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The Tempest - Shakespeare - When staging The Tempest, what aspects of humour would you draw out from Act Two Scene Two. Focus on: the scene as a piece of drama and the effects it would have on the audience

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Introduction

The Tempest - Shakespeare Coursework When staging The Tempest, what aspects of humour would you draw out from Act Two Scene Two. Focus on: the scene as a piece of drama and the effects it would have on the audience Act Two Scene Two is a comic sub plot because of the characters behaviours and actions. It also highlights some of the main themes of the central plot. Trinculo is a jester, a fool and one of the main characters, his job is to make people laugh. Stephano is the second character I am going to be focusing on. He's a drunken butler and because of his drunken actions, he's funny. Caliban adds humour to the play because of what he's thinking and doing. The play is based around colonialism, oppression, usurpation, masters, servants and magic. It was written by the famous William Shakespeare during the Elizabethan era. In the Elizabethan age when the Tempest was performed to an audience, the audience would've had a lot of different point of views compared with today. A modern audience may only be laughing at the farcical humour. They would also be laughing at the colonialism theme in the play, we today would not laugh at this. What makes this play funny is the dramatic irony, the stupidity, and lack of common sense and intelligence. ...read more.

Middle

Trinculo would be wet and miserable and trying to find shelter. He reluctantly goes under the cloak to shelter. Trinculo is very greedy character and shows few signs of remorse towards the end of the play, when drunk his comments have a mocking, critical edge which makes him seem rather detached. "swear by the book." In the 1970 production of The Tempest; the director described Trinculo and Stephano as foreign soldiers, who patronise and bully the native population. They shout loudly at the people to make them understand, make them drunk and get drunk themselves. Stephano is the drunken butler in the play, he s the King Alonso's butler, or was anyway. Stephano comes onto the stage in the scene last and drunk carrying a bottle of alcohol. After the shipwreck, Stephano floated ashore on a barrel of wine, which he is fond of and is always drunk. He had hidden the rest of the alcohol in a safe place somewhere on the island. But he is a greedy drunkard of a fool deciding to kill Prospero (after persuasion from Caliban) and take control of the island making himself king. He also wants Mirand to be his Queen, Caliban realises this only at the end. Stephano comes into the scene drunk, holding a bottle of alcohol and comes across the blanket. ...read more.

Conclusion

They'd then spend a couple of minutes dancing around the stage making fools of themselves. They'd then come back to the real world after a huge thunderbolt shakes them up. At this point they had both quite forgotten about Caliban until Caliban told Stephano again he wanted to serve him. "I will kneel to him". The audience would find the next bit amusing. Stephano says "swear by the bottle..." He makes him swear by the bottle that he will serve only him. Instead of the Bible he swears by the bottle. "be thy true subject for the liquor is not earthly." His stupidity changing his allegiance for a bottle of alcohol. The modern and Elizabethan would both of had experiences with alcohol and so would know why Caliban, Trinculo and Stephano were acting in this way. Trinculo knows Caliban is acting stupidly in changing allegiance but he doesn't mind! "A most ridiculous monster, to make a wonder of/a poor drunkard." "...now lead the way without any more talking." They all leave the scene, drunk and all together. The three characters Trinculo, Stephano and Caliban involved in Act 2 Scene 2 provide some comic relief from the more serious themes already introduced in the play, whilst paralleling some of the issues like exploitation, Colonisation and the relationship between masters and servants. The audience can almost predict how the encounter with end - the three characters are dreamers of low status, the comedy they provide is largely slapstick. ...read more.

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