Book Club #2: The Tempest (William Shakespeare)


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OK @suspended have you got a copy?


Looks like the whole thing is here if not:

I've got the Macmillan, 2008 paperback.

Here's some previous musings on it from the bredren:

I've never liked the tempest, or people who like it

Tempest is like the worst one

I am Prospero

I see Corpse has reviewed The Tempest on Goodreads.


Tempest is odd because all the important stuff happens before the play starts and most of the first act is getting the audience up to speed. It’s the playing out of the consequences that makes the play interesting. Act 4 though is just plain odd - Furies, Masques all that stuff is difficult to pull off well on the stage.

But's BOR-RING. ;)

I just co-directed a version of The Tempest, and halfway through I have to echo the above statement...I was sitting there one day - and, y'know, I like The Tempest, I was doing it - and I was thinking 'God this fucking shit is boring. What a fucking boring old fucking cunt'. You're really not meant to do that. Lol. But some of his lines really do just kill it.
A one line pitch for Shakespeare?
Bad rapper, killer punchlines.

otherwise..../The Tempest/ is of course wonderful - exotic, magical, defintely /not/ funny-ha-ha so much as funny-uh-oh, and full of shimmering shakespearian moments of ambiguity. for example in the final scene, when miranda and ferdinand, the "happy newly weds" at the end of what poses as a pastoral comedy (i.e. they should be about to return to the city refreshed and rejuvinated, basking in marital bliss....) are playing chess, and miranda accuses of f. of cheating. he deines it, and her reply still has us guessing:

"Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, / And I would call it fair play"

I've DLd an audiobook of The Tempest and Ian McKellen does Prospero well but Ariel is annoying as fuck

I've never really loved The Tempest as much as I feel I should.

My serious suggestion would be The Tempest. That was my favourite of the four I did in school.

I liked The Tempest when I read it in school. Tom McCarthy goes on about surveillance and radio and communications networks re: Hamlet and The Tempest. He likes to cite Caliban's bit about the air being full of noises,

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices,
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.



bandz ahoy
I feel bad about not loving it. Maybe it will all click one day?

I genuinely love Henry IV, pt 1. I keep putting off pt 2 for some reason

Some of the others I like a lot. Othello, Midsummer Nights Dream, Hamlet... Twelfth Night I came around to.

Don't like Merchant of Venice.


is not like other people
you taught me language, and my profit on it is, i know to curse

be not afear'd - the isle is full of strange noises, that hurt not

remembered from schooldays


Beast of Burden
I feel bad about not loving it. Maybe it will all click one day?

I genuinely love Henry IV, pt 1.

Some of the others I like a lot. Othello, Midsummer Nights Dream, Hamlet... Twelfth Night I came around to.

Don't like Merchant of Venice.

It’s like Shakespeare has let you down, Corpse. It’s probably good he isn’t around to feel the burning shame of it.


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I'm into Act 2. I did find Act 1 quite typical Shakespeare, very thick language and a lot going on so it's easy to miss a key point. This edition has a scene by scene analysis at the end which was helpful.

Some good lines though and I especially liked the bits in 2.1 about the island having a personality.

Adrian: "The air breathes upon us here most sweetly"
Sebastian: "As if it had lungs, and rotten ones"

And how it makes them feel like they are all new, in clean clothes.

And this from Gonzalo about foggy minds:

"It is foul weather in us all, good sir,
When you are cloudy."


And also the dramatic potential starts to feel very intriguing eg I found myself wondering how you could stage the part where Antonio and Sebastian are conspiring to kill Gonzalo who is asleep, they egg one another on and draw their swords, then Ariel whispers him awake so they have to pretend they heard something.

Would be a good test for a director that, how to achieve it, got a bit of everything.


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Finished! Very good, bit disappointed in the ending though. I thought all hell was going to break loose and Prospero was going to get busy.

Feel like something like this would all be in the staging. Going to watch Jarman's version.


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Imposition gladly received Martin, I've never read either of those books so might check em out. I did really enjoy it. Not watched the Jarman yet.


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You know I was so ashamed by being unable to get time in for this book club it partially precipitated my leaving the forum for months

It's still gonna happen though and this thread will revive

In the meantime I'll be watching Ex Machina which I hear is loosely adapted


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I thought what was good about the book was how while reading, I found myself wondering "how would you stage this?"