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A Tempest: Based on Shakespeare's the Tempest: Adaptation for a Black Theatre

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The bard's final play, containing his mature reflections on life, concerns Prospero, a philosophical old magician, and Miranda, his lovely daughter, who dwell in peaceful isolation on an enchanted island. When a shipwreck brings old enemies to shore, the stage is set for a masterly drama of comedy, romance, and reconciliation. The bard's final play, containing his mature reflections on life, concerns Prospero, a philosophical old magician, and Miranda, his lovely daughter, who dwell in peaceful isolation on an enchanted island. When a shipwreck brings old enemies to shore, the stage is set for a masterly drama of comedy, romance, and reconciliation.


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The bard's final play, containing his mature reflections on life, concerns Prospero, a philosophical old magician, and Miranda, his lovely daughter, who dwell in peaceful isolation on an enchanted island. When a shipwreck brings old enemies to shore, the stage is set for a masterly drama of comedy, romance, and reconciliation. The bard's final play, containing his mature reflections on life, concerns Prospero, a philosophical old magician, and Miranda, his lovely daughter, who dwell in peaceful isolation on an enchanted island. When a shipwreck brings old enemies to shore, the stage is set for a masterly drama of comedy, romance, and reconciliation.

30 review for A Tempest: Based on Shakespeare's the Tempest: Adaptation for a Black Theatre

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily M

    A quick read, as plays often are, that raises as many questions as it answers. This is postcolonial rewrite of The Tempest, in which Caliban is a black slave and Ariel a mulatto negotiating his own freedom. The text stayed much closer to Shakespeare's than I was expecting, following it scene for scene, while turning everything successfully on its head. Written around 1611 and partially based on accounts of the New World, (though liberally mixed with Mediterranean geography) The Tempest stands as o A quick read, as plays often are, that raises as many questions as it answers. This is postcolonial rewrite of The Tempest, in which Caliban is a black slave and Ariel a mulatto negotiating his own freedom. The text stayed much closer to Shakespeare's than I was expecting, following it scene for scene, while turning everything successfully on its head. Written around 1611 and partially based on accounts of the New World, (though liberally mixed with Mediterranean geography) The Tempest stands as one of those strange texts that reflects the prejudices of its age whilst also undermining them -- as many have pointed out, Caliban has many of the best lines, the most beautiful poetry, and there is an ambivalence to Prospero's accepting responsibility for his monster: "This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine." I enjoyed reading this. I enjoyed it more than I've enjoyed some other postcolonial rewrites, in part because of its brevity and creativity -- the tedious-to-modern-audiences scene where a trio of classical goddesses spout poetry is here interrupted violently by an uninvited Yoruban god -- and in great part because of its erudition and complexity. A prologue sees a Master of Ceremonies calling on different actors to volunteer for roles: "Well, well, that's revealing." The colonial gaze is satirized: "a magnificent country! Bread hangs from the trees and the apricots are bigger than a woman's full breasts" and Baudelaire is quoted. A final scene, a departure from the original, has an old Caliban and an older Prospero still playing out their eternal struggle on the island. Ariel and Caliban are depicted as brothers with divergent paths. The narrative is clearly trying to make us see history -- and literature -- differently, but within that it doesn't have a didactic good-bad binary. It's complicated.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    A Tempest, translated from the original French to English, is a stunning masterpiece in the shadow of the more popular Shakespearean play of many years gone. In short, almost all of the characters are the same, and the storyline follows along the path of the original Shakespeare version, but this has an African twist that is straight from the heart of emancipation and freedom. Amazingly, the author is French born and bred, but while he was active he took many strides towards alleviating the pres A Tempest, translated from the original French to English, is a stunning masterpiece in the shadow of the more popular Shakespearean play of many years gone. In short, almost all of the characters are the same, and the storyline follows along the path of the original Shakespeare version, but this has an African twist that is straight from the heart of emancipation and freedom. Amazingly, the author is French born and bred, but while he was active he took many strides towards alleviating the pressure of Western culture upon the black minorities of the WORLD instead of just those of the Americas. A poet and politician, he did not turn from his roots, but rather he fought for them. A Tempest is a short play, but laden with intellectual points and rife with critique on the Western culture. To Cesaire, the author, Western civilizations doctrines were debilitating not only minority races but itself. By becoming barbaric and cruel, westerners drop into barbarism and animalistic cruelty. Prospero, the ruler of the fated island, dictates this relationship with a very heavy hand. Ariel, a mulatto slave, attempts to win over his master through morality and pessimism while his counterpart, Caliban, speaks outright and demands that the injustices of Prospero's rule be recognized and alleviated. Thus unfolds the relationship that is at the center of this play, demanding that all hear the equally sound evidence of Ariel and Caliban in face of great opposition. A sheer stroke of genius can be said for this simple, delightful read that begs to be performed and worked with in even today's culture.

