April 4, 2007

The Magic of the Tempest

"Art, like life, orders by acts of wishing and willing and above all imagining; the results are bound to be a little messy. They can be neat only if will dominates all" (Miko 382).

However, as we see, will does not dominate all in the Tempest but rather it is magic and its influence on the story that have the greatest impact. And magic, as Miko points out in Tempest (seriously people, title your articles better) is anything but neat. And that's just the way Shakespeare wants it.

The majority of this article was spent on the magic of the play, a huge part of the text. Not only does it influence all the characters, whether directly or indirectly, but it holds another meaning as well- the well understood "things aren't always as they appear" thought. The magic does not act merely as a catalyst for further plot development but instead as a way of masking items or events under the cloud of "are they or aren't they?". It becomes more than a symbol as well, but as a form of Art itself.

The magic transports us into Prospero's world and allows the reader to be manipulated by his Art- similar to that of a viewer of a painting: he or she is taken into this fake world on the canvas. It is all encompassing, forcing the readers and the characters of the Tempest to reexamine the world around them, taking into account what is real and what has been masked by the magic, or the Art. The Art of Prospero's magic is such a large part of the lives of the characters that the play would not function in the same way without. As the quote states, this can create some challenges or discrepencies in the text since nothing is ever neat and simple if it is to be Art. Shakespeare did not write the Tempest in a straightforward easy to understand manner for the same reason he included the magic so predominantly- both are to be examined, reviewed, and studied by the reader. What fun is it if Shakespeare just comes right out and tells you what it means?

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

Posted by VanessaKolberg at April 4, 2007 3:57 PM | TrackBack

It looks like just the two of us, so far. So be prepared for alot of comments. I like that you said that nothing is ever neat and simple if it is to be Art. We may both look at a painting and you see a chair and I see a goat. Does that make either one of us nuts? Probably. The idea is that we are able to discover the piece on our own and explore the various meanings. We wouldn't have a class if we couldn't explore.

Posted by: Erin at April 6, 2007 11:52 AM
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