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The Politics of ParodyA Literary History of Caricature, 1760-1830$
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David Francis Taylor

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300223750

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300223750.001.0001

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The Tempest; or, The Disenchanted Island

The Tempest; or, The Disenchanted Island

(p.71) 3. The Tempest; or, The Disenchanted Island
The Politics of Parody

David Francis Taylor

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on William Shakespeare's The Tempest as political theater, a play that is not a particular favorite with eighteenth-century graphic satirists. In their 1667 adaptation The Tempest, or The Enchanted Island, John Dryden and William Davenant took up Shakespeare's drama as a performative laboratory for their post-interregnum exploration of patriarchal power, casting Prospero as a father-king and Caliban and company as parodic, stridently plebeian figurations of the 1640s parliamentarians. Ultimately, the political appeal of The Tempest resides largely in its dramatic elaboration of “islandness.” As Kathleen Wilson argues, the trope of the island—although long powerful in imaginary literature and material policies—began to serve not only as metaphor but also as explanation for English dominance and superiority in arts and arms.

Keywords:   William Shakespeare, The Tempest, graphic satire, John Dryden, William Davenant, patriarchal power, 1640s parliamentarians, islandness, English dominance, English superiority

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