Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text, trans. Iago is the commentator on both. In the third scene, Shylock sets up the extreme requirements of his “merry sport.”. That aural pleasure is to be had everywhere, even when a ghastly character like Lady Macbeth, Richard III, or Iago is in the limelight, is both a Shakespearean and an operatic principle. Probably no song of The Tempest is so well remembered and perhaps no other is thematically so important. After turbulent skirmishes Winchester and Gloucester make a grudging peace and the civil dissension is falsely subdued in the feigned amity surrounding Henry's creation of Richard ‘princely Duke of York.’ The ‘Sennet. The pattern is vital. Shakespeare makes considerable use of music in the comedies and tragedies. Twelfth Night begins and ends with music. What he is questioning is the capacity of musica instrumentalis to stir the human spirit. The frustration common to all these scenes might indeed be held to form the ‘deep structure’ of the play (to borrow a linguistic term). are charming enough, but suppose one asks, “For what kind of person would these lines be an expression of their true feelings?” True love certainly does not plead its cause by telling the beloved that love is transitory; and no young man, trying to seduce a girl, would mention her age. My own reading views this picturing process as a response to Ophelia's singing, which is perceived by the other characters as dangerous, not only because of the uncontrollable meanings it may suggest to others, but also because of the unruly emotions it provokes in them. By the end of the scene, the man who had been seen combining his domestic and public life with such ease—receiving and giving orders with Desdemona by his side, controlling his men and inspecting defences with a quiet because absolute authority—can now think of nothing except his wife's body and her supposed faithlessness, which eventually he comes to ‘see’ as clearly as if he had indeed the ‘ocular proof’ which he demands from Iago. The internal construction of act 3, scene 3 as a whole dramatizes the difficulty of Iago's task and shows the tightrope of expediency and luck on which he is walking. In an evaluation of Ophelia's songs in Act IV, scene v of Hamlet, Fox-Good (see Further Reading) again applies her arguments about the association of Shakespearean music with socially marginal characters. lii-liii),5 is strengthened by music. The pun on gentle and gentile made consistently in the play suggests that Shylock could improve his fortune by assimilating: by being gentle (by becoming a Christian). Most critics, siding with Lorenzo, have praised a pristine harmony; only a few have remarked hints of discord.42 A number of critics have argued intelligently for a complete celebration of joys without irony, but that requires an explicit and fully resolved harmony between Jessica and Lorenzo. The island's music is pleasing, “marvelous sweet,” (3.3.19) and often “harmonious” (4.1.119); it frequently crystallizes into recognizable forms—“ditties,” tunes,” and “solemn airs.” The pun spoken by Ferdinand and by Caliban—“sweet airs”—connects music in the form of “airs” with the air itself. Much can be said about this exquisite and potent lyric, its proleptic significance in imaging the ‘sea-change’ the characters experience, its immediate effectiveness in preparing Ferdinand for his meeting with Miranda, or the way its eerie transformations bespeak the power of the art which contrives it. I owe the term “cultural voices” to Elise Jorgens; see “The Singer's Voice in Elizabethan Drama,” 45. Shakespeare has Lorenzo allude to two traditions (or conflicting aspects of a larger one). These meanings still resonate for twentieth-century listeners and have been articulated and deepened by post-structuralist theory, particularly by the responses of French feminism (especially those of Kristeva and Hélène Cixous) to music and song. He is, in fact, a pander, and his song, all compact of depressing innuendo far removed from the direct appeal of ‘O mistress mine’ or ‘Sigh no more ladies,’ is very much a brothel song, of that love which, as Helen says, ‘will undo us all’ (III.i.102).11. But, finally, she returns blunt prose to Lorenzo's dazzling blank verse: “I am never merry when I hear sweet music.”. The effect can be seen in Alonzo's recognition of his wrong.27. Such an instrument also forms the central image in Sonnet 8—one of the initial sequence urging love, marriage, and procreation—because the sound produced when both identically pitched strings are plucked together is far fuller and more resonant than either would produce singly: The difficulty of tuning a lute and the horrible sound that can result even when only one string in one of those pairs is out of tune had become commonplace by the time Webster was writing The Duchess of Malfi: One of the ways in which Iago cultivates his appearance of honesty is by pretending to the practice of harmony, and it is through music that he effects the vital first stage of his plot, the undoing of Cassio. Helena dances a foot or two with each man and passes to the next, rejecting each one. In The Tempest music is the medium through which order emerges from chaos; it is the agent of suffering, learning, growth, and freedom. The great peculiarity of music as an art is that the sounds which comprise its medium can be produced in two ways, by playing on specially constructed instruments and by using the human vocal cords in a special way. It is a parody love-song in a parody romantic scene. 