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Narnia Similiar To Shakespeare

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Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Nut

Would a course about Shakespeare or C. S. Lewis be your first choice if you were taking it at a college or university? I took courses in both and enjoyed them just as much. I love the playwright’s old fashioned language.  I have heard some people say that they don’t understand Shakespeare’s dialect, but I seldom hear people say that about Lewis.  Lewis is considered by most people to be a modern author, although some of his ideas are medieval and predate Shakespeare.  Lewis is more like King Arthur and his knights than Shakespeare.  Narnia and the plays are both somewhat old fashioned now, but they are not from the same time period, and they are from different worlds. 🙂

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Posted : May 13, 2022 6:10 am
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

Most people say they can see parallels between Narnia stories and parts of the Bible.

This is the first time I have been in a discussion about similarities with Shakespeare plays.

[The only exception being my/our guess that the 'fake title' for the Prince Caspian movie, while filming, would be Hamlet]

If Lewis used the stories to introduce Christian truths to his readers, we should be looking more at parallels with Bible characters and events.

However it doesn't mean we won't be reminded of similar things in Shakespeare and other literature.

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : May 13, 2022 2:57 pm
Narnian78 liked
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @coracle

[The only exception being my/our guess that the 'fake title' for the Prince Caspian movie, while filming, would be Hamlet]

I haven't thought of that one. Sure, there isn't a time when Caspian wore black (not that I could remember) and there isn't a ghost of Caspian IX appearing before Caspian X. Plus, there's not the tragic ending.

 

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : May 13, 2022 6:24 pm
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

Hamlet doesn't have to wear black. It just became a tradition - to show his dark thoughts, I suppose.

(There are various thoughts about his actual thoughts, his feelings, his depression etc)

So, nor would Caspian, although the usurping evil uncle is definitely a common factor in both stories.

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : May 13, 2022 6:54 pm
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie

@coracle 

That's true. Shakespeare has been known to have comedies and tragedies. There aren't any tragedies in Narnia, unless you consider The Last Battle to be a tragedy. There's no denying that Tirian is young and hotheaded, even to the moment where he and Jewel kill the two Calormenes at Lantern Waste. And of course, everyone dies, though there is the concept of the afterlife in the New Narnia.

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : May 13, 2022 8:40 pm
Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Nut

I think it is more accurate to say that Narnia is more medieval than Shakespearean. Shakespeare was a Renaissance man whereas Lewis had much more in common with the age of chivalry. Perhaps Rilian was the only specific reference to a character in Shakespeare’s plays in that he looked like Hamlet.  I don’t remember any other references to the plays in the seven Narnia books.  Other than the reference to Rilian’s appearance Lewis was probably not even thinking much about Shakespeare when he was writing the books.

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Posted : May 14, 2022 7:18 am
Mickey
(@mickey)
NarniaWeb Regular

Well, Coriakin and Ramandu were undoubtedly inspired by Prospero from The Tempest. Coriakin rules the Dufflepuds to guide them to wisdom in the same way as Prospero does to Caliban (Coriakin even directly quotes Prospero when he mentions that he is "waiting for the day when they can be governed by wisdom instead of this rough magic", and one famous line by Prospero is "This rough magic I here abjure").

Ramandu, just like Coriakin, is an old magical man who is spending his life in exile on a faraway island, and he has a beatiful daughter whom Caspian eventually marries, just like Ferdinand and Miranda.

This post was modified 1 week ago by Mickey
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Posted : May 14, 2022 7:44 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie

@mickey 

I haven't thought of Prospero and Ramandu both having young daughters who end up marrying the future king. Interesting thought, though. Another that The Tempest and Voyage of the Dawn Treader have in common is that both stories has a big wind storm.

There's been debate about if the depiction of Othello was racist, much like the Calormenes. Some might argue that a marriage between a dark-skinned Moor and a white Venetian would never work out (talk about an interracial couple in the media. Then of course, there's Shasta who's an Archenlander and Aravis who is a Calormene in The Horse And His Boy). The theme of Othello is manipulation and envy. We see manipulation as a major theme in The Last Battle. I don't recall any jealousy, unless Shift was jealous of Tirian being the King of Narnia or even Rishda was jealous of Shift taking over Narnia.

 

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : May 14, 2022 7:58 am
Mickey
(@mickey)
NarniaWeb Regular
Posted by: @jasmine_tarkheena

@mickey 

I haven't thought of Prospero and Ramandu both having young daughters who end up marrying the future king. Interesting thought, though. Another that The Tempest and Voyage of the Dawn Treader have in common is that both stories has a bind wind storm.

Coriakin doesn't have a daughter, at least none that we know of. Different aspects of Prospero have been incorporated into Coriakin and Ramandu.

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Posted : May 14, 2022 8:13 am
Jasmine
(@jasmine_tarkheena)
NarniaWeb Junkie
Posted by: @mickey

Coriakin doesn't have a daughter, at least none that we know of. Different aspects of Prospero have been incorporated into Coriakin and Ramandu.

No, but it's possible that Coriakin did have children that we don't know of. It would be an interesting discussion of how is it possible for stars in Narnia to repopulate. Is it possible that Ramandu's daughter's mother was a human? In Greek and Roman mythology, it was thought that the gods could reproduce with mortals.There are some Greek and Roman references in Shakespeare, so it would be no secret.

 

"And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me beloved."
(Emeth, The Last Battle)
https://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/aslan-and-emeth2.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : May 14, 2022 9:19 am
coracle
(@coracle)
NarniaWeb's Auntie Moderator

There is nothing in VDT to suggest either of the former stars is based on Prospero -  who was a nobleman cheated out of his high position by his brother, so took refuge on an island with his young daughter. 

He is a human who learned magic and has used it to control the other inhabitants of the island. 

The two former stars were placed on their respective islands by Aslan, one for recovery from old age, and the other for some degree of punishment.

There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
"...when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

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Posted : May 14, 2022 9:51 pm
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Narnian78
(@narnian78)
NarniaWeb Nut

@coracle 

Lewis was probably not even thinking of The Tempest when he wrote Voyage of the Dawn Treader. About the only things the play and the story have in common is that they both have magic and magicians in them and that parts of the stories take place on the sea and on remote islands.  So it is the locations that are similar, and that is the reason why I like both of them. They are set in places like Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe, but there isn’t much else that the stories have in common. However, it is enough for me to like the stories very much, and all of these are among my favorite books.

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Posted : May 15, 2022 4:37 am
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