The SFFaudio Podcast #676 – READALONG: The Tempest by William Shakespeare


The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #676 – Jesse, Scott Danielson, Will Emmons and Trish E. Matson talk about The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Talked about on today’s show:
not Willy Shakes, first performed on Hallowmass, 1611, a Royal Wedding, the day of the dead, November 1st, his last play?, spoken by Prospero, the conventional thing, ready to give up magic, now my charms are all o’erthrown, sent to Naples, with the help of your good hands, my ending is despair, never Shakespeare, a table reading, Broadway musicals, light comedies, Pride And Prejudice, a Southern Utah Shakespeare festival, a replica of The Globe, Julius Caesar, I’ve been bad but you should forgive me because you’ve been bad too, Prospero is a bad man, accomplished everything, made people acknowledge their faults, what got him into trouble in the first place, good but oblivious, an unreliable narrator, he’s a slaver, multiple slaves, penance for attempted rape, indentured servitude, Shakespeare by Mark Van Doren (1939), the wildest interpretation, it will not yield its secret easily, open to so many interpretations and restagings, five versions of The Tempest, Trish never got bored, The Tempest (2010) with Helen Mirren as Prospera, a stage production at Stratford, Ontario, Or What You Will by Jo Walton, As You Like It, a good reason to read a book, a late 9th century play that became very famous, a spark for every fire, let me not, bare island, your good hands, a Disney movie and a cartoon, audience participation, a device for engaging the audience, Tinkerbell will die unless you start clapping, Prospero is Shakespeare, Ariel is the stage director, a metaphor for being a writer, a BBC version from 1980, you will be free, he’s also talking to the audience, all in realtime, how many hours have passed, we have to get this all done by six, Ariel puts people to sleep to get to the next scene, every adaptation misses the comedy, the technical term “comedy”, the infodump scene at the beginning, they interpret the lines wrong or they cut them, how they got there, mostly Prospero talking, 12 years since thy father was the duke of Milan and a Prince of Power, thy mother was a piece of virtue, I don’t think my wife would have lied to me, do you mark me, sir your speech would relieve deafness, she keeps saying ya ya ya, getting bored, he’s asking the audience, she should be falling asleep, dost thou hear?, he keeps coming back are you paying attention, she retains none of it, its only for the audience, all the preceding twelve years, a different dynamic, dost thous pay attention, yeah I’m getting bored too, Shakespeare is attentive to infodumps being boring, bring your audience up to speed, Alonzo vs. Antonio, a master of craftsmanship, structure, high drama and low comedy, interleaving, assassination plots, a love story, Miranada and her father and Miranda and Ferdinand, costumes help, a tendency to focus on Ariel, Caliban is the greatest character (perhaps), stock characters, Caliban’s resentment, a rebellious slave, worshiping a false master, he’s Gollum, he had something taken from him, the culture, his gabardine, fart and drinking jokes, you want the meatiest role, Trunculo, stage presence, he’s reformed, a weakness in the play, is this play weak?, who is Caliban, he’s a native person, an Indian, bring him back and show him off at home, a native person we can display for money, Caliban is the character to obsess over, find somebody else to be slavish to, he’s too trusting, why people vibe with Caliban, the story is not friendly to Caliban, a 1960 movie with Richard Burton with Caliban, Roddy McDowell, Lee Remick, Prospero telling his slaves to do things, repeating his culture or making a commentary?, The Merchant Of Venice, Shylock, kind (at first), taught him language, tried to rape Miranda, white womanhood, what do we say about people we enslave and how they treat women, the colonized person, a justification for harsh treatment, savage people who need the kindly elevating structure of the colonists, Shakespeare is only interested in politics in what they can do to induce drama, a mini-utopia in it, how to improve Milan, Dido and the wedding, I think monarchy is a bad idea, organize things differently, the drama of the situation can deliver, perhaps the weakness is not there, suckered by Prospero, water with berries in it, and pets him, teaches him language, all the great things on the island, when Caliban wants to make more Calibans, an offense, getting above his station, he’s a pet, manipulate this prince of , not that way sirrah, Miranda is subject to his spells as well, The Taming Of The Shrew, women need to be slapped around, its a horror story, liberated women need to know there place, the third time, Stephano, I will feed your other mouth and the lesser legs, a Three Stooges dynamic, I’m in the belly of the fish, these guys must be gods, 410 years on, the Indians on this island are not going to be so passive, colonization of the new world, being exploited by Prospero (with words), I learned real good, now I’m gonna give up my art, if you want to walk away you have to clap, an intermission, from The X-Men, Asimov’s Robot novels