Sinister Variants on Enclosure

  • Chantal Zabus


When turning to British postmodern rewritings of The Tempest, one is struck by the championing of a magus-like Prospero who, however debilitating, continues to stage events and is in need of more and more props. As such, Prospero’s cell, Ariel’s cloven pine, and Caliban’s prison-like rock serve as sinister enclosures for the captive maiden, Miranda, inevitably incarcerated by a husband or lover, by a biological or cultural father or some such “Prosperous” force. Variants of confinement and incarceration abound.


Sexual Minority Chess Game Black Actor Political Reconciliation Retire Actor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    John Fowles, The Aristos (London: Pan Books, 1964), p. 56. SeeGoogle Scholar
  2. Roy Mack Hill, “Power and Hazard: John Fowles’s Theory of Play,” Journal of Modern Literature 8:2 (1980–81), 213; andGoogle Scholar
  3. Ellen McDaniel, “Games and Godgames in The Magus and The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” Modern Fiction Studies 31:1 (Spring 1985), 31–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 3.
    Peter Conradi, John Fowles (London & New York: Methuen, 1982), p. 27.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    John Fowles, The Collector (1963) (London: Pan Books, 1986), p. 39. Hereafter page numbers are indicated in the text.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Antonia S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance (London: Vintage, 1990), p. 231.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    See Ann Thompson, “‘Miranda, Where’s Your Sister?’: Reading Shakespeare’s The Tempest,” in Susan Sellers, ed. & Introd., Linda Hutcheon, ed., Paul Perron, ed., Feminist Criticism: Theory and Practice (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991), p. 49.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Bryan Loughrey & Neil Taylor, “Ferdinand and Miranda at Chess,” Shakespeare Survey 35 (1982), p. 117.Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    See, for instance, Andreas Huyssen, After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986); andCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” New Left Review 146 (July–August 1984), 53–94, esp. 54–55; and his “Postmodernism and Consumer Society,” in Postmodernism and Its Discontents: Theories, Practices, ed. Ann E. Kaplan (London & New York: Verso, 1988), esp. p. 14. Both Jameson and Huyssen argue that postmodernism is characterized by the collapse of hierarchical distinctions between high and low art, between “official” high culture and popular or mass culture.Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    John Fowles, The Magus: A Revised Version (1977) (London: Picador, 1988), p. 458. The first version was published in England by Jonathan Cape in 1966. I will however only use the “Revised Version.” Hereafter page numbers are indicated in the text.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    Robert Scholes, Fabulation and Metafiction (Urbana, Chicago & London: University of Illinois Press, 1979), p. 39.Google Scholar
  13. 16.
    Many Shakespeare scholars hold such a position. See, for instance, Kenneth Pickering, “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare (London: Macmillan, 1986), p. 69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 17.
    Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978), p. 39 & p. 186; p. 240; p. 104 & p. 450. Hereafter page numbers are indicated in the text.Google Scholar
  15. 19.
    John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (London: Jonathan Cape, 1969), p. 467.Google Scholar
  16. 21.
    For more detail, see Inga-Stina Ewbank, “The Tempest and After,” Shakespeare Survey 43 (1991), 110.Google Scholar
  17. 22.
    Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), “Tempests” in Anecdotes of Destiny (1958) (London: Penguin, 1986), p. 74.Google Scholar
  18. 24.
    In An Unofficial Rose (1962), Miranda attempts to practice magic by the seashore and, on two occasions, exclaims “O brave New World,” while her cousin is directly compared to Caliban, and her father and his mistress are set free “like Prospero and Ariel” by the witch-like Emma; and in A Fairly Honourable Defeat (1970), Ariel’s song “Full fathom five” is quoted. See Robert Hoskins, “Iris Murdoch’s Midsummer Nightmare,” Twentieth-Century Literature 18 (July 1972), 191–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 25.
    Deborah Johnson, Iris Murdoch in Key Women Writers, ed. Sue Roe (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1987), p. 61. Hannah in The Unicorn (1963) is also incarcerated.Google Scholar
  20. 27.
