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the names Alonso, Ferdinand, Sebastian, Gonzalo (for Gonzales), and other details.
In dealing with the Date of Composition reference has been made to Shakespeare's indebtedness to Montaigne; similarly, Ovid's Metamorphoses, vii. 197-206, as translated by Golding, probably suggested Prospero's Invocation, Act. V. 1, 33, sq.
The name ‘Ariel,' though glossed by Shakespeare as 'an ayrie Spirit,' is of Hebraistic origin, and was no doubt derived from some such treatise as Heywood's 'Hierarchie of the Blessed Angels':—
The earth's great lord
Caliban. Caliban' is most probably a contemporary variant of 'Canibal,' which is itself merely another form of Caribal,' i.e. Caribbean.' There seems to be no particular difficulty in this derivation of the name, yet several scholars have rejected it. 'To me,' observes Mr. Furness, it is unsatisfactory. There should be, 1 think, something in the description of cannibals, either of their features or of their natures, to indicate some sort of fellowship with a monster like Caliban. No such description has been pointed out.' This seems hardly enough to negative so plausible a theory as to the origin of the name.
A large number of critics have dealt with this creation of Shakespeare's; a valuable summary of the more important criticisms is to be found in the 'Variorum' edition of the play. Three studies call for special mention:-(1) Caliban: The Missing Link: by Daniel Wilson: (2) Renan's philosophical drama, entitled Caliban; (3) Browning's Caliban upon Setebos; or, Natural Theology
in the Island.
The Scene of Action. 'The Scene, an uninhabited Island'; the claim of the Bermudas_ is now generally admitted as the original scene of Prospero's magic.
Shakespeare refers to the still-vexed Bermoothes,' and the local colour and details seem to be derived from the tracts referred to above, or perhaps (as Mr. Rudyard Kipling has recently elaborated the idea) from the description given by one of the mariners, with the wealth of detail peculiar to sailors,' prepared to answer questions for unlimited sack.' Much, doubtless, he discarded, but so closely did he keep to his original informations that those who go to-day to a certain beach some two miles from Hamilton, will find the stage set for Act. II. scene 2 of The Tempest―a bare beach, with the wind singing through the scrub at the land's edge, a gap in the reef,' etc.*
Duration of Action. The Time-Analysis' of The Tempest brings out very clearly the fact that in this play Shakespeare has adhered strictly to the Unity of Time; the whole action of the play lasts from three to four hours; cp. Act I., 2, 239-240; Act V., 1, 5; ibid. 1. 136137, 186, 223.
It is alleged that a sailor's 'glass' was a half-hour glass, and that Shakespeare was guilty of a technical error in using it in the sense of an hour glass.' The error was no doubt intentional.
The Music. There is good reason to believe that Wilson's Cheerful Ayres or Ballads, Oxford, 1660, has preserved for us the original music of two of the songs of The Tempest-viz., ' Full fathoms five,' and 'Where the Bee sucks'; the composer was R. Johnson, who in
* Cp. Spectator, June 2, 1898. Mr. Gosling, however, maintains that Mr. Kipling's 'vivid imagination has led him astray when he thinks he has discovered the scene of the shipwreck in a cove about two miles from Hamilton. The actual scene of the shipwreck and landfall of Sir George Somers are known beyond doubt. The rocks on which Sir George Somers' ship, the Sea Venture, was wrecked, lie off St. George's, about twelve miles from Hamilton,' etc.
1610 wrote the music for Middleton's Witch, and in 1611 was in the service of Prince Henry (cp. Grove's Dictionary of Music, Variorum Tempest, pp. 352-353, and Naylor's Shakespeare and Music, Dent, 1896).
Later Verses. In 1669 appeared Dryden and Davenant's version of The Tempest; or the enchanted Isle. According to Dryden, Davenant designed the 'Counterpart to Shakespeare's plot, namely that of a man who had never seen a woman.' Than this version,' observes Mr. Furness, there is, I think, in the realm of literature, no more flagrant existence of lese-majesty' (cp. Variorum Tempest, pp. 389-449). In 1797 F. G. Waldron published The Virgin Queen, ' attempted as a sequel to Shakespeare's Tempest.'
I. A tempest-tossed vessel is wrecked upon the shores of an enchanted isle whereon dwell Prospero and his daughter, Miranda, alone save for the presence of Caliban, a deformed and brutish slave. During the storm Prospero tells his daughter of his past life: Formerly he had been Duke of Milan, but had been supplanted by his brother Antonio, with the aid of Alonso, King of Naples, who desired thereby to render Milan tributary to his kingdom. The conspirators had not dared to kill Prospero outright, but had contented themselves with setting him and his daughter, then three years old, adrift in a crazy boat upon the open sea. They would have perished miserably but for a humane Neapolitan named Gonzalo, who provisioned their craft, and thus enabled them to reach the island which they made their home. For twelve years they had quietly dwelt therea period spent profitably by Prospero in the education of his daughter and in his own study of works on magic. Prospero ends his story by telling Miranda that a strange chance has sent all of his enemies to him in the ship which they have seen wrecked in the tempest raised by his art. Ariel, the chief of his spirits, now appears and reports that all the passengers have been brought safely to land. Ferdinand, the King's son, becomes separated from the rest, and they suppose him lost. Prospero leads him to his cell, where the prince and Miranda become mutually enamoured.
II. Alonso, Sebastian (his brother), Antonio, Gonzalo, and other victims of the shipwreck roam the island until all but Sebastian and Antonio are put to sleep by the invisible Ariel through the agency of gentle music. Sebastian and Antonio now plot to murder the King. Ariel frustrates their plans. In another part of the island two others of the company, Stephano and Trinculo, discover Caliban.
III. The three last named plot to despatch Caliban's master, Prospero, and seize upon the island for themselves. The King and his company meanwhile wander about oppressed by weariness, hunger, and mental aberration.Ariel tantalizes them with the vision of a spectral banquet. At his cell Prospero sets Ferdinand to the task of carrying and piling logs, in order, as later, develops, to test the prince's affection for Miranda, who, on her part, entreats Ferdinand to let her share in his arduous labors. T
TV. Ferdinand undergoes the trial worthily, and Prospero bestows his daughter's hand upon him, and entertains the lovers with a glimpse into the land of spirits. The entertainment is interrupted by Prospero, who, suddenly recollecting the conspiracy of Caliban and his confederates, calls Ariel, and prepares to frustrate them. (The conspirators meet with severe punishment at the hands of Prospero and Ariel, who set upon them" divers spirits in the shape of dogs and hounds.
V. The King and his company are brought by Arie before Prospero, who is moved to be merciful because of their sufferings. He reveals his identity to them. The King begs of him pardon for the wrongs he has done him, and restores to him his dukedom. Prospero brings forward Ferdinand and Miranda, whose troth is ratified by Alonso. Prospero abjures the mystic art, and with the King and his train proceeds to Naples, by means of the magically preserved ship, to solemnize the nuptials of the lovers.
MCSPADDEN: Shakespearian Synopses.