written, same letters as cannibal, Caribbean, a savage, the Bermudas, three pamphlets on a ship called the Sea Adventure, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, a great title, you haven’t seen anything yet, the vocabulary choices, strange 500 times, Milan, A most high miracle, I have cursed them without cause, compass thee about, oh wonder!, three shipwrecked sailors, sexy men, I’ve never seen them before, so many resonances, most current, The Tempest largely responsible for Star Trek, Stuart J. Byrne, Kirking computers, the definitive adaptation of The Tempest is Forbidden Planet (1956), very little in it that isn’t in Star Trek, the planet Altair, an away team, Spock, McCoy, and Bones, Robby The Robot is Ariel, what kind of scientist is it?, he’s a philologist, a lot of kissing going on, the angry force on the planet is Caliban, the newest announced Star Trek is Strange New Worlds, Requiem For Methuselah and What Are Little Girls Made Of?, the influence is undeniable, “wagon train to the stars”, guys who are making Westerns all day, Star Trek The Next Generation named after an episode of The Prisoner, Data is one of the men she sees, transfer his consciousness into Data’s body, what islands are in Science Fiction are planets, Planet Stories, beam people up to the ship to do their play, a native force with a whole backstory going on, Shakespeare is not Q in these episodes, checking up on a lost colony, other works, the opening 20 minutes of Forbidden Planet, the two pontoons of the warp nacelles, a flying saucer with pontoons sticking out, a play about a wizard from 400 years ago is largely responsible for a whole kind of Science Fiction, what percentage are we talking about 99% or 12%, it is the plot of The Tempest, all the characters are analogs, the visual elements, this is very much like an episode, The Tempest is the pilot for Star Trek, The Cage, Where No Man Has Gone Before, ESP powers, Star Trek: Continues, dealing with another form of science fiction, different islands in different states of political movements, Caliban is an alien, treated as non-human, half human, the devil, Setebos taken by Prospero, the only good thing about learning languages is to curse, cursing vs. swearing, breaking podcast rules?, exciting listening, you taught me language, the red plague rid you for learning me your language, hag seed hence, I’ll wrack these with old cramps, his art is of such power, his mom is a dam, make a vassal of him, having to fetch in wood, there’s wood enough within, penis jokes, gabardine scene, these brave spirits within, inherently cute, what makes Caliban ugly, misshapen, he wasn’t symmetrical, spotted, a stinky fish, a live fish, his arms fins, not shaped like a standard human, mixed race, objectively ugly, freckles are nice, he’s a fish man but that’s nice, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, influenced in dreams, double-thinking his concerns, invite him to a swimming party, under Devil’s reef, you’re gonna wear a crown bud, an anti-racist story, subject to interpretation, garments, Prospero’s magic robe, gabardine, the guy in The Goonies, The Shape Of Water, a sex/love object, Frankenstein, a beholder thing, a horrifying monster or too beautiful?, an abused child, a feral child story, Sycorax is a great character that’s not on stage, she taught him a language, gibbering howling noises, we don’t know how old Caliban was when his mother died, mistreated, dispossessed, the different kind of slave mentalities, re-imprisoned, always reward, how the service came to be, make a deal with a dwarf in the forest, you will be my servant, three miller’s apprentices, Doll I’ The Grass, a cat that takes a miller’s son as a servant, my anointed son, you can live with these two rotters, none of that for poor Caliban, “By this bottle which I made of the bark of a tree with my own hands since I was cast ashore.”, pathetic and funny, he swam ashore found the bark of a tree and made a drink from it, he made a bottle of a ship emptied the keg into a bottle, understanding begins to swell and begins to fill the reasonable shore, This Island Earth, “Pheobus’ steeds are foundered, night is chained below”, time time time, 32 x strange, hang cur hang, I’ll warrant him for drowning, an unstaunched wench, typical male Euro view, all the girls on stage except for Kate, many many great quotes, different interpretations, reinterpretations, This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart, Yellow Sky (1948), Miranda In Milan by Katharine Duckett, the modern version, class based relationships, the marriage in Tunis, three mentioned women, Miranda’s mother, a virtuous woman, the exile when Miranda was three, an arranged marriage, not at all eager for it, class/race/gender, sometimes they’re playing dress up, no escaping to the island of the Amazons, maids become wives or become mad and kill themselves, servants, what was Prospero’s beef with his brother, putting the coronet of Milan under the crown of Naples, Milan being the female and Naples being the male, arranging her marriage to the king of Naples son, it’s ok when I do it, all the Roman gods, presumably set in the Mediterranean, in the Roman world, there’s Ariel, Prospero putting away his books, putting away magic, a