  3. 4 out of 5

    N.T. Embeast

    Well. This was a total waste of my time. I get it, it's making a point to the reader. But what a way to pervert an old play and make it something nothing like the original! I get it. It's emphasizing the theme of colonization. But REALLY. *Facepalms* I found nothing amusing about this re-interpretation of Shakespeare's The Tempest at all. As far as I'm concerned, Cesaire is another one of those jackass political-message driven guys who decided that his greatest gift to the world would be to writ Well. This was a total waste of my time. I get it, it's making a point to the reader. But what a way to pervert an old play and make it something nothing like the original! I get it. It's emphasizing the theme of colonization. But REALLY. *Facepalms* I found nothing amusing about this re-interpretation of Shakespeare's The Tempest at all. As far as I'm concerned, Cesaire is another one of those jackass political-message driven guys who decided that his greatest gift to the world would be to write crap like this to prove a point. Point made. I'm about ready to toss this book in the trash. It's not worth a scratch or even an itch. First off, the man has some grand lines--and they're all given to Caliban. Every other character is so stereotypically one-sided that it's clear he was using them only as representations of what he saw in colonizers, white men, and so on. Again: got it, Cesaire. Also: don't really give a rip! The writing was plain, the poetry was rot, the man has no sense of continuity--if you hadn't read Shakespeare's original, The Tempest, you'd be more than a little lost with the transitions (or should I say, lack thereof) he makes. It was just a mess. An ugly piece of writing in quality, not even based on the subject. But God, the stereotyping, the concentration on nothing but getting a single flippin' point across! GAH! This is why I don't enjoy most English programs! Whatever you read has always got a MESSAGE. And I'm sick of it. If Cesaire had written something well, without this speedy and careless tone and manner of piecing words together throughout the "play," then perhaps it would have carried its point better! But even if it had been written "well," the entire POINT was to write the play BADLY so that every single crude stereotype showed up harshly and blatantly apparent. GEEZ it's annoying reading works like this! Making fun of The Tempest? Fine. I can live with that. Writing badly to prove a political point? Just shorts out whatever patience I have. This book, quite frankly, can be burned and I wouldn't bat an eyelash. I'd probably scowl and walk away after watching it disintegrate. It's so short, and so easy to read, but really. Why bother? If you want to read something more complex, go to Shakespeare's actual play. It's much more fun to analyze and pick apart the characters there. OH. And speaking of the CHARACTERS! I don't appreciate how Cesaire played with their personalities. You want to emphasize how stupid Stephano and Trinculo are even more? Fine, go ahead. They were like that before. You want to make Gonzalo seem like a dolt because he's the sole optimist in the bunch? I can live with that. But where do you come off taking Prospero--who in the original Tempest, didn't even take Caliban seriously when he narrowly escaped being caught and killed by him--and making him into this blatant wuss of a character, more weak than Trinculo and Stephano are greedy, bumbling idiots? And on top of that! Okay, play up Caliban's character! Make him the hero of this story! That's fine! It's usually really amazing when you get to read the same story from a completely different character's point of view! I love stories like that! And you did a GREAT job of making Caliban regal and noble, tough and strong. He was a GOOD hero character. ...but he had too many holes. He contradicted himself a couple of times. He refused to take into consideration any other path but his own. And, what the heck, really? Do we have to bring in being a "black slave" into this? *Rolls eyes* Come on. Drop it. It's over. If people stopped constantly talking about it, then we wouldn't be having PROBLEMS with this stuff! Sheesh. Also: Ariel. ...what... did you do... to my FAVORITE character?! Why is Ariel so "Let's all be FRIENDS, guys! 8D" and crap?! In the original, he was a character that was distant from everyone, with a conscience and a brain; he did what he had to do for himself, and he was mysterious, cool, collected! He's just another wishful (and the reader is made to think: pathetic) "slave" who obeys his "master," hoping (apparently uselessly) to be someday rewarded with his freedom. ...COME ON! In the original he was more an ALLY to Prospero, standing on the same ground as him, than a slave! GAH. Sure he obeyed Prospero because of his indebtedness to him! But the magical Ariel also stood on the same ground, with powers on the same level as Prospero's! They were EQUALS and Ariel was far more capable and competent in the original! DX< Gah! I hate it when people mess with characters that I love! So I ranted there for a bit. But it's just ticked me off. I don't mind parodies. And I certainly don't mind getting a different view of things on the same subject. But my biggest peeve was that I couldn't enjoy the story, or the characters, because all I kept getting out of it was the POLITICS. And as much as I might know a thing or two about politics, I don't want to have it shoved down my throat! D8< ESPECIALLY when I'm reading someone's "MESSAGE" at the price of the ruin of an entertaining story and some pretty dang fun characters too! -3- If you want to, pick it up. But it's substandard writing, and I'm not even talking message-wise. Just writing-wise it's poor work. You want to give it a go? Sure. Take a whirl. But I'll be surprised if you enjoy it. There's very little in it to be either entertained by, learn from, or care about. It's just there, wasting my time and bookshelf space! And on that note, review is finished! On to something better (I hope)!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    3/5stars Read for my masters class on adaptation

