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February 11, 2007

EL312: Uniquely Yours, Shakespeare

I lugged my Norton Shakespeare back to campus with me yesterday after a brief visit home (ahem, I mean the Book of Sand, for those that know the reference, haha). I remembered when my group presented on "The Tempest" last fall in our Shakespeare course that the introduction in the Norton was really helpful. (The intro. is would probably end up being 4 pages photocopied... if anyone is interested.)

"The Tempest" is unusual among Shakespeare's plays in observing what literary critics of the age called the unities of time and place; unlike "Antony and Cleopatra," for example, which ranges over a huge territory, or "The Winter's Tale," which covers a huge span of time, the actions of "The Tempest" all take place in a single locale, the island, during the course of a single day. (Greenblatt 3049)

I love this about "The Tempest." It's nice to not have to wrap your head around an expanse of time or space... (whereas some of Shakespeare's plays don't seem to have much of a time/place reference at all, like 1 Henry IV and Henry V--two of my favorites).

There are a number of elements in "The Tempest" that aren't found in any of Shakespeare's other plays. I find this to be one of my favorite plays for the characters, though, even though the names can be tough to keep straight.

Shakespeare, The Tempest -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by KarissaKilgore at February 11, 2007 4:35 PM


Ah the Shakespeare class. I'm glad you didn't hurt yourself lugging that book back to campus...it could make a great weapon in the event of an attack.

I too enjoy "The Tempest" for all of its unique elements. Shakespeare really shakes things up with this play, both in style and in theme.

Posted by: Nessa at February 12, 2007 11:42 AM

I haven't taken Shakespeare yet, so I haven't had the pleasure of Norton, but in comparison with Shakespeare's other plays, I also enjoyed not concentrating on historical aspects. I think Shakespeare really shows his humor in this play, making it a little easier to get through.

Posted by: Erin at February 12, 2007 12:34 PM

"Shakespeare really shakes things up..."
Oh holy smokes, that one cracked me up, Vanessa! Haha.

And Erin, I recommend the Norton not only for the muscle tone you will build in carrying it around, but also for the great notes and introductions. (They actually are helpful!) If you enjoy the historical aspects of the plays, you'd like the intros in the book. (Okay, enough of me endorsing anthologies already...)

Posted by: Karissa at February 12, 2007 11:04 PM

I also blogged on the time aspect of this particular play.
I thought it was an interesting factor within the play that it was all done within one day.
It was interesting watching it and having to keep saying that this is all in one day.
It was nice not having to worry about whether this particular scene was during this time period or day.

Posted by: Denamarie at February 13, 2007 8:37 PM

I also reread that introduction before churning my memory of The Tempest. Quite quality.

Yes, the time aspect of The Tempest makes for an easier read, as there isn't so much to worry about in terms of day/night/evening/dawn/(insert other times of day here).

Posted by: Diana Geleskie at February 15, 2007 2:46 PM

The style Shakespeare used within this play is unique with his style of writing.
I have also not taken Shakespeare, but let me tell you how excited I am. I also enjoyed his humor in this play which made it easier to get through.

Posted by: Denamarie at February 20, 2007 11:00 PM

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