Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Romantic Tempest

So far, The Tempest conjures up many Romantic paintings in my mind. For a little background, Romanticism was a period in the 18th century dealing with themes like:

Being in awe with nature, especially untamed nature
Elevating folk art
Embracing the exotic and unfamiliar
Pushing the imagination

It is an art period with a lot of landscapes, but definitely not serene ones...

The first scene of this play struck me as very Romantic. With the tempest itself, and well as how the men go from being indignant about the storm, to Gonzalo saying "would I give a thousand furlongs of the sea for an acre of barren ground, long heath, brown furze, any thing."

And then the opening of scene ii with Miranda's speech about the shipwreck just conjures up Romantic paintings all over the page for me:

"If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,
But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheek,
Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel,
Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in
her, Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth or ere
It should the good ship so have swallow'd and
The fraughting souls within her."

Beautiful. Fantastic. Romantic. I am excited for this play.

1 comment:

  1. Everything Romantic has always called my attention. Romantic composers like Tchaikovsky and Chopin created music that in a lot of respects reminds me of this type of painting-- very expressive, dramatic, emotional...