In his last play, The Tempest, Shakespeare creates a character, Prospero, whose Art seems to lie mainly in his capacity of controlling the sight of those who happen to inhabit his island (Del Sapio Garbero, 2011). This aspect of Prospero’s magic may be interpreted in the light of the deep changes occurring at the time on London’s theatre scene, when indoor playhouses began to be regularly used by the companies of professional adult actors. As a sharer in the Blackfriars Theatre and a playwright, Shakespeare may have used the new playhouse to set up a few experiments in catoptrics that were aimed to cause awe and amazement in the audience. In other words Shakespeare and Prospero may be seen acting in this play as great illusionists. Starting from Neil Forsyth (2002), it has been noticed that plays like Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth or The Tempest, depend on the same stage magic that characterized the early cinema of Méliès, the greatest of all illusionists. This essay argues that Julie Taymor’s screen adaptation of The Tempest works within Méliès’ tradition while also updating it through the use of new technologies. More specifically, Taymor’s exploitation of both photographic and digital effects to re-enact Prospero’s ‘rough magic’ is seen as a positive (feminine) reaction to what film critics call the ‘death of cinema’, that is the end of the celluloid film.

Pennacchia, M. (2016). Esperimenti d’illusionismo ottico nella Tempesta: Shakespeare e Julie Taymor. In Maria Del Sapio Garbero (a cura di), Shakespeare and the New Science in Early Modern Culture/ Shakespeare e la nuova scienza nella cultura early modern (pp. 293-310).

Esperimenti d’illusionismo ottico nella Tempesta: Shakespeare e Julie Taymor

PENNACCHIA, MADDALENA
2016

Abstract

In his last play, The Tempest, Shakespeare creates a character, Prospero, whose Art seems to lie mainly in his capacity of controlling the sight of those who happen to inhabit his island (Del Sapio Garbero, 2011). This aspect of Prospero’s magic may be interpreted in the light of the deep changes occurring at the time on London’s theatre scene, when indoor playhouses began to be regularly used by the companies of professional adult actors. As a sharer in the Blackfriars Theatre and a playwright, Shakespeare may have used the new playhouse to set up a few experiments in catoptrics that were aimed to cause awe and amazement in the audience. In other words Shakespeare and Prospero may be seen acting in this play as great illusionists. Starting from Neil Forsyth (2002), it has been noticed that plays like Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth or The Tempest, depend on the same stage magic that characterized the early cinema of Méliès, the greatest of all illusionists. This essay argues that Julie Taymor’s screen adaptation of The Tempest works within Méliès’ tradition while also updating it through the use of new technologies. More specifically, Taymor’s exploitation of both photographic and digital effects to re-enact Prospero’s ‘rough magic’ is seen as a positive (feminine) reaction to what film critics call the ‘death of cinema’, that is the end of the celluloid film.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/302199
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