Friday, December 19, 2014

Sheakspeare 12

Picture of Hayley's 'The Triumphs of Temper'
The Trustees of the British Museum
Illustration to "Canto VI. Verse 294 in Hayley's "The Triumphs of Temper" (London, 1803); a masquerade, in a vaulted interior; Sir Gilbert, Serena and Serena's aunt are in the foreground (l-r), dressed as characters from "The Tempest": Caliban, Ariel and Sycorax respectively; other figures in the background. 

From the above link:
Hayley commissioned Blake to produce plates for two of his poems. The Triumphs of Temper was published in 1803, and contains six plates engraved by Blake while he was living at the sea, quite close to Hayley's house. 

Here's a bit of Hayley's text:
  to Ariel, Act 1 Scene 2:
This damn'd witch Sycorax,
For mischiefs manifold and sorceries terrible
To enter human hearing, from Argier,
Thou know'st, was banish'd.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Sycorax , an unseen character in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest (1611), is a vicious and powerful witch and the mother of Caliban, one of the few native inhabitants of the island on which Prospero, the hero of the play, is stranded.

According to the backstory provided by the play, Sycorax, while pregnant with Caliban, was banished from her home in Algiersto the island on which the play takes place. Memories of Sycorax, who dies several years before the main action of the play begins, define several of the relationships in the play. Relying on his filial connection to Sycorax, Caliban claims ownership of the island. Prospero constantly reminds Ariel of Sycorax's cruel treatment in order to maintain the sprite's service.

Scholars generally agree that Sycorax, a foil for Prospero, is closely related to the Medea of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Postcolonialist writers and critics see Sycorax as giving voice to peoples, particularly women, recovering from the effects of colonization. Later versions of The Tempest, beginning with William Davenant's eighteenth-century adaptation, have given Sycorax a vocal role in the play, but maintained her image as a malevolent antagonist to Prospero.

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