5 paragraph essay for flowers for algernon; Calculus essay questions; Distinctive voices essay hsc; Grant Program; Essays childhood annie dillard and examples of shakespeare essays. That experience in the theater revealed a central paradox in Shakespeare's representation of women's song. Gaunt, dead, has said all, “His tongue is now a stringless instrument; / Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent” (II.i.149-150). (Although, of course, Mowbray's death does not occur until later, Holinshed mentions it at this point in his account and Shakespeare gives Mowbray, banished forever, the phrase “speechless death” to describe the sentence Richard has pronounced upon him.) The victory of Justice which he brings about seems rather a duty than a source of joy to himself. Prefaces to Shakespeare, first series (1927), p. xv. Scene 2—We meet Viola. 1:111-13; and John Hollander, The Untuning of the Sky: Ideas of Music in English Poetry 1500-1700 (Princeton: Princeton Univ. The poet, his play, and his stage are inseparable, and the Renaissance concept of the poet as maker embraces speech as well as words, song and dance as well as music, taking all the performing arts to a point where their edges are thoroughly blurred. … In a word, it is so powerful a thing that it ravisheth the soul. There are numerous studies of this kind, ranging from Richmond Noble's discussion of the use of song for revealing character or furthering the plot2 to Caroline Spurgeon's comments on the musical imagery.3 Some, like Edward J. Dent,4 describe the instruments Shakespeare must have required for certain scenes or effects, while John H. Long attempts to trace the actual music used or to suggest substitutes suitable for contemporary performance.5 But until quite recently there has been insufficient attention given to Shakespeare's relation to the complex musical ideology of his time.6 Because the Romances incorporate so much of this philosophy, a survey of some of the basic concepts is a necessary preface to any consideration of the plays themselves. As Ferdinand says, “This is no mortal business.” It is a magic spell, the effect of which is, not to lessen his feeling of loss, but to change his attitude towards his grief from one of rebellion—“How could this bereavement happen to me?”—to one of awe and reverent acceptance. That centrality will be confirmd in the final act, but we know it by II.iv., when her delicately poised responses to Orsino lift her out of Olivia's range. (2) The Ficinian definition receives both a serious treatment and a farcical, grotesque one. Too many people, she knows too well, manipulate the human desire to mistake mere words for the accomplishment of deeds. Much incidental music gains its purpose and strength from being expected and accepted. And, as Elaine Showalter has shown, the subsequent history of Ophelia's representation, not only on the stage but in the discourses of literary criticism, psychiatry, and the visual arts, has followed these first male readers in constructing her as an archetype of both woman and madness.2. After the fighting, in Act II, numerous indications of sounds of trumpet and cornet mingle with shouts to accompany Coriolanus' triumphal entry into Rome, providing a loud, ironic prelude to his sudden terrible disgrace and banishment. Its quieter timbre and subtler rhythms would contrast strongly with the louder sound and simpler, stronger rhythms of the conventional flourishes. Desprez was born in an area ruled by a duke. All of these bear an intimate relationship to each other; all relate to Prospero's one significant action—his effort to recover his dukedom and to bring his enemies to a recognition of their past and their errors. For a survey of Elizabethan attitudes towards music see Walter L. Woodfill, Musicians in English Society (Princeton: Princeton Univ. But Jessica appears more generally concerned with her “shames.” There is disparity between Jessica's worry “I should be obscured” and Lorenzo's playful assurance, “So are you, sweet, / Even in the lovely garnish of a boy.” Lorenzo knows what he is getting—a pretty Jewish girl who is wearing pants and sporting the ducats of her “father Jew” (2.6.22). Three Shakespeare Songs is a piece of classical choral music written for an a cappella SATB choir. What Shakespeare does with the music here is doubtless partly within the Elizabethan habit of mind of “moralizing,” comparable to Jaques “moralizing” the stricken deer, or Touchstone the time of day, or Feste a drunken man, with the phenomenon expanded, philosophized, applied this way and that to human behavior and conditions. Ariel's music, then, has intervened a second time to hinder the enactment of a plot hatched to assassinate a ruler. (This occurs, for example, in measure 4, in a modulation to the dominant, which has already been used so prominently in relation to the tonic.) The occasion is a feast to celebrate a reconciliation, but not one of them trusts the others an inch, and all would betray each other without scruple if it seemed to their advantage. No sooner is this scene over than Prospero prepares for the next Masque. A. P. Rossiter, Angel with Horns (London: Longmans, 1961), offers a general discussion of the reasons “problematical” plays might be given the title “Problem Plays” and suggests that perhaps we ought “no longer