Christianizing, giving up his servant, Prospero is giving up his paganism, submitting himself to God, submitting to your husband’s desires, Hell is empty and all the devils are here, Ariel recounts it, naturalistic explanation, translating it into the science fiction explanation, a weather phenomenon, ball lightning is pretty obscure, St. Elmo’s fire, to control events, extending that to politics today and the media, this creation of a tempest in a teapot, to shipwreck on the islands, marry his daughter off, to satisfy the needs that he has, control and manipulation and gaslighting, Shakespeare’s stock and trade, abhorrent in the world, does it to characters in Macbeth and Hamlet, players, a very special power to story, it bypasses all of your reason and lodges itself in your head, not logical arguments, the audience goes in with consent (without not knowing what they’ve consented to), at this time in Shakespeare’s career, don’t get jailed, bypassing their reason, in the position of a fool, Alas, poor Yorik, I’m now holding his skull of, how did Yorik die?, Facebook and Biden don’t literally arrests you yet, habeas corpus is still kinda there, famous presidential people, James I and VI, he survived to give his second best bed to his wife, willing to rock boats in other lands than England, the power of story, Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove, what if?, Prospero played by woman, why it was gender flipped, Ariel is the traditional gender flip, when you gender flip Prospero it fucks with the text, Duchess, my dukedom, resonances break, Oh the heavens, Prospero talking about his brother, good wombs have born bad sons [siblings], seeing an old woman, a witch vs. a wizard, I like my books, a soft coup, Prospero’s POV, if you’re going to run a state, a city state, New Zealand or Taiwan can lock down the way Switzerland can’t, the guy locked away in his library story, the story of Caliban being a rapist, there’s no issue of consent here, if he’s an animal, two youngsters playing doctor, I’ve but seen to men before, a lot of wood jokes, sad story for him, give meaty roles for women, saving her from an angry crowd, Richard III is Hitler, several versions of Macbeth, Michael Fassbender as Macbeth, Ian McClellan, Hellen Mirren as Lady Macbeth, being swept along by events, notices the swastika on his armband, a more charitable reading of the play, making your own moral choices, their freedom, she’s a mermaid in one story, without a backward glance or with an affectionate glance, mostly dialogue and a few stage directions, different interpretations, all the performances never recorded, the novelist vs. the playwright, Julius Caesar is dramatic, ways people play Prospero: as a dodderer, straight (not wholly arch), he should be knowing, he’s made a mistake and doesn’t want to admit it, make the sword move or not move, his/her magic wand/staff, a great temptation to ham up things that are serious, make meat of everything that you’re given, the stinky fish with lesser legs, two lesser men in the play drunkin around as a comic relief, Ariel is accompanied by other spirits, that’s not in the play, a flexible young person, a robot, Leslie Nielsen’s gun, doing Prospero’s business, Caliban is an invisble monster, a force left over, a Sycorax-like force, studying “liberal arts”, the relationship between Prospero and Sycorax, the powers that he has at his command, graduating to wizarding school, his magic was good, she was a witch, the twin thing, Caliban is mirror by Ariel, one’s good and the other is good, one has power over the air, the other over the land, he’s stolen a kingdom in the way his brother has stolen his, he was evil from the start, that’s a cross not a dagger, think of your Jesus, dagger dagger dagger, fixated on interpretations, we hear about the props, a mininmalistic interpretation has three clumps of wood, enter Mariners wet, conveniently asleep, we can mine it forever, on to As You Like It for Scott, if this were played upon a stage…, Or What You Will by Jo Walton, Among Others, what I’ve been reading, not really a novel, he has been a dragon with a boy on his back, he has been a god, set in Thalia, stop off the wheel of mortality forever, a visit to Florence, a reporatory theater of characters, Romeo And Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, every part was gender swapped, how the dynamics changed, the male people were the emotional ones, The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro, another Star Trek episode, getting familiar with Shakespeare, tremendous, very important, still excited, Twelfth Night: or What You Will, comedies having gender swap, a romantic comedy, Viola and Sebastian, Duke Orsino, Countess Olivia, ends in a marriage, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon and Galadriel, in a time when there’s birth control, its Fairyland, it can’t be translated into Science Fiction, a holodeck adventure, when Data is playing all the roles, Merchant Of Venice, Othello, other books to read.

Illustrated Classics - The Tempest

Ariel's Song from The Tempest art by Virgil Finlay


Typical Eruo Male POV Of Women

Forbidden Planet

Steeds Are Foundered

Made From A Bark Boat

The Tempest illustrated by Jesse

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