I like this play a lot, and have read it and seen it performed multiple times. It is such a rich play that one could write volumes on it. Having said that, I decided that I would keep my post short and focus on one of Prospero’s passages that exemplifies the wonder of this play.
You do look, my son, in a moved sort,
As if you were dismay’d: be cheerful, sir.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vex’d;
Bear with my weakness; my, brain is troubled:
Be not disturb’d with my infirmity:
If you be pleased, retire into my cell
And there repose: a turn or two I’ll walk,
To still my beating mind.
(Act IV, scene i)
Reading this gives you the sense of a wise person nearing the end of their life. The revels of youth are over, and one must accept that we are but actors who have a fleeting role in the human drama. We are spiritual beings destined to melt back into the heavens. Our consciousness is but a dream, and when our sojourn is over, we will drift back into the eternal sleep, becoming one with the universal consciousness from which we emanated.
There is nothing I can say that can add to the splendor of this passage. It is, in my humble opinion, perfect in every way.
I hope you enjoyed this post, even though it was short. May it inspire you to make the most of life, before this insubstantial pageant fades away, into thin air.
7 responses to “Thoughts on “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare”
Reblogged this on penwithlit and commented:
Just beautiful- also the Bard talking to us now in this quite difficult time.
Thank you for the reblog!
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A beautiful piece of poetry from Shakespeare thank you for reminding me.
My pleasure 😀
Hi Jeff – isn’t it amazing how phrases from Shakespeare’s plays are still a part of our language? Like “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.” Thanks for sharing this and your thoughts!
Thanks for commenting! And yes, great literary quotes are eternal.