Brooklyn Academy of Music's Production of "The Tempest" Essay examples

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I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical about seeing a production of The Tempest. After sitting through painstaking high school productions that killed the romance in Romeo and Juliet, misinterpreted the meanings in The Merchant of Venice, and failed to realize Much Ado About Nothing was actually a comedy; I promised myself to never see another production of Shakespeare. I concluded the best way to enjoy the great works of Will was to read them through the medium of a book. However, a free ticket to the Brooklyn Academy of Music too see The Tempest directed by Sam Mendes was too tempting to not attend. I was shocked at the productions ability to stay true to the words of Shakespeare, use innovative techniques to impact the audience, and …show more content…
Prospero is superior to the other characters in the play, both his magic and Ariel place Prospero in a controlling position. The plot is determined by Prospero’s decisions. Mendes has Prospero walk around the pit of sand while the other characters stand on the sand. This stage movement emphasizes his power and importance in the play. Prospero physically circles the other characters in a space that they are unable to cross. These movements illustrate a deeper theme, Prospero has free will and is in control of his destiny. The other characters are trapped by Prospero’s manipulations and magic. After the tempest causes the ship to sink, Prospero purposely places Alonso, Antonio, Gonzalo, and Sebastian together. One can see the scenes with these minor characters as a play within a play. Prospero acts as the playwright and director for these mini-scenes. In one of the scenes that Prospero has constructed, Sebastian and Antonio act out the evil nature of ambition. With the swords that Ariel provided in hand, Sebastian instructs, “Draw thy sword, one stroke/ shall free thee from the tribute which thou pay’st” (Shakespeare, Act II, Scene I, 287-288). The sand pit that only Prospero is liberated from, is where this scene takes place. Mendes makes this sand pit out to be the stage upon the stage. Mendes further illustrates the parallel between Shakespeare and Prospero in one of the final scenes of the

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