Nov 29, 2010

The Tempest

Oh, Shakespeare! How I dote upon your genius!

Recently, in fact, for today, I have had to re-read The Tempest. It is by far one of my favourites of Shakespeare's works. It is his last written play, and the epilogue of the play is Shakespeare's own farewell to the theatre.

Now my charms are all o'erthrown
And what strength I have 's mine own,
Which is most faint. Now, 'tis true
I must be here confined by you
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardoned the deceiver dwell
In this bare island by your spell,
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands.
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself, and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardoned be,
Let your indulgence set me free.

Wonderful words. "Let your indulgence set me free." Shakespeare's epilogues call the audience to clap, as the play aims to please. In Midsummer Night's Dream, Puck's ending soliloquy calls the audience to forgive the faults, and count the play as nothing more than a dream. Here, Shakespeare is asking us to put our hands together, and release him from the theatre. He bids the audience goodbye, one last time. Clever, isn't it.

Could Shakespeare ever truly be free from his scripts? Is asking for our indulgence, as the audience, really going to 'set him free?'

Perhaps not.

December 10, 2010. From the Director of 'Across the Universe', comes The Tempest.

I know what I'm going to be doing in a few weeks!

Word of the Day: Spirit

Quote of the Day: "Well, that's just maddening the unhelpful!" Johnny Depp, as Captain Jack Sparrow

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