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i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

Tempest in a Teapot

February 20, 2005

When my friend saw the title of the play I was reading this week, he said, "Tempest! That's a cool word. We should bring back tempest!"

I, of course, immediately agreed vowing that the next foul weather would hear me spewing epithets about foul tempests and graven images and ... stuff.

So, wonder'st thou'st, what -is- a tempest... symbolically speaking of course?

tem·pest
n.
A violent windstorm, frequently accompanied by rain, snow, or hail.
or
Furious agitation, commotion, or tumult; an uproar: “The tempest in my mind/Doth from my senses take all feeling” (Shakespeare).

Ah, yes, the tempest in my mind doth tell me this is true! So, I guess you could say that a tempest is a woah baby big shake up. Shit is going to go down, if you know what I'm saying: ah yeah. chaos is in the air. my favorite.

It's never just rain, remember... it's a cleansing, a rebirth, a new beginning. The Tempest is a convenient plot technique, if you're lookin', because it allows the author (in this case Shakespeare) to bring to together a strange mix of characters, all of whom who are imperative for the advancement of the plot (except for maybe Franscisco, but screw him!).

"Rain is also restorative", says Foster, author of "How to Read Literature Like A Professor" and in the case of The Tempest rain allows Prospero with his Art to restore the natural balance of things.

An alternate meaning of tempest is it use as a verb:
tr.v. tem·pest·ed, tem·pest·ing, tem·pests
To cause a tempest around or in.

In this case, we can consider both Ariel and Prospero to be tempesting about the island, just frolicking happy as larks and mixing it up.

Finally, tempest is presented as an idiom: tempest in a teacup/teapot - a great disturbance or uproar over a matter of little or no importance.

I'll take that interpretation too because at the end of The Tempest I found myself feeling disappointed: what was the point of that? I mean, I understood what happened - and they all lived happily ever after blah blah blah. I just don't think it was the best Shakespeare I've ever read... I mean, it was interesting but there wasn't much spark. I found it slightly hohum! I do, however, enjoy the idea of fairies. I <3 fairies!

Moira at 06:50 PM :: Comments (0) :: « :: »
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