shakespearean experiments

Wednesday, March 31st, 2004

In Online Intro to Lit the issue of The Tempest as “experiment” or “test” concerning human nature has come up. Prospero takes choice people, breaks them into groups on an island, then waits for the true colors to show themselves: who’s honest, who’s not; who will betray, who will remain loyal. That’s the essence of the test.

Seems to me that this is at the heart of reality programming, or its theory. “Survivor,” which I’ve never watched, subjects a group to various conditions, then waits for the story to develop–the fundamental question: who, by nature, has the skills to pass the test. (Scripted, staged, controlled, whatever.)

So, the issue would be take the current administrations’ principles and place them on island and wait for the “natural” leader to show up. This is the nature/nurture, civilization/barbarism question at its most raw. We know what Hobbes would say. What would Dick Cheney say?


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