Peter Montgomery wrote:
> I'm wondering if we could have a similarly sybilised discussion of
> the role of THE TEMPEST in the second part of TWL. Given the
> VERY significant, and indisputable allusion to Ariel's song
> re pearls and eyes, and given that Ferd and Mird were so to speak
> encapsulated by Prosp's magic (very sybilised of him, don't you think?),
> and so resorted, to pass the time, to playing a game of chess, could
> Miranda's utterance, during that scene, of one of Shakespeare's most
> quotable lines (Thanks Aldous, old boy), be seen as a comment, by
> Eliot, on the characters in "A Game of Chess" and maybe even in the
> poem as a hole, er whole.
"O brave new world, that has such people in 't!"
I have a hard time seeing that it is. The original context was
something like "Wow! This place sure is filled with hunks!" Using an
allusion like this just doesn't seem to be something Eliot would do.
If Miranda meant it more as a reflection of the men's character than a
case could be made for irony. I'm willing to be convinced if someone
wants to give it a shot.
On the other hand, I begining to think that maybe this chess game is
more important to the underpinings of TWL than is the one in "Women
Beware Women." It is at this chess game that Ferdinand sees that his
father is not dead after all and that he is not undergoing a
sea-change. In part 2 of TWL we have a thought about pearls/eyes and,
in the draft and in the notes, that is connected to the hyacinth
garden. While the pearls/eyes are definitely thoughts of death,
thoughts of the hyacinth girl are more filled with life. Perhaps in
this "Game of Chess" a loved one is found not to be dead after all
(because he/she lives in memory.)
To support this there is the "wind under the door" allusion to a man
who was dying being stabbed and then thought dead but actually
recovers from his original wound due to the stabbing. An analogy can
be drawn that living with the woman's habits was the stabbing that
brought the dead hyacinth girl back to life.
As for Ferdinand and Miranda instantly falling in love (perhaps with
magic involved) there is a lot of that in TWL: Tristan/Isolde,
Paolo/Francisca, hyacinth garden, Acteon/Diana, Aeneas/Dido. In fact,
instead of hearing the Shakespearean Rag in TWL I often have a
different tune running through my head, "You made me love you, I didn't
want to do it, I didn't want to do it." (Are you paying attention Steve?)
Here PROSPERO discovers FERDINAND and MIRANDA,
playing at chess
MIRANDA. Sweet lord, you play me false.
FERDINAND. No, my dearest love,
I would not for the world.
MIRANDA. Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle
And I would call it fair play.
ALONSO. If this prove
A vision of the island, one dear son
Shall I twice lose.
SEBASTIAN. A most high miracle!
FERDINAND. Though the seas threaten, they are merciful;
I have curs'd them without cause. [Kneels]
ALONSO. Now all the blessings
Of a glad father compass thee about!
Arise, and say how thou cam'st here.
MIRANDA. O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
That has such people in't!
PROSPERO. 'Tis new to thee.