Monday, March 18, 2013

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who Wears What and Why does it Matter?

Throughout the past 400 years, The Tempest has been performed by many companies. Each of the different companies and groups that performed The Tempest have taken their own interpretations of how the players should be dressed. Traditionally, Propsero is dressed regally, his robes are a symbol of his power. In some versions, Prospero is cast as a woman named Prospera. And of course, she dresses accordingly.

While browsing Youtube I discovered versions in which Miranda is dressed in pants; living on an island with only her father for company apparently makes the dress code a little more relaxed.

Why does this matter? What significance do the clothes make in the interpretation of the play? Do the clothes make the man? It would be worth it to consider what Miranda says:

"There's nothing ill can dwell in such a temple. If the ill spirit have so fair a house,. Good things will strive to dwell with 't."

1 comment:

  1. Another neat tidbit about costumes: Julie Taymor's interpretation gave Prospera a cloak of glass shards. Glass is melted sand! This represents her power over fire and earth, a counterpoint to Ariel's command of water and air.