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sami

    A tempest is a post-colonial adaptation and revision of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It is regarded as a more politicized take on Shakespeare’s play. Césaire depicts Caliban as a black slave and presents Ariel as a mulatto slave, instead of making him a spirit. In Césaire’s play, Caliban is a very important character for he not only represents the whole idea of slavery and resistance but he is also a more violent character who expresses his hatred and hostility towards Prospero the Sorcerer and re A tempest is a post-colonial adaptation and revision of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It is regarded as a more politicized take on Shakespeare’s play. Césaire depicts Caliban as a black slave and presents Ariel as a mulatto slave, instead of making him a spirit. In Césaire’s play, Caliban is a very important character for he not only represents the whole idea of slavery and resistance but he is also a more violent character who expresses his hatred and hostility towards Prospero the Sorcerer and regent of the island upon which the plot takes place. The cast and the foundation of the plot of “A tempest” follow the basic premises of The Tempest. Césaire’s version focuses on Ariel’s and Caliban’s plight and misfortune and portrays their different approaches in gaining freedom from Prospero the tyrant. By the end of A Tempest, Ariel gains his freedom using his own strategy of non-violence, obedience and patience. However, Caliban plots to gain his freedom with a great deal of hatred towards Prospero and allies with Trinculo and Stephano, a jester and a drunk butler. Prospero decides to remain on the island and continues to hold power over there while Caliban continues to sing his song of freedom, leaving the audience with questions about the remaining effects of colonialism. It’s also interesting to note that although Caliban was seeking his freedom from Prospero, he swears his loyalty to Stephano while the latter declares himself king of the island. In this way, Césaire criticizes what could be a deadly mistake in confronting the colonialist powers. Caliban’s quest to regain his freedom is also depicted as a hopeless attempt in front of an almighty Prospero who uses magic to perform his plans and who relies on the obedient Ariel to perform certain tasks. Césaire reshaped the characters’ racial profile in order to represent the binary relations between the European master and the Slave of African descent. The Tempest portrays Prospero as a man of virtue and integrity who tries to attain supremacy using sorcery and magic. The comic aspect is quite apparent in the use of language and the comic situations driven by Trinculo and Sebastian. Although A Tempest raises serious issues, Césaire wanted to keep the comic spirit to entertain the audience. A Tempest focuses more on colonialism, tyranny and slavery as well as the different approaches of resistance and independence.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn

