“In My Power”: The Tempest as Shakespeare’s Antitheatrical Vision

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This article argues that in The Tempest, Shakespeare dramatises the deepest antitheatrical anxieties of his time about music, drama, and the power that artists–playwrights, players, musicians–wield over audiences. Through a close reading of the interrelated representation of music and drama in The Tempest and in early modern English antitheatrical pamphlets, the article demonstrates the resemblance between Prospero and the antitheatrical vision of the powerful, manipulative artist who deliberately excites his audience’s senses, floods them with emotion, undermines their reason, and places them in his power, while claiming that he only aims to please.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-397
Number of pages19
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Reut Barzilai.


  • Gosson
  • Metadrama
  • magic
  • masque
  • music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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