Write about what Shakespeare’s theatre was like and how this links to ‘The Tempest’. Next talk about the characters Ariel and Caliban and say how Prospero treats them. Which character do you prefer and why? William Shakespeare wrote ‘The Tempest’ at the earlier stage of his career. The Shakespeare’s theatre was for all classes of people, from the poorest to the richest. There were three different places for people to either sit or stand and watch the play. The Groundlings had to stand in the yard, because they only had to pay one penny.
The place of Gentlefolk’s was in galleries for the price of two pennies and the lords would get to sit next to the stage and watch the play, because they paid twelve pennies. The theatre had no scenery. It only had a few props in the upper room where the machinery was located. Bu the language that the players used was very detailed and strong, which would have created a picture of the scene in audience’s mind. As when Ariel describes that how the created storm was, she describes the scene of the play as well by the language that she talks.
‘To every article. I boarded the king’s ship. Now on the bear, Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin, I flamed amazement. Something I’d divide, And burn in many places; on the topmast, The yards and bowsprit would I flame distinctly, Then meet and join, Jove’s lightning’s, the precursors O’ the dreadful thunder-claps, more momentary And sight-outrunning were not. The fire and cracks Of sulphurous roaring the most mighty Neptune seemed to besiege, and make his hold waves tremble, Yea his dread trident shake.
‘ There were many poor people stood around the stage. Usually there were rowdy crowds. The play had to have dramatic opening in order to attract the audience’s attention. The Shakespeare’s theatre was a open air theatre which would have helped to add on to the drama of the play by the atmosphere that it creates. For example ‘The Tempest’ begins with a storm to grab attention of an audience and if there was a storm at the time, the play would be more realistic.
In Elizabethan’s time women were not allowed to play on stage, because of this young boys whose voices were similar to women were used in theatre. Shakespeare has always used magical plays to interest his readers. He has always used fairy tale characters like prince, princess, witch and strange creatures to make his plays more interesting and more attractive. As in ‘The Tempest’ which is a magical play he used two creatures, Ariel and Caliban and a witch Prospero.