    Simultaneously hilarious and startling, Une Tempête by Aimé Césaire is an adaptation which brings this famous play into a more postcolonial perspective. Sometimes it feels a bit too heavy-handed with themes almost hitting you in the face, but it was an interesting take overall. Favorite change? Ariel. Prospero and Caliban appear to be on opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of both power and ideology while everyone's favorite sprite was a mesh of the two. Least favorite change? There's a Simultaneously hilarious and startling, Une Tempête by Aimé Césaire is an adaptation which brings this famous play into a more postcolonial perspective. Sometimes it feels a bit too heavy-handed with themes almost hitting you in the face, but it was an interesting take overall. Favorite change? Ariel. Prospero and Caliban appear to be on opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of both power and ideology while everyone's favorite sprite was a mesh of the two. Least favorite change? There's a sense that part of the reason that Prospero was stranded on the island was because of his magical abilities -- or, at least, this is the reason he is given. Is that not sort of contradictory then? What he does to Sycorax would then be incredibly hypocritical. (I think, however, of all the adaptations that have done this, Césaire's is one that manages to do it almost well. I can nearly explain it away in this case -- although it still bugs me.)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jana Tetzlaff

    An adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Set in the Caribbean. It's about power. About the relationship between the colonizer and colonized. It's great. It's beautiful. It made me cry. An adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Set in the Caribbean. It's about power. About the relationship between the colonizer and colonized. It's great. It's beautiful. It made me cry.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gautam Bhatia

    It is only when you read Cesaire’s version that the colonial tropes and prejudices in Shakespeare’s play actually begin to stand out. Cesaire takes almost every scene that is steeped in stereotypes about the colonial native, and then “writes back” to Shakespeare. The juxtaposition makes for some fascinating reading. In The Tempest, Caliban features prominently in four scenes. He is first mentioned in the middle of Act I, Scene II, when Prospero refers to him (off-stage) to Ariel as “a freckled wh It is only when you read Cesaire’s version that the colonial tropes and prejudices in Shakespeare’s play actually begin to stand out. Cesaire takes almost every scene that is steeped in stereotypes about the colonial native, and then “writes back” to Shakespeare. The juxtaposition makes for some fascinating reading. In The Tempest, Caliban features prominently in four scenes. He is first mentioned in the middle of Act I, Scene II, when Prospero refers to him (off-stage) to Ariel as “a freckled whelp hag-born–not honour’d with/ A human shape.” Prospero next speaks of him to Miranda, observing that “we cannot miss him: he does make our fire,/ Fetch in our wood and serves in offices/ That profit us.” When Caliban does enter – unwillingly – and insults Prospero for calling him out, Prospero’s response is that of a petty and vindictive slave-master: “For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have cramps,/ Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up; urchins/ Shall, for that vast of night that they may work,/ All exercise on thee; thou shalt be pinch’d/ As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging/ Than bees that made ‘em.” Caliban’s response is defiance. He insists that the island belonged to him, and that Prospero took it from him by deceit, before shutting him up in a rock, to be let out only to serve his masters. At this point – in the mind of the reader – Prospero seems to be having the worse of the exchange, at least in moral terms. The prejudice seems to be in his mind, and he has more or less admitted to practicing extractive colonialism – exploiting the resources of the colonised land by making the native work it. Caliban himself has used the vocabulary of the coloniser to lay claim to the land by virtue of being its original inhabitant. The moral tables are then turned very abruptly, through two exchanges. In response to Caliban, Prospero insists that he treated him well, until Caliban tried to rape Miranda. Caliban’s answer is a proud acknowledgment – “O ho, O ho! would’t had been done!/ Thou didst prevent me; I had peopled else/ This isle with Calibans.” A disgusted Prospero then points to his attempts to teach Caliban language, to which the latter replies: “You taught me language; and my profit on’t/ Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you/ For learning me your language!“ Full review here: http://anenduringromantic.wordpress.c...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dexter