be content with an eternal triangle of three “Problem Plays.” The matter is beyond the scope of this chapter, but I am suggesting a number of problems, as well as a central one large enough to include Merchant in the general discussion. It is the most imaginative drum and trumpet thing. Prospero promises a musical show to reward Ferdinand's chaste resolution—and possibly, as will be seen, to cool the heat of physical desire; similarly, all the retributive and elective music in The Tempest is part of the political deal, when some are granted sleep through ‘solemn music’, and others given warnings; virtually an opiate for the people, the acoustic wealth of the isle is oneirically transmuted into ‘riches ready to drop upon [Caliban]’ (3.2.144-5). Had Margery Pinchwife completed her sentence, she would have ‘created’ two cuckolds, two fornicators, two adulteresses and a lecher. Literary scholars have been writing papers about the intricacies of MacBeth for centuries, but there’s still plenty of opportunity for you to write your own essay. That he succeeds is only implied, though the audience would certainly have had no doubts. The subject is too large for the length of this chapter, but I would turn the reader to the recent articles and books written from Marxist, Cultural Materialist, and New Historicist perspectives that might shed further light on Jessica's “exchange.” I would point out, however, that even these studies do not give Jessica the attention she commands. One critic has suggested that this song is the musical counterpart of the sweet-singing Sirens' invitation. The three interrupted ceremonies at the beginnings of the first, third, and fourth acts—the funeral of Henry V, the proceedings in the Parliament House, and the coronation of Henry VI, all have their pageantry partially evoked by music. 3-30. My argument is that the representation of Ophelia's madness involves a mapping of her sexual and psychological difference onto the discursive “difference” of music. Their unmanageable savior has preserved Rome and destroyed himself simultaneously. On two occasions Shakespeare shows us music being used with conscious evil intent. For instance, Ferdinand perceives the first song as ‘music’, the second one as ‘ditty’, though we have heard both as songs; Gonzalo is the only one to perceive Ariel's song, but does not understand or remember its verbal message. [Hereafter referred to as ‘Herford and Simpson’]. 126). It is this kind of listening, surely, which is implied by the Duke in Twelfth Night, “If music be the food of love, play on,” and by Cleopatra, “Give me some music—music, moody food / Of us that trade in love,” and which provoked that great music-lover, Bernard Shaw, to the remark, “Music is the brandy of the damned.”, Shakespeare uses instrumental music for two purposes: on socially appropriate occasions, to represent the voice of this world, of collective rejoicing as in a dance, or of mourning as in a dead march and, unexpectedly, as an auditory image of a supernatural or magical world. In fact, it isn't until Florizel begins to discuss his father that Polixenes becomes really angry, and even then he does not refer to Perdita as carnal. The desire we felt earlier to know Pericles better, and which we have since forgotten, is now unexpectedly fulfilled. More than this, the song also invites us to take Portia's position and share her problem. As such it is an apt marker of the mad Ophelia: a frightening figure of female openness, of uncontrolled generativity, whose free-flowing and formless utterance threatens to “strew / Dangerous conjectures in ill-breeding minds” (4.5.14-15). Were the Duke to extend this reply, one can be sure that he would speak of the unheard music of Justice. Prominent among them were, Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 “Romeo and Juliet” and Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 “William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, “Love’s Labour’s Lost” has never been one of Shakespeare’s most accredited plays. I think I can see an analogous distinction in painting. In fact it is not even represented on stage, but rather reported by Gertrude, in one of the play's most lyrical speeches: This speech marks a crucial moment in the play's response to the threats of excess and disorder embodied in Ophelia's music. McClary is not the first from within academic music to make this complaint. Most notably, Prospero himself has sought the goal of wisdom only to lose his dukedom in the process, and then, on regaining the dukedom must resign the art he has devoted his life to acquiring. The commercial world of Venice allows for little perception of that sort. On their departure Prospero launches into the play's most famous speech, fusing the terminology of masque and reality to remind his audience that the vision, however harmonious, must fade, and they, like Caliban, may cry to dream again. Unlike Timon, who does not love others as much as he likes to think, Falstaff himself really is loving. Others have also recently noted the degree to which Gower's presence organizes and unifies our experience of the play. That a living man should hear the music of the spheres is thus exceedingly unlikely. Find thousands of sample essays on this topic and more. Stuck on writing Essay On William Shakespeare Biography? They are all spectacular but each has its own manner and mood. 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