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opportunities for spectacular effect, in which the original play had been so rich, were yet further multiplied in the revised version. The Masque of Iris, Ceres, and Juno is left out, but instead we have one of devils and personified sins, which appears to Alonso and his companions, and another of the Sea-Deities, which closes the play. The success of this Restoration version is clear from repeated entries in Pepys' diary. Thus on November 7, 1667, Pepys writes: “At noon resolved with Sir W. Pen to go to see The Tempest, an old play of Shakespeare's, acted I hear the first day. The house mighty full; the King and Court there, and the most innocent play that ever I saw. The play has no great wit, but yet good, above ordinary plays.” A week later the diarist's verdict was more enthusiastic: “Saw The Tempest again, which is very pleasant, and full of so good variety that I cannot be more pleased almost in a comedy, only the seamen's part a little too tedious." And four more visits testify to Pepys' appreciation of the play, and to its hold on the Restoration public.
In later days The Tempest's magnetic influence has inspired independent works which seek to develop certain of its aspects. The Virgin Queen, by F. G. Waldron, 1797, is a melodramatic production narrating the additional dangers endured by Prospero and his relatives on the return journey to Milan. From these dangers they are delivered only when Ariel restores to Prospero his drowned book and buried staff.
On a very different plane is Ernest Renan’s Caliban,' a dramatized piece of political philosophy. The scene is laid at Milan after Prospero's return, and deals with a second successful revolt of Caliban, who represents the spirit of modern social democracy viewed by unfriendly eyes. By working on the greed and discontent of the multitude, Caliban supplants Prospero, who finds that his charms are of no avail against a generation that has lost its belief in the supernatural. Once enthroned, however, Caliban ealizes that he is an Institution, and prepares to protect himself. He sees that Prospero, representing Art and Philosophy, may be useful in his service, and so refuses to give him up to the Inquisition, representing Clericalism, which wishes to prosecute him for sorcery. “His works will be the glory of my reign. I shall have my share in them. I exploit him; 't is the law of the world.”
It is under a different aspect that Caliban is viewed in Browning's powerful poem, Caliban upon Setebos. The untutored intelligence
1 For a detailed analysis of Renan's Caliban, see Furness' Variorum edition of The Tempest, 383–386.
of the savage (who, with his rudimentary sense of personality, speaks of himself in the third person) is groping among the mysteries of existence the problem of pain, the apparently capricious government of the world, and the nature of the Being who is responsible for it. He conceives of Setebos, his dam’s god, as a creature after his own likeness, cruel, cunning, and full of purposeless malignity, whose anger can best be evaded by a pretense of being miserable. Above Setebos he dimly imagines a higher power, Quiet, without joy or grief, and his hope is that Quiet may conquer Setebos, or that the latter may grow old and doze, which would be as good as if He were dead. But at this moment the bursting of a terrible storm warns him that his speculations have been overheard, and he grovels in an agony of fear.
and there, there, there, there, there,
Musicians also have found The Tempest a fertile source of inspiration. At least thirteen of its passages have been used as libretti
Two of the settings, to “Full fathom five,” 1. 2. 396–403, and “Where the bee sucks,” v. 1. 88–94, were, there is reason to believe, used in Shakespeare's own time. They are given in Wilson's Cheerfull Ayres or Ballads, 1660, with the name of the composer, R. Johnson. This Johnson, after being in the service of Sir T. Kytson, came to London and composed music for plays, including Middleton's The Witch and Shakespeare's The Tempest.
3. THE SOURCES OF THE PLOT
The source of The Tempest, like the date, cannot be definitely ascertained. But in both cases an investigation of the subject is amply repaid by the interesting and suggestive issues raised. Mention has been made above (p. ix) of Jourdan's pamphlet, A Discovery of the Barmudas. He relates that the crew of The Sea-Venture, weary with pumping, were even resolved, without any hope of their lives, to shut up the hatches and to have committed themselves to the mercy of the sea. So that some of them having some good and comfortable waters in the ship, fetcht them, and drunke one to the other, taking their last leave one of the other,” when Sir George Somers, in command of the expedition, at length descried land and
