The tempest by william shakespeare
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The Tempest by William Shakespeare. ENG 400: British Literature Unit II: Celebrating Humanity. Section 1: Introduction to The Tempest. Background Information Key Characters Major Themes. The Tempest Background.

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The tempest by william shakespeare

The Tempestby William Shakespeare

ENG 400: British Literature

Unit II: Celebrating Humanity


Section 1 introduction to the tempest

Section 1:Introduction to The Tempest

Background Information

Key Characters

Major Themes


The tempest background

The Tempest Background

  • Plot: The Tempest begins with a big storm (tempest) that causes King Alonso’s ship to wreck on an island inhabited by Prospero, a wizard and former Duke of Milan who was betrayed and exiled by his own brother (with assistance from the King). Over the next 24 hours, Prospero and other characters spin a series of plots as they seek revenge, romance, and even murder.

  • Performance: The first known performance of The Tempest was in 1611, making it one of Shakespeare’s latest plays. Many people regard the play as Shakespeare’s farewell to the theater, with the character of Prospero representing the Bard himself.

  • Perspectives: While traditional readings of the play see Prospero as a heroic and benevolent figure, more modern readings take a different perspective. Starting around 1970, analysis and performance of the play began to focus on the play’s depiction of colonialism, with Prospero becoming a symbol of imperialism and oppression of native peoples. As we explore the play, consider which view you take of the character and story.


Key characters in the tempest

Key Characters in The Tempest


Important topics in the tempest

Important Topics in The Tempest

  • usurpation / rebellion

  • nature vs. nurture

  • imprisonment & freedom

  • forgiveness & reconciliation

  • illusion/magic

  • colonialism

  • sleep & dreams

  • change / transformation


Important topics in the tempest1

Important Topics in The Tempest


Important topics continued

Important Topics continued . . .


Important topics continued1

Important Topics continued . . .


Section 2 literary concepts

Section 2:Literary Concepts

Characterization

Dramatic Conventions

Irony

Prose and Verse

Scansion

Allusions


Revealing character

Revealing Character

  • Two types of characterization

    • Direct: information about a character is directly stated by the author/narrator

    • Indirect: information about a character is implied through dialogue, thoughts, and actions

  • In drama, almost all characterization is indirect.

  • Throughout the play, information about a character will be revealed through

    • What the character says

    • What the character does

    • What others say about the character

    • How others react to / behave toward the character


Revealing character prospero s tale

Revealing Character: Prospero’s Tale


Dramatic conventions

Dramatic Conventions

  • Dramatic Conventions: techniques that make a play realistic while giving the audience information that they could not glean from straightforward action

    • Monologue: a single character speaking alone, with or without other characters around

    • Soliloquy: a speech, usually of some length, in which a character, alone on the stage, expresses his/her thoughts and feelings

    • Aside: a few words or a short passage spoken in an undertone or directly to the audience. An aside is not heard by the other characters onstage. This device allows for wordplay, foreshadowing, and character contrasts, and also promotes audience involvement.


Types of irony

Types of Irony

  • Irony is created when there is a disconnect between what is perceived or expected and what actually is.


Verbal irony

Verbal Irony

  • In verbal irony, the author/speaker says one thing, but actually means something else.

  • Verbal irony may be obvious or subtle.

  • Tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, or other physical manifestations may signal verbal irony.

    • “Oh, I couldn’t agree more,” she said dryly, rolling her eyes.


Situational irony

Situational Irony

  • Also known as “irony of situation”

  • Refers to the disconnect between what is hoped for or expected and what actually happens

  • May be used to fool or mislead the reader (the infamous “twist”)


Cosmic irony irony of fate

Cosmic Irony (Irony of Fate)

  • A special kind of situational irony that is based upon the belief that the universe is indifferent to individuals

  • “Even if things are going well right now, people’s lives end badly”

  • Ex. The lyrics to Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic”

    • An old man turned 98. He won the lottery

      and died the next day.

    • It’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is

      a knife.

    • It’s meeting the man of my dreams and then

      meeting his beautiful wife.


Dramatic irony

Dramatic Irony

  • Dramatic irony occurs when the audience has knowledge / information that characters do not have.

  • It can build humor or tension, depending on the circumstances.

  • Ex.: The partygoer carelessly wanders into the basement or the woods when the audience knows that the axe murderer is there waiting.


Prose and verse in shakespeare plays

Prose and Verse in Shakespeare Plays

Prose

Verse

Formal language; special occasions / situations

Looks like poetry

written in lines (don’t reach end of page)

each line begins with a capital letter

Spoken

by upper class

by characters in love

in more formal situations (speaking with superiors)

May rhyme for special emphasis

  • Everyday, informal language

  • Looks like regular language

    • written in sentences and paragraphs

    • lines go to end of the page

    • capital letters occur at beginning of new sentences

  • Spoken

    • by lower class

    • by characters in altered states (drunk, insane, disguised, etc.)

    • in less formal situations (comedic scenes, scenes between close friends or family)


Analyzing shakespeare s verse

Analyzing Shakespeare’s Verse

  • Scansion is the analysis of verse in terms of rhythm, meter, and meaning.

