It’s the beginning of the 1600’s and the new kind of GENIUS from ELISABETH I ‘s Court; William Shakespeare has composed yet another stunning work for which highly educated people will be talking about for the next 500+ years. The main character this time is PROSPERO; yet Shakespeare doesn’t call the play by his name as he did with HAMLET, MACBETH, OTHELLO, or LEAR. Instead he calls the play “The TEMPEST”. This character renounces vengeance killing off his evil self; at the cost of his own life.
Walter Benjamin ‘s essay “The Work of ART in the AGE of Mechanical Reproduction” makes the claim that ‘FILM’ has less AURA than the authenticity of actual reality. ‘FILM’ …”responds to the shriveling of the AURA with an artificial build-up of the “personality” outside the studio. The cult of the movie star…preserves not the unique AURA of the person, but the ‘spell of the personality’ . The phoney spell of a commodity…”.
The AURA of the Individual : made famous by DEED, wealth or power, or by the pen that has eclipsed the sword : by writing and the voice of the poet, the playwright, then the NOVELIST ( until we finally got to the ultimate human projection/AVATAR/ virtual reality) ACTOR walking upon the proverbial WATER. The ACTOR projecting the works of the poet, the playwright, and the NOVELIST. The mythic psyche’ was created through the GREEKS and their accompaning mythological creations. The GREEK playwright developed powerful characterizations of the psyche’ that spoke to the character of Western Man against the vastness of the cosmos. They bottled DRAMA.
By the ELIZABETHAN Period William Shakespeare is delineating the human aspects of MODERN people and pointing out MODERN life’s TRAGEDY and the COMEDY of human interactions. Shakespeare is projecting the MODERN floor of the psyche’ in battle with near existential conflicts. Yet here is the DISCONNECT or the jump to ART :: Shakespeare strengthens this theatrical ART of “VIRTUAL REALITY” . Another 400 years and the advent of technology produces a different “VIRTUAL REALITY” ; cinema. Cinema in it’s first decades put characters right in front of you and in the womb of a dark room along with a number of other people simultaneously experiencing the same projected reality. An alternate reality occurring in real time and thus literally overwhelming physical time and space. The magic of this occurrence is too quickly overlooked. The ACTOR who mimics the individual in society does so in an epic, heroic, comic light; thus separating from “real” individuals.
The 1956 Science Fiction Classic “Forbidden Planet” was often discussed as a 20th Century parallel to Shakespeare’s “The TEMPEST”. The parallel to PROSPERO here is MORBIUS. Yet, there is another parallel and Hollywood’s superficial transferable POP IMAGERY and suspended moment of disbelief allows for virtually limitless ‘tags’ or parallel associations. But to the point here, another parallel to PROSPERO and MORBIUS here has been argued to be that monumental anti-christ for the furtherance of MANKIND…J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER the scientist who gave us the Atomic Bomb.