Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsWelcome to Week 9 of Shakespeare and His World. Oh, brave, new world. We're coming towards the end of our course, and we're opening out on the wider world of Shakespeare's time. This week we're going to look at The Tempest, his last solo authored play and a play that is set in a new and strange place, a mysterious island. In some respects, this seems to be an island in the Mediterranean, which takes us back to the territory we explored in relation to Othello a couple of weeks ago. But in another respect, it seems to be an island in the Caribbean, the new world.
Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsSo what we're going to do is explore some of the voyages and discoveries of Shakespeare's time and see how they influenced his imagining of a plantation, a colony, a new world. And we're going to meet some extraordinary characters. Caliban - who is Caliban? What is Caliban? Ariel, a strange, airy spirit. And Prospero himself, an exiled duke who practises magic. We're going to ask questions about what people believed about magic in Shakespeare's time. Is there such a thing as white magic as opposed to black? Is Prospero in some sense a representation of the court magician, John Dee?
Skip to 1 minute and 40 secondsWe're going to look at a book by the great French essayist, Michel de Montaigne, in which there's an essay called "Of the Cannibals," which tells us a lot about Caliban and in which we discover that cannibals are not exactly as you would expect them to be. But let's begin by opening up the map of the world in Shakespeare's time and finding out about those extraordinary, intrepid Elizabethan sailors who set off for the horizon across the Atlantic Ocean.
Welcome to Week 9
© The University of Warwick and The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust