The Tempest (I) (2010)
- Summaries (3)
Shakespeare's epic play is translated from page to screen, with the gender of the main character, Prospero, changed from male to female.
In Julie Taymor's version of 'The Tempest,' the main character is now a woman named Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft. In Taymor's version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her four-year daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island; it's a tabula rasa: no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda. This leads to the power struggle and balance between Caliban and Prospera; a struggle not about brawn, but about intellect.
In Shakespeare's fantastical thriller the magician Prospero orchestrates spirits, monsters, a grief-stricken king, a wise old councillor, two treacherous brothers and a storm at sea into a fantastical conspiracy bringing banishment, sorcery and shipwreck into the lives of two hapless lovers to stir and seal their fate. Here Prospero takes female form as Prospera, giving her journey of vengeance and self-discovery a wholly new resonance. As Prospera breaks her magical staff against an entrancing volcanic landscape at the end of her heroic quest, this poignant story of love and forgiveness translates into a riveting and filmic mystical tale, for our own times.
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