To Be or Not to Be: Tempest Edition (a.k.a. My Final Paper)

For my final paper, I’m framing a critical analysis of The Tempest with an adaptation of it. In the adaptation, we meet an artist named Miranda. She lives in a small seaside community in New England, where she is battling a creative block while also caring for her aging father. Her father, William Prosper, is an emeritus professor of Shakespeare (in a world in which The Tempest wasn’t written), and still lives in the house in New Orleans where he raised Miranda. She drives down to help him pack up his things for his impending move to her sprawling home (she has had some success as a sculptor). While going through his papers, she discovers a half-written playscript (of The Tempest), written by her father (plot twist!) and a critical work about the character Miranda.

The paper she finds will center on how Miranda, mostly voiceless, is adapted in works of art and (maybe) could be an Ophelia-like figure for some liberatory project. (I’m thinking of Reviving Ophelia here.) I haven’t decided yet if Prosper writes the critical work as well as the play, or if, within the fictional universe, a graduate student (at Tulane, I guess?) named Hilarie Ashton does. I’m also thinking through how to make my Caliban character more authentic to his predecessor – right now he’s named Cal, and he is Prosper’s home health aide. Taking suggestions for where Ariel might fit!

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