April 12, 2007

Miko's Ideas on The Tempest

Miko, ''Tempest'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

The meaning of Miko’s essay was to explore the interpretations that critics were able to draw upon using the words of the text in The Tempest. Miko acknowledges the interpretations and then goes on to say “the multiplicity and possible deliberate inconclusiveness of Shakespeare’s last plays.” The Tempest is a play that is “neither tragic, nor comic; it is skeptical, yet genial” (376).
Miko is going to give us his theory on what Shakespeare possibly did or did not intend to mean when he was writing his play. He believes that many critics fill the gaps in Shakespeare’s play with religious theories. They want to find the answers and at times, draw upon any moral or ethical references to support their ideas and answer the questions that have been raised.
Miko pays an awful lot of attention to the magic that the magician is using in order to create a “new world.” It may be possible that Shakespeare made the family’s location deliberate. He also claims that Shakespeare’s play can not be read as just a play because there are entirely too many symbolic references. Shakespeare meant, according to Miko, to experiment and demonstrate the limits of poetic justice, symbolic neatness, and “resolved” endings for plays.
Miko believes that The Tempest has loose ends, which is a valid argument. It seems to me that the reason why Miko finds examples of loose ends in the characters reflections or the characters call for help or forgiveness. When the reader is able to see deeper into the character is causes a slight contradiction of the character. Loose ends occurred because “the art and the magic of playmaking questions both its matter (the themes) and its own power, affirming only in understood, limited ways” (376). Miko states it is because nature wouldn’t is why it happens to be one of the plays loose ends.
Now, on to a new subject – Prospero. Prospero is in charge of this play. The magic behind Prospero is somewhat intriguing and disturbing. He uses his magic to manipulate the characters in the play itself and the people who are watching or reading The Tempest. He can control anything and everything except for the internal feelings of the other characters. With this being the case, Miko states that it leaves questions such as, What effect can Prospero’s external powers have on internal sates (moral and spiritual)” (377)? Miko believes that Prospero magic defines moral limits by illustrating physiological stubbornness, which occurs when Prospero refuses to leave his island.
Caliban is also another interesting character. Miko believes that he should be transformed from natural man to Us. He acknowledges that some of Caliban’s actions do not imitate us but for the most part we share similarities. Evil lives in all of us and in all of the characters in the play, which is why we all strive to rid the evil and become better people, which is something that most of the characters have felt and attempted to accomplish.
Shakespeare has one intent and that is to attempt to match words and things, wishes and realities, inevitably leave disjunctions, especially for those who insist on neatness, which is the exact opposite of what this play demonstrated. He explains life as we know it should indeed be messy because we are in control of it, not some inhuman person.

Posted by GinaBurgese at April 12, 2007 12:21 PM | TrackBack

I have to say that your understanding of this essay is much better than my understanding that is for sure. As my entry on this reading shows I thought there was a bit of a nod to psychology. It seemed that this was what Shakespeare was getting at to me. His questioning of where Prospero's psyche was is very interesting. You thoughts?

Also, what do you think Miko meant by "Us"? I still don't understand that and I read it like three times before I posted my entry.

Posted by: Tiffany at April 12, 2007 2:47 PM

You almost sold me on Miko, but I still think he delves a bit too deep - and not in search of answers, just more questions.

Posted by: Dave Moio at April 12, 2007 5:40 PM
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