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"In other words a text this is fixed in history and, at the same time, curiously free of historical limation" (Barker and Hulme 443).

Isn't this how literary works are supposed to be? If a text was completely about something that happened in history and had no fictionalization what so ever than that work would be some kind of history book or a biography or something.

"Holds that Shakespeare was influenced by his reading of the Bermuda pamphlets" (Barker and Hulme 445).

First of all how do we even know for sure that Shakespeare was even influenced by some kind of pamphlets for The Tempest? It seems like the deeper we get into this literary criticism the more we find out that some of the stuff we read isn't true due to the fact that the criticism isn't even based on true facts. I'm starting to think that some critics are so set in their ways that they don't even look at everything they can at a certain topic to find out if it's completely true. After reading this article I"m still not even sure how The Tempest is based on history. The writers of this article don't even talk about how they know the history behind it and mention sources but what are they? To be honest I want to see cold hard facts that nail down Shakespeare's influences for this play.

The authors of this article also mentioned the chess game that Miranda and Ferdinand play at the end of the game. To be honest I didn't understand the whole concept behind it so I thought I would do a little research behind it even though I'm sure most of you got it the when you initionally read the play. According to sparknotes Prospero had a whole game plan, and in chess you have to carefully think about how you move each piece because you want to eventually capture the king (although I don't understand why since the queen is supposedly more powerful? Dr. Jerz is that true?). Prospero does eventually get the king. Everyone in the story is a game piece, even Prospero's own daughter.

Since we are focusing on history this week I got to thinking about the fact that he mentions magic so much in his plays. I discovered that there were witch trials quite often. My big question is, since Shakespeare used so much magic and witch craft in his plays and appearently knew a lot about it, why wasn't he ever accused of witchcraft or anything like that? Royals were known to go see his plays, so why wasn't anything ever said about this?

I guess I went off the track a little bit but at least this article helped me to see that I really need to investigate things myself because critics don't always tell you everything or tell you the truth.

Back to Barker and Hulme



Greta Carroll said:

Sue, the critics do seem to be basing their arguments on faulty facts. But then again what is a fact? As Eagleton pointed out in his introduction and one of the first things we read in this class, there really is no such thing as a “fact.” All “facts” are affected by “value-judgments.” You mentioned non-fiction and history books, but should we even consider these things history? After all the people that wrote these histories had to have come from cultural positioning and would have been affected by their own biases and time periods. I think the moral of story is that we need to be really skeptical about what people present as “facts”. We should approach critical articles and everything in general with caution and realize that everyone is affected by the position whether they realize it or not.

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