Sexuality In The Tempest

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The Tempest George Guffey writes that no other Restoration text has been as maligned as the Dryden-Davenant rendition of the Tempest by William Shakespeare. Guffey argues that other scholars not only assailed the work, calling it a monstrous piece, but they are ruthless in their attacks on the authors. Dryden-Davenant adaptation is credited for starting the tradition of fanciful rewritings of Shakespeare’s plays in ways that loosely represents the original to cater for social, political, and philosophical tastes of a period. Part of the criticism relates to the sexist representations of the characters in the adaptation. There is sexual repression in the play where patriarchy tries to police the female body and to hold women back from sexual…show more content…
It is without a doubt that he exhibited consummate skill in his adaptation evidenced by the fact the Dryden-Davenant adaptation was performed seventeen times from 1667 to 1674 (Murray 21). What accounts for that popularity is that the authors added some characters with the goal of heightening the play’s political satire and enhancing sexual innuendo through employing the theme of sexual innocence. For instance, Sycorax in the new play is Caliban’s sister, and she becomes a part of the sexual subplot involving Stephano and Trinculo. In the adaptation, the innocent Hippolito is a new character introduced to mirror the innocent Miranda. Miranda Hippolito can fall in love with Miranda’s sister Dorinda –who is represented as the “sexualized other” (Murray…show more content…
Where’s your sister?” The author contends that in failing to know the whereabouts of his daughter, the play demonstrates Prospero’s loss of power (Murray 23). Moreover, the authors show that from the first time Prospero is on stage, he is unable to keep the female body within his sight, and therefore he cannot control them. Miranda informs Prospero of the pointed rock where she left Dorinda. Prospero calls the “pointed rock” that “dreadful thing,” which serves as a warning to Miranda against sexual desire (Murray 23). Thus, the first scene shows that Prospero’s power is already weakened because he cannot stop the female from pursuing her desires. Relating to Miranda, Dryden and Davenant seem to suggest that Dorinda as Miranda double represents European women who by extension can also not discipline
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