    I understand that this play has great political meaning, and I appreciate it. I appreciate it in the same way that I appreciate Uncle Tom's Cabin. I appreciate it, but I don't particularly like it. There were times when I enjoyed reading this play, but then it kind of got old and I just didn't really enjoy it anymore. I honestly don't understand this (though perhaps after a lengthy in class discussion I will) and have no great desire to understand it. Perhaps the main reason I find it distasteful I understand that this play has great political meaning, and I appreciate it. I appreciate it in the same way that I appreciate Uncle Tom's Cabin. I appreciate it, but I don't particularly like it. There were times when I enjoyed reading this play, but then it kind of got old and I just didn't really enjoy it anymore. I honestly don't understand this (though perhaps after a lengthy in class discussion I will) and have no great desire to understand it. Perhaps the main reason I find it distasteful is because I just read the actual Tempest, and it's just hard to like A Tempest when compared to The Tempest.

  10. 4 out of 5

    ☆Stephanie☆

    **I had to read this for ENG 215.** So, ick. Really? This is considered a play? This is an insult to Shakespeare's The Tempest. It truly is. My class is all about colonialism, though it's supposed to be an English Genre class. I'm sick of this shit. Some people may like this type of play, but I lost interest in it after the "God" Eshu says he's going to smack someone with his d***. Gross. I'm just not a fan. Others may like it, as it is a completely different type of play. Just don't try to compare **I had to read this for ENG 215.** So, ick. Really? This is considered a play? This is an insult to Shakespeare's The Tempest. It truly is. My class is all about colonialism, though it's supposed to be an English Genre class. I'm sick of this shit. Some people may like this type of play, but I lost interest in it after the "God" Eshu says he's going to smack someone with his d***. Gross. I'm just not a fan. Others may like it, as it is a completely different type of play. Just don't try to compare it to Shakespeare, because you'll be greatly disappointed. This is just my opinion. Others can love it and disagree. Me: not a fan.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Gervasio

    I was underwhelmed by Cesaire's adaptation, maybe because it was much more radical for his time (to co-opt Shakespeare and directly revise his work into an anticolonial narrative) than it is now. I felt that the general plot line between Caliban and the rest of the shipwrecked wasn't changed enough, and I was also bothered by the ways in which Cesaire continued the tradition of silencing Miranda, the only female character in the play. I was underwhelmed by Cesaire's adaptation, maybe because it was much more radical for his time (to co-opt Shakespeare and directly revise his work into an anticolonial narrative) than it is now. I felt that the general plot line between Caliban and the rest of the shipwrecked wasn't changed enough, and I was also bothered by the ways in which Cesaire continued the tradition of silencing Miranda, the only female character in the play.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This is a Caribbean adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest and focuses primarily on the slave Caliban, using African mythology and Caribbean history to create a hero from a character who, in the original, doesn't really have as defining a role. Another instance of taking a piece of traditional, white English literature, and using it almost against the culture that created it. This is a Caribbean adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest and focuses primarily on the slave Caliban, using African mythology and Caribbean history to create a hero from a character who, in the original, doesn't really have as defining a role. Another instance of taking a piece of traditional, white English literature, and using it almost against the culture that created it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amber Hooper

    Read this for class. I enjoyed The Tempest better. A Tempest is just a rushed version of The Tempest where enslavement is emphasized more. In this version, Prospero is made out to seem like more of a cruel master who has enslaved Ariel and Caliban and refuses to set either of them free even though he keeps promising too. Ariel and Caliban are a mulatto slave and a black slave respectively, rather than the spirit and non-human creature they were in The Tempest. This is meant to be a commentary on Read this for class. I enjoyed The Tempest better. A Tempest is just a rushed version of The Tempest where enslavement is emphasized more. In this version, Prospero is made out to seem like more of a cruel master who has enslaved Ariel and Caliban and refuses to set either of them free even though he keeps promising too. Ariel and Caliban are a mulatto slave and a black slave respectively, rather than the spirit and non-human creature they were in The Tempest. This is meant to be a commentary on enslavement/colonization in the Caribbean, which I get. But overall, the play just felt rushed. In the beginning, the play claims that Prospero is a cruel master, but not many things throughout the play back this up - he even frees Ariel in the end, just like he promised he would (and just as Prospero does in The Tempest). I would probably have a different opinion if I didn't know the story of The Tempest before reading this.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jackson Cyril

