Considered by many scholars as the last play written solely by Shakespeare, I found the Tempest an interesting mix of genres. While other plays are more obvious about their genres (be it tragedies, comedies, or romance/coms), this is considered a romance. While the romance of Miranda and Ferdinand does feature in a couple of scenes, I would not consider it a romance as compared to Romeo and Juliet. It is comedic, but also very subdued and serious at parts. Prospero is very manipulative; he seems to be in control of everything, even the courtship between his daughher Miranda and Ferdinand. There are images and themes of colonialism, servitude, and slavery, even in the romantic scenes between the lovers. Indeed, Prospero’s control of the events in the play are even meta especially in regards to the ending where he asks the audience to applause. The island’s magic and phantasmagorias can be viewed as a play within a play. I did not warm towards Prospero early on because he did not seem like a real character in the play, more a conniving puppet master moving characters toward his goal. He controls how one views the past and how the outcome will be. I think about Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series interpretation of Shakespeare as he wrote The Tempest. A reflective, older man who has spent his life connected to the themes of stage, dreams, imagination and creation, moving characters and stories around, but keenly aware like Prospero at the twilight of his life.
This update includes books read in April and May. The latter was a pretty good month for books. I read 11 and quite a few counted towards challenges. New challenges are in bold.
- Book Awards (9 of 12) – None. I only have June left.
- William Shakespeare (3 of 4) – I read Othello and The Tempest. Nearly done.
- Non-Fiction Five Challenge (1 of 5) – Read Hungry Planet. May to Sept.
- Graphic Novels (8 of 6) – Read The Best American Comics 2006, Jimmy Corrigan
- Decades 08 (5 of 8 ) – Read Cranford, The Count of Monte Cristo
- In their shoes (3 of ?) – Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
- Russian Reading (2 of 4) – Slow and steady does it.
- What’s in a Name? (4 of 6) – I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Hungry Planet, The Tempest
- TBR 2008 (1 of 12) – This is pathetic. I really need to work on this.
- Man Booker Challenge (1 of 6) – Same.
- Chunky Challenge (3 of 4) – Read The Count of Monte Cristo, Twilight, Outlander
- The Obscure Challenge ( of 1) – Read one obscure book before the end of the year.
- 342,745 Ways to Herd Cats or tl;dr (3 of 3) – Three books read from lists of favourites of other participants; read The Count of Monte Cristo, Twilight, and Outlander.
- 1% Well-Read Challenge (2 of 10) – Read 10 books from the 1001 List in 10 months. I read Cranford, The Count of Monte Cristo. See below for book count.
- Reading the Nobels (1 of 5)- Must work on this, but I do not have many Nobels at hand.
- Notable Books – None
- Pulitzer Project – None
- Booker Project – None
- 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die – The challenge will help this out: 84.
- TBR Pile – Books that I own and have not read. None in awhile.
- Classics Challenge ( of 6) – July to December 2008. Five classics and one bonus “modern” classic.