Hermeneutics and Heterotopias in Shakespeare's The Tempest and the Cult TV Series LOST Open Access

Zimmerman, Kara Marie (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/zg64tm58c?locale=en
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Abstract

This thesis is an analysis of the ambiguity inherent in The Tempest, which lends the play to a multiplicity of interpretations (hermeneutics). The Tempest's nature as a play, and the thematic ambiguity of the play's narrative itself, are very similar to the manner in which TV land has become a hermeneutic heterocosm for the viewing audience. For this reason, I assert that The Tempest can be defined as a cultwork. In addition, this thesis examines how The Tempest has changed over time to become, for modern audiences, a work of speculative fiction, because it takes place in a world that operates in a manner differently from the real world. Consequently, modern speculative fiction has appropriated various elements from The Tempest. Furthermore, to demonstrate the appropriative quality that the play has acquired, I compare it to an analogous cult TV series within the speculative fiction genre, the ABC series LOST, and attempt to answer why Shakespeare and The Tempest have become staples of the speculative fiction genre, and what has rendered The Tempest such an influential work. An analysis of their island heterotopias serves to demonstrate both works' endlessly interpretable nature, which is why both works have culminated extensive fan and critical interest.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
1. Introduction...1
2. The Tempest: A Brief History...6

"A Proliferation of Prosperos"...11

3. Fiction: Second Worlds & Heterocosms...18
4. Speculative Fiction: Utopias, Dystopias and Heterotopias...24

Utopia...27
Dystopia...28
Heterotopia...35

LOST's Island is a Heterotopia "Par Excellence"...40

5. The Medium is the Message: Theater and "Cult" Media...44

Endlessly Deferred Narrative & Hyperdiegesis...45
The Cult of Shakespeare...49

6. The Tempest and its Influence...52
7. LOST (2004-2010)...63

Cult TV Series...65
Oceanic 815's Fate & Prospero's Fortune...66
The Island or "The Magic Box"...68
The Proliferation of Prosperos on Lost's Island...79

John Locke...79
Benjamin Linus...80
Jacob...81

Ariel, the Loyal Servant Who's "Always Been There"...85
Sycorax, Prospero's Dark Foil...89
"...This Island with Calibans"...90

Benjamin Linus...90
Charles Widmore...91
The Man in Black...93

Imprisonment...95
Checkmate...96
Jacob vs. The Man in Black: The Utopian and the Dystopian...98
The Endgame: Redemption...103
Conclusion...107

8. Conclusion...109
Endnotes...112
Works Cited...114
Bibliography...124
Appendices...128

Appendix A: Shakespeare, Early Media Critic?...128
Appendix B...136
Appendix C: The Island of Dr. Moreau...138

The Island (of Dr. Moreau)...140
"This Island with Calibans"...146
Ariel...152
Prospero...156
"Obsessional Catastrophe"...159
"Totalitarianism"...161
Wells's "Hostility to Science"...163
"The Mind Invasion"...166
Prendick: The New Moreau...168

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