(Make up Event) The Tempest: Magic and Power Dynamics

The Tempest is widely known as one of Shakespeare’s plays. It is a story where magic is one of the main elements.I watched a production of Shakespeare’s world renowned production of the Tempest on the Digital Theatre + website. This play was performed live by the Royal Shakespeare Company with the help of Intel and the Imaginarium Studios. 

By Elena Grantcharski

I will start off by being honest and saying that I generally am not a huge Shakespeare fan. I respect and appreciate his work but I have never been interested in the Shakespeare works that I have read in high school. His writing style is generally not for me. However, something I really do love is magic. I have never read or watched The Tempest and I was surprised by how much I actually liked it. I really enjoyed the magic aspect of the play. The play is about Prospero, an older man with magical powers and a very beautiful daughter. 

The main character Prospero, and his daughter Miranda.

The play follows him as he wreaks havoc on all the other characters in the play. Watching his emotions progress throughout the play was very interesting. I looked up “tempest” in the dictionary because I admit that I did not know what the word meant and found out that it is a violent storm. I think this is a very accurate way to describe Prospero’s emotions. Not only did have super strong emotions of rage and revenge at the beginning, his emotions always fluctuated. When he was with his daughter Miranda, he seemed to be way more mellow in general and he had moments where he was not angry as the play got closer to the end. The end was the most interesting to me in relation to Prospero’s emotions because at the end, instead of unleashing his rage he was actually very level headed and calm. The end where he loses his magic and asks the audience to free him by clapping for him was very powerful to me. I saw him losing his magic also as a symbolization of him losing the long fight he has had with his very turbulent emotions and also letting go of the vengeful feelings he had for everyone. 

Ariel perched in one of the scenes.

In the play, my favorite character was Ariel. Ariel is a magical being that did a lot of the magical dirty work for Prospero. I found Ariel’s character very interesting not only because of his intricate costume but also because he was in the background of many scenes but still seemed to always take my attention. I thought the actor portrayed the role of being a magical being that is unseen to other human beings because he would be so present in the roles where he is technically supposed to be hidden to them. I also think the producers of the play did a great job with making his costume and the special effects at the beginning of the play of him were amazing. It was super neat to see his costume up close because usually costumes like that are meant to be seen from far away. I actually liked that I watched a recording of the play, because I was able to capture a lot more details in terms of costumes, stage presence, makeup, and the overall mannerisms of the actors. 

An example of the amazing special effects in this production of the play.

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