Mama Day Vs The Tempest

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In 1611, William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” first debuted. It starts off with the King of Naples and his guests journeying home from the King’s daughters wedding. Then you are introduced to Prospero, the former Duke of Milan. Prospero has some special powers that he inherited from his mother. Majority of the story is about how the guests on the ship venture on the island dealing with encounters with Prospero. Then in 1988, Gloria Naylor published her modern day version of the Tempest, “Mama Day.” Naylor uses modern day cities and storms to symbolize the events and setting of the original Shakespearean play. Naylor writes her story to be both similar and different adaptations of Shakespeare’s original play. Since the play was written so…show more content…
However, Prospero’s magic is considered to the reader as dark magic. This is because he uses his power to take advantage of the people of the island and to his advantage. In addition, he uses it to crash the ship in the opening act of the play, “The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'd The very virtue of compassion in thee, I have with such provision in mine art So safely ordered that there is no soul—No, not so much perdition as an hair Betid to any creature in the vessel (1.2.3). However, Gloria Naylor gives Mama Day magic as well in her novel “Mama Day.” The magic that Mama Day is capable of is considered white magic. This is because she uses her magic for good and she doesn’t use it to take advantage of people like Prospero. For example, Mama Day can use her magic to help cure infertility of the members of Willow Springs, “Folks say I can do things most can’t do. Whether that’s true or not, I can help you if you willing to work with me as hard as you worked on that room (Naylor 87).” Even though the use of magic is quite different, Prospero says when he curses the ship that he didn’t want anybody to get hurt, “So safely ordered that there is no soul—No, not so much perdition as an hair Betid to any creature in the vessel (1.2.30-31).” This is different from Mama Days curse against Ruby. Ruby had tried to kill Cocoa and Mama Day wasn’t going to have any of that.…show more content…
In the late 1980’s, magic staff and books would’ve been considered outrageous. The only way Naylor could turn Shakespeare’s play into a modern-day interpretation would have to be death of a human being. Shakespeare on the other hand, published his play in an era where witchcraft could or could’ve not been real. Another way you can tell that Naylor created a modern interpretation of this Shakespeare scene is because of the reasoning behind the deaths. George dies for his love, Cocoa; and in “The Tempest,” Prospero destroys his magic for the benefit of the islanders. In particular, Prospero feels bad about putting a spell on Antonio, Gonzalo and Alonzo, “ The sole drift of my purpose doth extend not a frown further. Go, release them, Ariel. My charms I’ll break, their senses Ill restore, and they shall be themselves. The result of Prospero destroying his magic was that the islanders could be free to go back home, and that Ariel will be free once again. This is similar to how Naylor uses George’s death to free Cocoa from the grasps of death and she is free to move to

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