    What happens when an Afro-French intellectual rewrites an European classic? Perhaps the 'native' characters will be given more agency, they will come to realize that they are in bondage and rise up against their masters you say? Well that's everything you'll find in this version of Shakespeare's Tempest re-written by Cesaire. What happens when an Afro-French intellectual rewrites an European classic? Perhaps the 'native' characters will be given more agency, they will come to realize that they are in bondage and rise up against their masters you say? Well that's everything you'll find in this version of Shakespeare's Tempest re-written by Cesaire.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Fantastic...gives Caliban the voice he deserves.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily Bell

    I read this book for class and was not impressed. A Tempest is taken from Shakespeare's original work and politicized. That's all there is to it. I read this book for class and was not impressed. A Tempest is taken from Shakespeare's original work and politicized. That's all there is to it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Teagan

    Really not a fan of this work. I appreciate the idea, but the dialogue did not keep me interested.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emma Getz

    Usually I like Shakespeare adaptations, but I wasn't particularly a fan of this one. A retelling of The Tempest from an anti-colonialist standpoint is a great concept, but the execution here fell flat. Everything that wasn't there to express the heavy-handed theme was just a lazy summary of the plot of The Tempest with watered-down versions of the characters. Adaptations need to add something new but there is not really anything here for any character that isn't Caliban, Prospero, or Ariel. Spea Usually I like Shakespeare adaptations, but I wasn't particularly a fan of this one. A retelling of The Tempest from an anti-colonialist standpoint is a great concept, but the execution here fell flat. Everything that wasn't there to express the heavy-handed theme was just a lazy summary of the plot of The Tempest with watered-down versions of the characters. Adaptations need to add something new but there is not really anything here for any character that isn't Caliban, Prospero, or Ariel. Speaking of Ariel, his character was completely changed into someone else, who is compliant and has none of Ariel's original mystery and power. My feelings might change and I might come back to this review later, but for now I was not really impressed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Leylamaría Nikfarjam

    I liked it more than I like the original Tempest, but that’s not saying much. Although the concept behind it is extremely intriguing, and it has some GREAT moments, it feels less like an adaptation and more like an attempted character study of Caliban. Which, I mean, I’m all here for, and the bits with him were mostly very good, but even then it felt a little lacking. I think this probably should’ve been longer? I definitely think Césaire has the skill to get his point across better than this. I I liked it more than I like the original Tempest, but that’s not saying much. Although the concept behind it is extremely intriguing, and it has some GREAT moments, it feels less like an adaptation and more like an attempted character study of Caliban. Which, I mean, I’m all here for, and the bits with him were mostly very good, but even then it felt a little lacking. I think this probably should’ve been longer? I definitely think Césaire has the skill to get his point across better than this. It just felt rushed, and like it wouldn’t appeal to people who aren’t already familiar with The Tempest. Also I think his relationship with Ariel should’ve been explored more. But not bad! Again, I enjoyed it more than The Tempest. But to be fair. I do not like The Tempest <3

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Gut-wrenching. Hurtful. Sublime. Challenging. Damning. Gorgeous.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Corrie

    Read alongside discourses for anu. Deeply enjoyed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cade

    Amie Césaire is a genius. A Tempest is a beautifully surrealist play. Robin DG Kelley’s introduction is the cherry on top.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    A fantastic adoption of The Tempest rewritten during a time in history that is important to the world as we know it today. If you haven't read it, you should. A fantastic adoption of The Tempest rewritten during a time in history that is important to the world as we know it today. If you haven't read it, you should.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mychole Price

