“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”
― William Shakespeare, The Tempest
The Tempest was one of Shakespeare’s last plays and, in my opinion, one of his greatest. It’s most certainly the work of someone who has lived a long life and seen much. Someone who can look back at successes and failures, times of joy and sadness, and understand how they all fit into the grand scheme of things.
Yesterday, I got to see this play on the big screen as it was performed in the Globe theatre (this is part of the Globe on Screen series). As the woman behind me said to her companion, “this is the next best thing to being in London and in the theatre itself”. One day, I hope to have such an opportunity.
Roger Allam (The Woman in Black, Endeavour) played Prospero just as I imagined him when I first read the play at age 17. I envisioned Prospero as this larger than life figure that at one moment could be a kind and loving father and the next a frightening presence with magical powers.
Caliban was just as horrific and revolting as I pictured, as well. This was due not only to the actor’s performance, but the excellent costume and make-up he sported as the island’s monster. Also, the spirit Ariel was beautiful and graceful and had the perfect other worldly quality needed.
The other characters are less interesting, and I am rather bored by the romance between Prospero’s daughter Miranda and Ferdinand in the play. Yet, how Prospero manipulates that relationship and causes the young couple to fight for one another is interesting. He basically tells the audience that love that is too easily won is not a deep or lasting love. When people have to struggle to be with one another, their relationship is often stronger.
I don’t want to reveal too much about the plot because I really hope all of you will read it, watch it, or at least check out some of the play’s great quotes. In my opinion, this play isn’t read enough, and should be appreciated as much as Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and other more well-known Shakespearean masterpieces.
Now, to the contest details: I won this prize through an online contest put on by Bard on the Beach. The tickets were worth $29.98. The year is off to a great start and I’m looking forward to many more wonderful experiences in the “brave new world” of 2015!