Valediction. Sept 15



The drafts you shared last week all showed a willingness to engage complex ideas in response to the essay prompts. As a response to questions raised in the workshop and to reiterate the MLA citation rules I went over, I put together a Writing Help post.

Feature Description
Titles Have you titled your paper yet? If not, write down a title right now. What constitutes a good title? How can a title help you narrow the scope and keep the paper focused? MLA format for titles.
Claims What does a successful claim do?
Paragraph What does a successful paragraph do?

Part I. Group Activity

Get into groups of 2-3 and discuss the following questions. Be prepared to cite evidence from the text to support your answer during discussion:

  • What, exactly, is Prospero’s “project” (5.1.1)? Does he accomplish it? Why or why not?

Part II. Mini-Lecture/Discussion

As we work through some of the some details of early modern London and performance history keep the following in mind: Of what do you think Shakespeare was attempting to persuade his audience in The Tempest? What sorts of responses do you think the play provokes then and now?

What did 17th c. London look like? Is The Tempest set in London?

Map of London Showing the Playhouses 1576-1642

Played at Court: 

“It is probably no more than a coincidence that Shakespeare’s spectacular and exotic play The Tempest was performed at court with Chapman’s similarly exotic Memorable Masque for the marriage, in February 1613 of the princess Elizabeth to the Elector Palatine” (John Gilles “Shakespeare’s Virginian Masque” 215).

Whitehall Banqueting House Interior

Played at the Blackfriars: 

“The Blackfriars, we know, had two entry doors and a central ‘discovery space’ in the tiring-house wall, a balcony above, flanked by the curtained music room, and a stage platform half the size of the Globe’s with boxes along its flanks and up to fifteen gallants sitting on stools on the stage alongside the boxes” (Andrew Gurr “The Tempest at the Blackfriars” 257).

Blackfriars Theater, Conjectural Reconstruction, 1921

Part III. Textual Cruxes

Ferdinand     “Let me live here ever;

So rare a wondered father and wise

Makes this place a paradise” (4.1.121-23).

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