March 1, 2005

Different Opinion

For every argument one can find a counter argument. Keeps things interesting. In Harold Bloom’s article he makes some arguments against topics previously looked at in The Tempest.

The first thing that struck me was Bloom’s declaration that the play is in fact a comedy. In class (and in my blog) Dr. Jerz informed us that The Tempest is a romance. Now, I laughed a few times while reading the play, but maybe that was just my odd sense of humor. However, just because I laughed doesn’t make it a comedy any more than crying would make it a tragedy. Bloom does not provide adequate examples to support The Tempest being a comedy.

I also noted that Bloom said, “…Shakespeare takes considerable care to exclude Christian references from The Tempest”. Now, I distinctly recall reading articles that argued that Shakespeare did include Christian references in the play, especially Catholic ones. Then he wrote about the god-like image that Prospero has in the play. So first Shakespeare didn’t have any Christian elements but then Prospero is a god? I just wasn’t following.

Posted by VanessaKolberg at March 1, 2005 11:15 PM | TrackBack

I did notice the "comedy" thing - I figured we'd be talking about that one in class today! ;c) And as for the religious stuff - Prospero can be a god without necessarily having Christian sentiments - Greeks, Romans, Wiccans all have gods with Jesus. But I see your point - I just think it goes to show that literature = whatever the heck you want it to be. :c)

Posted by: moira at March 2, 2005 10:40 AM

Aha... good catch!

If you have to classify it as "comedy" or "tragedy," then it's a comedy. But if the categories are "comedy," "tregedy," "history" and "romance" -- the four divisions in which scholars typically divide Shakespeare's work -- then it's a romance.

Comedies don't have to be "funny" in the sense we think of today. In terms of genre, a comedies begin in disorder and work towards order, with the conclusion typically involving a marriage. Tragedies begin in order and end in disorder.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at March 2, 2005 10:54 AM
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