The Tempest By Julie Taymor

1446 Words6 Pages
4. The most recent version of The Tempest by Julie Taymor changes Prospero to “Prospera,” a female figure played by Helen Mirren. Consider both 17th-century gender issues and more recent ones in examination of the play’s discussions about virginity, marriage and femininity.
In the 17th century, the issue with the gender roles being switched would be presumed as something different. I use ‘different’ because it could go both ways, it could be perceived as something good or bad to the audience. We see Prospero as a male because his controlling and obsessive nature leads you to male qualities. We do see these qualities in women, but not as much as you would in a male. Males tend to show those qualities more so, than vice versa. Also, if the main character Prospero was Shakespeare, then it would not have been able to be played by Shakespeare himself and it would not relate as much to his life, like the speculation seems to be.
The female Prospera is different because then you get into the role of the sexual relationship between Ariel and Prospera. There is a sense—or hint rather, that something can happen from these two characters. It would change the play entirely because you would have a female character and they react differently to betrayal and revenge. We, as women, do not act like Prospero does, we have a lot more sympathy and forgiveness for people. In the 17th century, a female with magical powers would be considered a witch and witches are perceived as conniving,
Get Access