March 11, 2007

Literary Realism

"When we enter the world of The Tempest, with its curious feeling of being a world withdrawn from both death and birth, we recognize again that that world is being specifically identified with the world of the drama" (Frye 303).

Was Shakespeare's The Tempest following (our favorite term for this form of criticism) the conventions of drama at the time to create a world and a play that we can view as both unique and familiar when compared to other dramas of the time?

Frye's "Shakespeare's The Tempest" illustrates Shakespeare keeping with the norm for drama and literature at the time, displaying the traditional elements found in most works, his own included. I wondered, though, if he was trying to create a sense of reality and if so, wouldn't this then lend itself to a mimetic reading? If we can use Caliban as an allusion to cannibalism in the New World and find the historical elements of the play, then have we crossed the line of intertextualism?

Or perhaps a form of "literary realism" is created with Shakespeare's works, especially The Tempest. Readers expect a certain amount of fantasy in literature and usually receive it, even when there is no actual magic. Literature does not always have to draw upon the real of our lives- what fun is that? Instead it creates its own realism through expected elements and, dare I say it, conventions that the reader has come to understand and know as the familiar in poems, plays, etc. Shakespeare follows the "literary realism" in The Tempest- keeping the structure of the play similar to what others were writing (or his other works as well) in addition to forming a "dramady". Again, to understand what he is doing with the play we must understand the "literary realism" as well as the other forms of literature and criticism and hence, create this intertextuality of the work. Ah Frye, you've done it again.

Frye, ''Shakespeare's The Tempest'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by VanessaKolberg at March 11, 2007 4:15 PM | TrackBack

Good points, Vanessa. It all goes back to intertextuality. If we look at other works, even Disney movies, we are able to easily believe in flying elephants and talking puppets because we have seen the ideas of the stretched imagination present in other works.

Posted by: Erin at March 12, 2007 1:28 PM
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