    A discussion of Buddhism in The Sea, the Sea is to be found in Elizabeth Dipple, Iris Murdoch: Work for the Spirit (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), pp. 277–305. See alsoGoogle Scholar
  21. Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Dreams, Illusion and Other Realities (Delhi: Motilal Barnasidass, 1987), p. 296 (for a definition of “Maya”) andGoogle Scholar
  22. Richard C. Kane, Iris Murdoch, Muriel Spark, and John Fowles: Didactic Demons in Modern Fiction (Rutherford, New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1988). More generally, see The Tibetan Book of the Dead, ed. W Y. Evans-Wentz (London: Oxford University Press, 1960).Google Scholar
  23. 29.
    Iris Murdoch, “The Sublime and the Beautiful Revisited,” Yale Review 49 (1959), 254.Google Scholar
  24. 31.
    Qtd in Simon Shepherd, “Shakespeare’s Private Drawer: Shakespeare and Homosexuality” in The Shakespeare Myth, ed. Graham Holderness (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988), pp. 96–117, p. 96. “Hom-intern,” as used by W. H. Auden in the 1964 edition of the Sonnets, is modeled after the “Comintern” or Communist International. See also Jonathan Dollimore, “Shakespeare Understudies, the Sodomite, the Prostitute, the Transvestite and their Critics,” in Dollimore & Sinfield, eds., Political Shakespeare, pp. 129–153.Google Scholar
  25. 32.
    Qtd in Jackie Stacey, “Promoting Normality: Section 28 and the Regulation of Sexuality,” Off-Centre: Feminism and Cultural Studies, eds. Sarah Franklin, Celia Lury, and Jackie Stacey (London: Harper, 1992), p. 285 (my italics). SeeGoogle Scholar
  26. Philip Osment, “Finding Room on the Agenda for Love: A History of Gay Sweatshop,” in Gay Sweatshop (London: Methuen Drama, 1989), p. xii.Google Scholar
  27. 33.
    Derek Jarman, Queer Edward II (London: British Film Institute, 1991).Google Scholar
  28. 34.
    Philip Osment, “This Island’s Mine,” in Gay Sweatshop: Four Plays and a Company, intro. & ed. Philip Osment (London: Methuen Drama, 1989), p. 86. Hereafter page numbers are indicated in the text. For a critical interrogation of the ramifications of cultural representations of gay men and AIDS in the United States in the 1980s, seeGoogle Scholar
  29. David Román, “Performing All Our Lives: AIDS, Performance, Community.” In Critical Theory and Performance, eds. Janelle G. Reinelt & Joseph R. Roach (Ann Arbor: the University of Michigan Press, 1992), pp. 208–221.Google Scholar
  30. 38.
    Susan Sontag, AIDS and Its Metaphors (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1990), p. 51.Google Scholar
  31. 39.
    Ian Lucas, Impertinent Decorum (London: Cassell, 1994), p. 115.Google Scholar
  32. 40.
    For more detail, see Barbara Hodgdon, “The Prospering of the American Mind, or Culture in the Ma(s)king,” Essays in Theatre 9:2 (May 1991), 114.Google Scholar
  33. 41.
    See Susan Bennett, “Rehearsing The Tempest, Directing the Post-Colonial Body: Disjunctive Identity in Philip Osment’s This Island’s Mine,” Essays in Theatre/Etudes théâtrales 15:1 (November 1996), 36. See also her Performing Nostalgia, pp. 148–149; and her Theatre Audiences: A Theory of Production and Reception (2nd ed.) (London: Routledge, 1997), esp. “Spectatorship Across Culture,” pp. 166–204.Google Scholar
  34. 45.
    Stephen Slemon, “Modernism’s Last Post,” in Ian Adam & Helen Tiffin, eds., Past the Last Post (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1990), p. 3.Google Scholar
  35. 46.
    Nisha and Michael Walling, Toufann: A Mauritian Fantasy (London: Border Crossings, 1999), Translator’s Note, p. 4. Originally Dev Virahsawmy, Toufann: Enn Fantazi Antrwa Ak (pou William Shakespeare ak Françoise Lionnet) (Mauritius: La Sentinelle/Boukié Banané, 1991), MS. Hereafter page numbers are indicated in the text.Google Scholar
  36. 47.
    See Roshmi Mooneeram, “Prospero’s Island Revisited. Dev Virahsawmy’s Toufann,” Kunapipi 21:1 (1999), 19. Mooneeram speaks of the “lovely couple” as engaged in “an alternative relationship.” More generally, see alsoGoogle Scholar
  37. Sawkat M. Toorawa, “Strange Bedfellows? Mauritian Writers and Shakespeare,” Wasafri 30 (Autumn 1999), 27–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 48.
    Alan Sinfield, “Diaspora and Hybridity: Queer Identities and the Ethnicity Model,” Textual Practice 10:2 (1996), 271–293, 280 & 281. SeeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Michael Warner, ed., Fear of a Queer Planet (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 1993), p. xvii.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chantal Zabus 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chantal Zabus

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations