Have you been forced to endure Shakespeare’s The Tempest? Did you struggle to understand a giant chunk of what was going on? Us too, the first time around.
Settle in buckaroo, we’re going to recap one of the Bard’s texts for you Act by Act. No problems, no qualms and definitely no metaphors to jot down.
A legit crazy bad storm (#ripumbrella) tosses a beleaguered ship around the ocean. It looks bleak.
On said ship are a bunch of mates we can only assume are 100 per cent Primo Italiano due to the fact Ol Shakey’ has chucked an ‘o’ on the back of their names.
Welcome to Davy Jones’s locker Alonso, Ferdinand, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, Stephano and Trinculo, it’s not looking good… but oh wait, is that an island they see?
In a rapid change of pace, Scene II zips us to the aforementioned island where Miranda and her father, The Grand Wang Prospero are hanging out. Okay, so that’s not really his name, but we know a cloak-wearing wang when we read one (they are kind of people that are rude to cashiers and speak on their phone while on public transport).
Using what your English/Drama teacher might call ‘scene connecting imagery’ Miranda and TGW Prospero are watching Scene I’s fair dinkum ship wreck.
“Uh… Are you guys OK?”
Miranda, demonstrating her femininity asks if the gang out at sea are going to be alright. Bless.
Prospero CBF’d pulling anything out of his bag of tricks so changes the subject by telling his daughter the story of how his brother (Antonio) conspired with the King of Naples (Alonso) to kick him out of his position of power. This gives some context for us (phew!) and explains how he and Miranda ended up shit creek.
TGW Prospero decides boring her to death with chit-chat isn’t working, she’ still worried about the boat/storm, so charms her to sleep before calling on his servant Ariel (the impish, annoying fairy, not mermaid).
Ariel and TGW Prospero get into it with each other (i.e. fight) and gently remind each other that they have a contract. After all, TGW Prospero rescued him from a lifetime trapped in a “cloven pine”… whatever that is.
Blah, blah, blah they chat some more.
Then Caliban rocks up.
As this is a fairly chunky tale full of dullards, we’ve decided Caliban should look like Alexander Skaarsgard in Tarzan. After all, Prospero and Miranda taught him how to speak. Just like Jane.
He’s the son of the evil witch who entombed Ariel in said “cloven pine” and another of TGW Prospero’s servants.
Annoyed that he isn’t getting enough screen-time, Ariel takes this moment to saunter in, leading in behind him, a newly ship-wrecked Ferdinand.
Miranda immediately falls in love because: Shakespeare – but Prospero decides that’s waaaay to fast and takes the noble route: imprisoning Ferdinand.
We’re beginning to see why he was kicked outta home/usurped.
Prospero and Caliban close off Act One by engaging in verbal fisti-cuffs aka calling each other names like “hag seed”.
Stay tuned for more in Act Two.