    We read this for our cluster course and everything in this class was about colonization and voices of the marginalized. Because honestly, at my school, it's indicative those white children learn a thing about their country and the countries outside of a eurocentric view. We read Shakespeare's version first and then read Cesaire's. And the reviews were mixed and they were mixed for a reason because everyone outside of me and few other "minorities" could relate to the text of A tempest. And those We read this for our cluster course and everything in this class was about colonization and voices of the marginalized. Because honestly, at my school, it's indicative those white children learn a thing about their country and the countries outside of a eurocentric view. We read Shakespeare's version first and then read Cesaire's. And the reviews were mixed and they were mixed for a reason because everyone outside of me and few other "minorities" could relate to the text of A tempest. And those who could appreciate a perspective, other than some aristocratic one, had found Aime to be channeling powers indicative for change. If anyone knows their history would understand the context in which this book was written. Yes it's speaking about colonization through the lens of a person whose people were shackled and enslaved and stripped of their culture. But this was released in the 60's. And if you know anything about black history, since they don't really teach that in American History, then you know this is about representing blackness, or the term he coined, "Negritude". It's political for a reason, it's raw for a reason, it's referencing Yoruba deities and spirituality for a reason. And in comparison to the original, I see much more worth. Sorry not sorry. There is allusion to how blacks and mullatos were treated and it's expressed through the characters and their actions towards Prospero. There is much more in this that it's culturally relevant than something from an old dead writer. Could it have been better? Oh it could have done much more, but it was tame. This should be read in high school with the Shakespearean version attached so an actual discussion can be had. As well as a perspective many can't even fathom. Another note to take from this is that, if it's not written for you, then you have to try so much more to understand what else is going on and actually appreciate it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emlen

    Still not sure what I thought of this; I may come back to it, and I'm definitely going to have to read some more Césaire. The reinvented Ariel and Caliban sometimes seemed, to me, to interact sort of clumsily with the white characters other than Prospero (who were largely the same as in Shakespeare, though with a bit more historical specificity). The ending helped bring out connections between them, but didn't totally satisfy me: in particular, when Caliban isn't treated as a stupid savage, his i Still not sure what I thought of this; I may come back to it, and I'm definitely going to have to read some more Césaire. The reinvented Ariel and Caliban sometimes seemed, to me, to interact sort of clumsily with the white characters other than Prospero (who were largely the same as in Shakespeare, though with a bit more historical specificity). The ending helped bring out connections between them, but didn't totally satisfy me: in particular, when Caliban isn't treated as a stupid savage, his interactions with Trinculo and Stephano don't make a ton of sense, and there's not much of an attempt to fix it, except for a line where Caliban regrets having gotten involved with them in the first place. Also, at times, the political content of some of the lines was a bit too civil-rights-biopic for my taste (particularly in the argument between Ariel and Caliban over violence). But the ending of the play is really amazing; Ariel's reaction to being granted freedom, with Prospero's corresponding discomfort, and above all the final confrontation between Prospero and Caliban, are wonderful. (Really, all their interactions with Prospero are the best parts of the play.) I also would have appreciated an annotated edition of Une Tempête, as I'm pretty sure I missed some things. For one thing, it's a version of the Shakespeare play "pour une théatre nègre", but most of the characters are necessarily white; I'm not sure if this means that black actors were intended to play the white roles, or that "théatre nègre" means something less obvious. And there were a few passing references that went over my head, as well as, of course, some French vocabulary I didn't know.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Diego Fleitas

    Having read Shakespeare's The Tempest prior to A Tempest and having read some of Césaire's "Discourse on Colonialism" after, I must say I have a great appreciation for what the play is doing and what it is trying to do. By re-appropriating the Caliban figure (or, perhaps better said, reclaiming him), Césaire makes very direct and bold stances on what it means to be enslaved, to be forcibly atrophied by colonialist "lack-of-sentiment," and how freedom and sense can be viewed. No doubt many people Having read Shakespeare's The Tempest prior to A Tempest and having read some of Césaire's "Discourse on Colonialism" after, I must say I have a great appreciation for what the play is doing and what it is trying to do. By re-appropriating the Caliban figure (or, perhaps better said, reclaiming him), Césaire makes very direct and bold stances on what it means to be enslaved, to be forcibly atrophied by colonialist "lack-of-sentiment," and how freedom and sense can be viewed. No doubt many people are offended by this work -- crude sexuality (Eshu), expletives, perhaps one sees a gauche reinterpretation of the Western legend of Shakespeare. But are we not aware of the crude bawdiness of Priapus with his farting and his thick phallus? Of the violence of words and the silencing of voices that can come of a Western Heritage? Césaire can come off too directly at times, I will grant, but through A Tempest he did not wish to give a voice to a silenced Caliban (standing in for the colonized), he sought to render that voice and let it boom and bamboozle the wicked.

