The Tempest

Shakespear’s “The Tempest” present by University of Toledo

Saturday night, my beloved and I had a lovely evening out watching the last play written by  Shakespear, The Tempest. It was a visually evocative presentation performed on a round moving stage with a magic circle and glowing chalk letters from the Enochian alphabet drawn by the character Prospero.

The Enochian alphabet, still believed to be a magical alphabet, was created by advisor and astrologer for Queen Elizabeth, John Dee. In the story, the protagonist Prospero uses it to bend the elements and spirits to his will, to cause a tempest of a storm forcing a large ship and it’s occupants onto his island to play into his scheme.

At the time this was written in England, John Dee had been dead for a few years and his mystical writing and journals were being shared along with knowledge of this mysterious alphabet, colonialization of far away islands was revealing its challenges, and a master of another art was preparing to leave his life’s work.

The universal themes of love, justice, and forgiveness carrying the arc of this story through to the end where Prospero resigns from his magical arts, just as Shakespear himself who retired shortly after writing this last play.

Prospero:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest Act 4, scene 1

It is a good story for stirring contemplation on the efforts we undertake and how they add meaning or serve vain fancies. Upon this viewing, this play reminded me of passion and devotion, Prospero’s devotion to his daughter, Shakespear’s to his Art, John Dee’s to his mysticism, and even Queen Elizabeth’s to her vision for England.

I’m very devoted to the moment I am in, which could have me taking up many different roles: mother, partner, sister, friend, confidant, gardener…. and yes also a creative. Ahh… clearly I need to cultivate my creative time with a bit more passion and devotion too.

I value the hunger for the expression more than the quantitative and limited concepts of productivity.  This is good because, with a life of multiple chronic illnesses, I am forced to be flexible and gentle with such things. I have been doing work and preparation for a larger project and proceeding steadily. I have not had enough time to maintain my IT or Social Media roles, and that is ok. I can’t share it all online anyway.

The video above is a promo by the University of Toledo for this production. Below is an animated version of the play, which I also find enjoyable.

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