Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Staging HarmonyMusic and Religious Change in Late Medieval and Early Modern English Drama$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Katherine Steele Brokaw

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501703140

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501703140.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 25 May 2022

Arts to Enchant

Arts to Enchant

The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale

(p.188) Chapter 6 Arts to Enchant
Staging Harmony

Katherine Steele Brokaw

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Shakespeare’s The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale. It argues that the religious diversity—even inclusiveness—that many see as characteristic of these plays is most perfectly rendered musically, where the metaphorical power of social concord and the persistent idea of universal harmony lend extra charge to performed songs. In the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot and in the context of ongoing attempts by the clergy and laity to compromise regarding the use of music in the early Jacobean church, the harmonies of The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale resonate with the urgency of religious and social cooperation. These two plays represent music as both a speculative and practical art with myriad potentials for use and abuse. They ultimately suggest that the real power of music comes not so much from unexplained sources as from human performance and human myth making. But in Shakespeare’s late plays, the human element of music—its capacity for artistry and cooperation—makes it capable of not only deception and coercion, but also reconciliation.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, plays, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, music

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.