  • Professional actors who are performing Shakespeare begin by scanning their lines to better understand the script.

  • Shakespeare used very few stage directions; the ones we see have been added by editors. Instead, directions for actors are woven into the language itself.

  • Step 1: Read the speech aloud to get a sense of the meaning.

  • Step 2:Scan the lines for poetic foot and meter. Identify variations.

  • Step 3:Paraphrase the text.

  • Step 4: Underline the operative words.

  • Step 5:Perform the speech, incorporating your understanding of the rhythm, emphasis, and meaning.


Scanning the lines

Scanning the Lines

  • poetic foot: a set of syllables that follow a particular stress pattern

    • Syllables may be stressed or unstressed.

      • stressed: indicated with an accent mark (`) or ALL CAPS

      • unstressed: indicated by a breve (˘), degree sign (º), or lower case letters

    • A virgule (/) is used to indicate the end of a foot.

    • The most common poetic foot is the iamb, a two-syllable foot (unstressedstressed)

  • poetic meter: the number of feet in a line of poetry

    • The prefix indicates the number of feet (mono = one foot, di = two feet, tri = three feet, etc.).

  • Iambic pentameter is the main rhythmic structure of Shakespeare’s verse. It contains five iambs (10 syllables total). A scanned line of iambic pentameter looks like this:

    ˘ ˊ / ˘ ˊ / ˘ ˊ / ˘ ˊ /˘ ˊ


Scanning the lines continued

Scanning the Lines continued . . .

  • Here are some strategies for identifying the stressed and unstressed syllables in a line.

    • Look for polysyllabic words. The words that have more than one syllable will naturally have some stressed syllables and some unstressed ones. Mark those syllables first.

    • Use a dictionary. If you aren’t sure which syllables are stressed in a polysyllabic word, look it up in the dictionary. The pronunciation guide is in parentheses right after the word in the dictionary entry. A stressed syllable will be followed by an accent mark.

    • Consider parts of speech. Often, the amount of stress placed on a word is related to the word’s function in the sentence. Here are some general guidelines:

      • Stressed: verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs

      • Unstressed: articles (a, an, the), conjunctions, prepositions


Scanning the lines practice

Scanning the Lines - Practice

  • Practice line: “But soft, what light from yonder window breaks?”

    • Polysyllabic words: yonder (yonˊ der), window (winˊdow)

    • Stressed parts of speech: breaks (v), light (n), window (n), soft (adv), yonder (adj)

    • Unstressed parts of speech: but (conj), from (prep)

Butsoft, what lightfrom [yon ˊ der] [win ˊ dow] breaks?

˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ

But soft,/ what light / from yon/der win/dow breaks?


Scanning the lines elisions and extensions

Scanning the Lines – Elisions and Extensions

  • Sometimes, Shakespeare had to change words to make them fit the meter.

    • elision: a syllable is removed to make the word shorter; indicated by an apostrophe (‘), much like contractions

      • Examples: over = o’erit is = ‘tis for it = for ‘tof the island = o’ th’ island

    • extension: a syllable is added to make the word longer; indicated by an accented syllable, usually the “ed” in a past-tense word

      • Examples: banishèddisturbèd


Scanning the lines shared lines

Scanning the Lines – Shared Lines

  • Shakespeare may also have characters share lines to maintain the rhythm. These lines are spoken by two different characters in a dialogue, without a pause between them. Shared lines are used to add intensity and/or show familiarity.

  • FERDINAND

  • O most dear mistress,The sun will set before I shall dischargeWhat I must strive to do.

  • MIRANDA

  • If you'll sit down,I'll bear your logs the while: pray, give me that;I'll carry it to the pile.

˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ

What I / must strive / to do. / If you’ll / sit down


Scanning the lines variations

Scanning the Lines - Variations

  • In order to keep the verse from becoming monotonous and repetitive, Shakespeare often used variations. Here are two of the most common ones.

    • Trochaic foot: a trochee (trow-key) is a two-syllable foot with the opposite pattern from an iamb (stressedunstressed)

    • Feminine ending: a feminine ending is an extra, unstressed syllable at the end of a line; it may indicate a character being off balance, crazy, or particularly emotional

ˊ ˘˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ

Now is / the win/ter of / our dis/content

˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘ ˊ ˘

To be / or not / to be,/ that is / the question


Mythological allusions

Mythological Allusions

  • An allusionis a reference to a well-known person, place, event, or work of art.

  • Characters in The Tempest make many allusions, both to their contemporary pop culture and to classical Greek mythology.

  • The following Greek gods are mentioned and/or portrayed in the play.


Mythological allusion continued

Mythological Allusion continued . . .


Section 3 essential question notes

Section 3:Essential Question Notes

Textbook Pages 240 – 246

Place

Society

Tradition


Eq 1 what is the relationship between literature and place

EQ 1: What Is the Relationship between Literature and Place?

What did England come to mean?

What was London’s role in this literary explosion?


Eq 2 how does literature shape or reflect society

EQ 2: How Does Literature Shape or Reflect Society?


Eq 3 what is the relationship of the writer to tradition

EQ 3: What Is the Relationship of the Writer to Tradition?


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