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I'm King, No I'm King, No Me!

"Monster, I will kill this man: his daugh
ter and I will be king and queen;-save our
graces!-and Trinculo and thyself shall be vice
roys.-Dost thou like the plot, Trinculo?" (III. ii The Tempest)

Oh, how the plot thickens. In true Shakespearian style everyone desires to be top dog. I think what I love best in any Shakespearian play are the drunkards who desire to be king. Stephano the drunk butler stumbles into the scene with drink in hand and believes since the king Alonso is presumed dead, that he has a shot at the title. Only a fool, such as Stephano and his little band of misfits could believe they had a chance at royalty.

Prospero has become kinglike after his takeover of the spirit laden island. Caliban the "monster" who ruled there originally wants his power back and King Alonso and his men are in a power struggle. But, it is a drunkard who, only in his idiocy, begins to rule without compulsion. He has already begun to mandate rules and wave superiority over the two following him; Trinculo, the jester and Caliban, the monster. The Tempest is a story, within a story, within a story. The real story is Prospero and his plans to become the true Duke and take down those who expelled him unjustly. The love story between Ferdinand and Miranda, which is also a plan of Prospero, is put into motion to help him win back his dukedom. But, it is the story of the fools which intrigues me. I have always loved Shakespeares ability to make us laugh as he weaves his romantic tragedies. The dialogue between these three is a true comedic parallel to whats happening in the rest of the story. It keeps us entertained, as well as, showing us the ridiculousness of those who desire power so much that they cheat, steal and kill to get it.

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Comments (2)


I love Shakespeare's plays. While reading this play, I thought of Britain's colonization as Caliban was taken over by Prospero and then worked for him. He even assimilated into Prospero's culture as he said:
You taught me language, and my profit on’t
Is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!” (I.ii.366-368).

james lohr:

So what's the problem with a drunk wanting to be king? I might be that drunk, and maybe I want to be king. Are you telling me I can't pull it off?

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 9, 2009 1:01 PM.

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