The Tempest Modern Connections

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The Tempest is filled with music, magic, and super natural spirits, much of which appears during the betrothal masque conjured up by Prospero for Ferdinand and Miranda in IV.i. A masque is an elaborate theatrical production with little or no plot, usually featuring characters from mythology and consisting of music, dance, and splendid costumes. Masques were a popular form of courtly entertainment in Shakespeare's time, particularly during the reign of King James I. At their height, they were showcases for special effects: trapdoors and ropes on pulleys were used to raise and lower actors and props; scenery was painted on panels that would shift to reveal different locations or convey a sense of animation. Mountains were constructed onstage that would open up to reveal caves. Smoke was used to conceal stage machinery, and multicolored lighting was devised for illumination and dramatic effect. Renaissance audiences watching the betrothal...

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This section contains 630 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Tempest Study Guide
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Shakespeare for Students
The Tempest from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.