HAIG Lecture: the absolute queen

Kirilka Stavreva, department of English, will discuss the use of queenship in Julie Taymor’s 2010 film, The Tempest, which cast Dame Helen Mirren as Prospera in Thomas Commons Nov. 7, 11:10 a.m. In her project, which attempts to re-gender absolute power as feminine, Taymor chooses not to emphasize regal action and voice. Rather, she objectifies Prospera’s instruments of power and knowledge. Thus the exiled Duchess of Milan does not have a library of magic books; instead, she dwells in a “cell” of magical architecture complete with a well-stocked lab. This choice recalls and re-enforces production choices concerning the articulation of female power made in earlier landmark cross-gendered productions of Shakespeare.