1 Printed in Hakluyt's Voyages. (Ed. of 1812, v. 555 seq.)
encouraged them to continue at the pumps. They complied, though so weary “that for the most part they were fallen asleep in corners,” and fortunately the ship “fell in betweene two rockes, where shee was fast lodged and locked, for further budging.” One hundred and fifty men got ashore and, as Jourdan continues, our feeding and preservation was beyond our hopes . . . most admirable. For the Ilands of the Barmudas . . were never inhabited by any Christian or heathen people, but ever esteemed, and reputed, a most prodigious and inchanted place, affording nothing but gusts, stormes and foule weather. Yet did we finde there the ayre . . . temperate and the Country . . . aboundantly fruitful.” The quoted passages, if compared with i. 1. 68; i. 2. 232; v. 1. 230; ii. 2. 59; ii. 1. 35–52, show a similarity that can scarcely be accidental. Even more remarkable are some of the expressions used in Strachey's narrative of the same shipwreck. “Onely upon the thursday night Sir George Summers being upon the watch, had an apparition of a little round light, like a faint Starre, trembling, and streaming along with a sparkeling blaze, halfe the height upon the Maine Mast, and shooting sometimes from Shroud to Shroud, tempting to settle as it were upon any of the foure Shrouds.. (We] threw over-boord much luggage . . . and staved many a Butt of Beere, Hogsheads of Oyle, Syder, Wine, and Vinegar.” On the island “some dangerous and secret discontents nourished amongst us, had like to have bin the parents of bloody issues and mischiefes.” 1 Do we not seem to have here the suggestions for Ariel's apparition on the topmast, in the form of flame, for Stephano's escape upon a butt of sack which the sailors heaved o'erboard, and for the conspiracy of Antonio and Sebastian against Alonso ? 2
But it is a misconception, into which some critics have fallen, to think that Shakespeare actually lays the scene of the play in the Bermudas. On the contrary, Ariel (i. 2. 229) speaks of fetching dew from “the still-vex'd Bermoothes,” though the allusion proves that the locality was prominently in Shakespeare's thoughts at the time. Hunter ingeniously seeks to identify Prospero's island with Lampedusa, off the north coast of Africa. His main argument is that the island's geographical position would meet all the exigencies of the story; sailors from Algiers would conveniently and naturally land Sycorax on its shores; Prospero, if committed to the sea off an Italian coast, and tossed by winds and waves, would most likely drift to Lampedusa; and Alonso, sailing from Tunis and steering for Naples, would be caught in the storm raised by Prospero and be landed there. Moreover, Lampedusa was noted as stormy, it had the reputation of being haunted, and it contained caves and a hermit's cell. Elze has made out an equally detailed case in favor of another Mediterranean islet, Pantalaria; and a third critic states dogmatically that it could only have been Corcyra which was intended. But they who thus seek to bring the enchanted island within the sphere of workaday geography imagine a vain thing: it is not to be found on charts or maps, but floats, “east of the sun, west of the moon,” washed by
i Strachey, William. A True Repertory of the Wrack and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates, printed in Purchas his Pilgrimes, 1625 (iv. 1734 seq.).
2 In any case no weight can be attached to Hunter's theory that the description of the storm (i. 1) was borrowed from Canto 41 of Harrington's translation of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso.
“the foam Of perilous seas in faery lands forlorn.” If geography is thus silent as to the whereabouts of the mysterious island, history enlightens us hardly more about the Italian potentates who drifted to its shores. But it is noteworthy that some of the names and incidents introduced into The Tempest occur in Thomas' Historye of Italye, 1561. We there read that Prospero Adorno was established as the Duke of Millain's lieutenant in Genoa, 1477. “But he continued scarcely one yeare, tyl by meane of new practises, that he held with Ferdinando, kyng of Naples, he was had in suspicion to the Milanese.” The attempt of his enemies in Milan to overthrow him roused the people in his behalf, “so that where he was before the dukes lieutenaunte, now he was made governoure absolutely of the commonwealth.” An army sent from Milan was defeated, but, later on, the jealousy of a rival family in Genoa drove the Adorni brothers from the city. Then the commons rose again, “remembring how they were best in quiet, while they were subjected to the Duke of Millain . . . and then was Antony Adorno made governoure.” Thomas further relates that there was a “kinge Alfonse in the Realme of Naples,” whose son, Fernando, succeeded him in 1495. This Alonzo united the houses of Naples and Milan by marrying a princess of the latter city. In the play this incident is transferred to his son.
But the sources hitherto spoken of can, in any case, have supplied the dramatist with no more than the framework of his plot; they do not account for the central incidents of the story. Collins, the poet, told Warton that they were derived from a romance, Aurelio and Isabella, printed in Italian, Spanish, French, and English in 1588, but there is really no connection between this novel and the play. More fruitful was Tieck’s discovery in 1817 of some remarkable points of resemblance between The Tempest and Die Schöne Sidea (The Fair Sidea), by Jacob Ayrer, a notary in Nürnberg. Ayrer, who rose from humble circumstances to an official position, died in 1605, and in 1618 a folio edition of his dramas was published with the title, Opus Theatricum.
Die Schöne Sidea,' one of the pieces in this volume, tells the story of a Duke Ludolff of Lithuania and his daughter Sidea. Ludolff is dethroned and expelled from his kingdom with Sidea, by Prince Leudegast of Wiltau. He takes refuge in a wood, and by his magic arts and the aid of a devil, Runcifal, gets into his possession Leudegast's
's son, Engelbrecht, who has lost his way while hunting. Engelbrecht and his squire try to draw their swords to defend themselves, but find that their weapons are charmed from moving. Engelbrecht is then taken prisoner, and set to bear logs for Sidea, who at first treats him as harshly as does her father. But his noble birth and beauty win her heart, and they flee together. After sundry adventures, in which for a time they are separated, they reach Leudegast's court; the piece ends with their marriage and the reconciliation of the two princes. Intermingled with this main plot are episodes of low comedy which have no relation to the humorous scenes in The Tempest, and throughout the German and the English plays the names of persons and localities are entirely different. But this does not affect the striking parallelism between the central situations in the two dramas. In both there is a deposed ruler, expelled with his daughter as sole companion, and practicing in banishment the magic art; in both he gets into his power his enemy's son, whose sword he has enchanted, and whom he condemns to the task of logbearing; in both, the heroine and the captive prince fall in love, and the story closes with their marriage and the reconciliation of their parents. There can be no reasonable doubt either that Shakespeare and Ayrer borrowed from a common source, or that the Englishman had a version of the Nürnberg play before him. The latter is far from unlikely, for we know that English actors were in Nürnberg in 1604 and 1606, and that in June, 1613, the Elector of Brandenburg's servants and the English comedians acted several “ beautiful comedies and tragedies,” including a “Sedea,” which can scarcely have been any other than Ayrer's play. When English companies were so frequently visiting Nürnberg, what is more likely than that they should bring home versions of some of Ayrer's favorite
1 A full prose translation of Ayrer's play is given by Furness in his Variorum edition of The Tempest, 326-341. A verse translation is given by Cohn, Shakespeare in Germany.