquy at the close of