  27. 5 out of 5

    kripsoo

    Aime Cesaire wrote this variation of The Tempest from an Afrocentric, Carribean perspective. It is a magnificent achievement Caliban becomes the hero as Cesaire advances a variety of different ideas By changing the perspective, A Tempest explores a lot of issues like rascism and colonialism. Prospero becomes the Oppressor and Caliban is the Native wrongly robbed of his ancestral right to rule his own land. Ariel is reduced to something of an Uncle Tom To his credit, Cesaire never allows any char Aime Cesaire wrote this variation of The Tempest from an Afrocentric, Carribean perspective. It is a magnificent achievement Caliban becomes the hero as Cesaire advances a variety of different ideas By changing the perspective, A Tempest explores a lot of issues like rascism and colonialism. Prospero becomes the Oppressor and Caliban is the Native wrongly robbed of his ancestral right to rule his own land. Ariel is reduced to something of an Uncle Tom To his credit, Cesaire never allows any character in the play become completely unsympathetic That is a grand feat It is consistent with Shakespeare who also grants humanity even to Caliban. I found this adaptation to be brilliant. Cesaire follows the theme of The Tempest all the while making it his own work I was even compelled to reread The Tempest just for comparative purposes. The reread of The Tempest served only to heighten my appreciation for A Tempest. This is work that should be read by anyone interested in the theatre

  28. 4 out of 5

    Phillip

    I thought about giving this play 4 stars, because I would probably rate it a 4.5 if half stars were an option. The thing I didn't like about this play is how directly political it is. Cesaire's project is a distinctly post-colonial program, critiquing the colonialist and imperialist ideology in Shakespeare's The Tempest. Although I am not usually a fan of directly political drama/literature, this play worked really well for me because of how complex the picture of colonialism is here. For instan I thought about giving this play 4 stars, because I would probably rate it a 4.5 if half stars were an option. The thing I didn't like about this play is how directly political it is. Cesaire's project is a distinctly post-colonial program, critiquing the colonialist and imperialist ideology in Shakespeare's The Tempest. Although I am not usually a fan of directly political drama/literature, this play worked really well for me because of how complex the picture of colonialism is here. For instance, Prospero's decision to remain on the island at the end of the play complicates the image of the brutal colonizer who dominates and oppresses native peoples.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ariele

    I gave it five stars because the conversations were timeless and true, things that we still navigate today with just as little understanding. The beginning of the book was also extremely funny to me, for whatever reason. However, I found myself being vaguely disgusted and disappointed with the treatment or lack thereof of female characters. They were stock and useless, and sexual assault was treated as a throwaway, possibly even a joke, by both the author and my professor. Overall, I enjoyed thi I gave it five stars because the conversations were timeless and true, things that we still navigate today with just as little understanding. The beginning of the book was also extremely funny to me, for whatever reason. However, I found myself being vaguely disgusted and disappointed with the treatment or lack thereof of female characters. They were stock and useless, and sexual assault was treated as a throwaway, possibly even a joke, by both the author and my professor. Overall, I enjoyed this play far more than I thought I would. Many parts of it were chillingly familiar, and I think if it were to be performed now it would achieve great critical success.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This was a super quick read and I liked its rawness and down to earth language. I like the point of view better in this one than I did in Shakespeare's real version. I'm not saying I don't like Shakespeare, because I really do, but I also like seeing his plays done in a more modern setting, which is what this is one is done in. There is some language in it and I wouldn't recommend it to high school, but college is appropriate for this play, if ever you were taking a class in which you had to rea This was a super quick read and I liked its rawness and down to earth language. I like the point of view better in this one than I did in Shakespeare's real version. I'm not saying I don't like Shakespeare, because I really do, but I also like seeing his plays done in a more modern setting, which is what this is one is done in. There is some language in it and I wouldn't recommend it to high school, but college is appropriate for this play, if ever you were taking a class in which you had to read a modernized version that takes place in the Caribbean with an African American cast.

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