Taging their 7th twelvemonth in the plan called Shakespeare Behind Bars, convicted criminals at Kentucky ‘s Luther Luckett Correctional Complex choose to execute Shakespeare ‘s last and possibly most original drama, The Tempest. Their production non merely covers all the of import elements of a Shakespearian drama, but besides astoundingly reaches out to a higher degree of significance and apprehension of justness and forgiveness.

Shakspere is considered as one of the greatest creative persons for his senses of characters and the complexnesss of human nature. In The Tempest, Shakespeare, with his mastermind, introduces new characters, new landscape, and new esthesia to the common consciousness. Each character possesses certain traits and behaviours that through their actions, nowadayss Shakespeare ‘s analysis of human characters and their complexnesss. In order to portray Shakespeare ‘s character successfully, one needs to be able to truly understand the deepness of the character ‘s struggles, their ideas, and their personalities. The inmates, through life experience and in relation to the offenses they committed, take their ain characters of the drama. Shakespeare ‘s characters, in all audience ‘s astonishment, after four hundred old ages, fit the inmates absolutely. Curt Tofteland, the voluntary manager of the plan, even said “ Shakespeare would hold adored this group. ” And he was right. The dramatis personae of the drama, including Hal as Prospero, Sammie as Trinculo, Leonard as Antonio, Big G as Caliban and Red as Miranda are strongly connected to their characters. In many ways, these inmates do non move in their public presentation, but express passionately their interior voice, which has been hidden or suppressed, through Shakespeare ‘s fantastic text.

The dramatis personae consists of convicted criminals who committed robbery, colza and slaying coming to prison with nil but shame and declinations of their ain actions. They surely lost everything 1 could of all time hold such as household, friends, belongings but most of all, sense of individuality. The Tempest, a drama about justness, forgiveness and geographic expedition, applies to every inmate ‘s state of affairs as they themselves were traveling through the evildoing and geographic expedition of their ego individualities. On the surface, we see these inmates practising every line, every gesture with great attention, experimenting different ways to present the messages. But on a deeper degree, these people are invariably seeking within their characters to happen the true significance in their past actions and their present lives. Just like Caliban was taught how to speak by Prospero and Miranda, the drama teaches these inmates how to talk the linguistic communication within their Black Marias, something so echt that their actions could non show. Hal, in his interview, explains his bitterness for slaying his married woman. A homosexual, Hal was and is still now fighting with his gender and construct of ego individuality. Through the character Prospero, Hal finds himself believing about his ain actions, his exposure, and happening his ain voice. Or in the instance of Red who, similar to Miranda, foremost saw his male parent for the first clip when he was 15. Red, with his struggled childhood and androgyny, asks the inquiry of Miranda and possibly his ain: “ are you my male parent? ” The Tempest ‘s subject of geographic expedition can non be expressed any deeper than Red ‘s daze in the acknowledgment for his ain pursuit of individuality that has been denied by his parents.

Although we do n’t see the whole public presentation of The Tempest, through the group ‘s treatments and dry runs, we can clearly see the deep connexion each inmate portions for their characters. These work forces, astoundingly, can see Shakespeare and his vision through their ain battles merely as Shakespeare can see them through their troubles. The connexion between the histrions and the drama is so incorporate that Shakespeare ‘s subjects can merely come straight across to the audience. Throughout the procedure of practising and researching the characters, the inmates experience powerful epiphanies about themselves. These finds allow them to comprehend the recognition of accepting themselves and their past actions. Such recognition is the initial measure that will take them through the procedure of forgiveness, the chief subject of The Tempest. Big G, who casts himself as Caliban, additions such recognition. In the dry run, Curt Tofteland describes Caliban as an angry character. Big G ‘s definition of Caliban is deeper than that. Large Gram can see through the freak of Caliban and he discovers Caliban ‘s delicate bosom and his exposure. Just like Caliban, Big G was to a great extent under the influence of others. He was taught to do bad picks, such as selling drugs, at a immature age without truly understanding the effects. Big G thinks of himself, and many other captives, as a barbarian who is deficiency of idea, deficiency of apprehension, and particularly, lack the ability to pull off strivings. Big G realizes that freak does n’t come from expression nor mode but from the 1 ‘s spirit and head. Big G besides realizes that he ‘s himself is non a monster but a barbarian who merely did n’t cognize what he was making. His realisation surely gives him some religion in the goodness of world and particularly the goodness within himself. Big ‘s realisation besides expresses the trouble of distinguished work forces and monsters, every bit good as the significance of justness – the two chief subjects of the drama. How should we handle these work forces, who although known as convicted criminals, but possess such bitterness and kindness? How do we separate adult male from monster, human defects from offenses? Prospero, in the get downing portion of the drama, revealed himself as the existent monster of the drama who is non merely overly commanding but besides full of vindictive idea. But with the counsel of Ariel, he is able to transform himself and accomplish felicity through forgiveness. Will these criminals have such a opportunity for transmutation?

Shakespeare Behind Bar brings together many of Shakespeare ‘s subjects and traits that are historical, such as the all-male public presentation. Throughout the dry run and the public presentation, we can clearly see the striking analogue between the text and the inmates ‘ lives. The Tempest ‘s island becomes Luther Luckett as both are isolated from the outside universe and are filled with conflicting emotions such as fright, choler and retaliation. The convicted criminals, the most restricted people in society, find the freedom to show themselves, their true characters without any influences, in the public presentation. These people, with all their battles and their conflicting emotions, hunt for freedom and self-knowledge to accomplish forgiveness. These baronial work forces, with their dedication, force us to see the provinces of our ain being and to accommodate how we perceive and embrace work forces and monster, frailty and virtuousness, felony and felicitousness, penalty and forgiveness.

Through the public presentation of these unusually alone histrions, we are able to see the human mind unfold in all its complexnesss as these work forces reveal their ain kindness, humanity and most of all, their religion. Shakespeare Behind Bar is non merely successful in presenting and intensifying Shakespeare ‘s subjects but besides transfusing in each of us the hope and religion in the goodness of world.