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English 1022 Lecture on "The Tempest": The Court Party and Imperialism

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Western University
English 1022E
David Bentley

The Tempest Lecture January 11, 2011 On Board: * * * PostColonial “write back” O. Mannoni, Psychologis de la colonisation George Lamming, The Pleasures of Exile “What a great language I have inherited... from the fierce conquistadores... We came up losers... we came off winners. They carried off the gold and left us the gold... They carried everything off and left everything... They left us the words” - Pablo Neruda, Nobel Prize Poet * * * - The chess game is rational, and represents the relationship they have; will, reason and passion - The court party suffers from an excess of ambition that makes them want to occupy the position of those higher up than them. They are even prepared to murder to get their ambitions fulfilled; already attempted murder by exiling Miranda and Prospero to die - His incapacity to control himself has led to insanity. Madness (King). - Prospero understands that reason always has to be controlled. - Third Party is the low comedy group. They stand for an excess of passions/appetites; and inability to control them. - How did the Renaissance think about Passion and Appetite? - Feeling, emotion and passion; these can be easily confused. - Feeling is happiness, satisfaction, content, passive state of being. This is an inward feeling. - Emotion is a turbulence of feeling; something that moves us to take action: love, pity, fear, disgust. Those are things that will make us want to move towards the object that the emotion emanates from, or move away from it. - Passion is rage, terror, hatred, loathing, guilt, jealousy, shame. So powerful that they affect us physically and mentally. They jump across the mind/body split and suggest that maybe it isn’t that important. One feels these passions viscerally, in your gut; because of this they can take over your life. Othello; what jealousy does to him. Passion can produce a chain reaction. Shame - self-hatred - self-destructiveness. These vicious passions are more powerful than emotions and feelings. - Gradually, the Third Party’s susceptibility to uncontrolled passion increases and takes them closer to the brink of vicious passion. - Now that Trinculo and Stephano are on the scene, things change because of alcohol which unhinges them and Caliban. Alcohol is an obvious means by how we put our reason aside for awhile. The relaxing of the control of reason can lead to serious problems. - The second time we see them (Act 3 Scene 2) they are drinking again, and plotting to kill Prospero. Uncontrol has started to issue in a positive movement towards fatal action. - Stephano is hoping that he will replace Prospero as the King of the Island with Trinculo and Caliban as the servants/viceroys. - Disorder in the minds of these 3 is beginning to move towards disorder in society as they plot to kill Prospero. - Act 2 Scene 2 l.129 - Caliban still speaks in blank verse. He has a much more rational mode of speech than Trinculo/Stephano who speak in prose. This sets him apart from the other two. - Caliban is becoming monstrous and unnatural in his behaviour. He sings the opposite of the beautiful music that Ariel sings; like a rugby song. Caliban has lost control here, he is a babbling gibbering idiot speaking in syllables. - He has no control at all and in fact if we look at what has happened we c
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