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By James Morrison

Shipwrecked: catastrophe and Transformation in Homer, Shakespeare, Defoe, and the trendy World presents the 1st comparative learn of striking literary shipwrecks from the earlier 4 thousand years, concentrating on Homer’s Odyssey, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. James V. Morrison considers the historic context in addition to the “triggers” (such because the 1609 Bermuda shipwreck) that encouraged a few of these works, and sleek responses resembling novels (Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Coetzee’s Foe, and Gordon’s First on Mars, a technology fiction model of the Crusoe story), videos, tv (Forbidden PlanetCast Away, and Lost), and the poetry and performs of Caribbean poets Derek Walcott and targeté Césaire.

The recurrent therapy of shipwrecks within the inventive arts demonstrates a permanent fascination with this archetypal scene: a shipwreck survivor confronting the weather. it truly is notable, for instance, that the characters within the 2004 tv show Lostshare such a lot of positive factors with these from Homer’s Odyssey and Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

For survivors who're stranded on an island for a few time period, shipwrecks frequently current the potential for a metamorphosis in political and social status—as good as romance or even paradise. In all the significant shipwreck narratives tested, the poet or novelist hyperlinks the castaways’ arrival on a brand new shore with the opportunity of a brand new type of lifestyles. Readers will come to understand the shift in angle towards the possibilities provided by way of shipwreck: older texts akin to the Odyssey reveals a trajectory of returning to the former order. regardless of attractive new temptations, Odysseus—and the various survivors in The Tempest—revert to their earlier lives, rejecting what many could give some thought to paradise. Odysseus is reestablished as king; Prospero travels again to Milan. In such occasions, we may perhaps extra correctly communicate of potential transformations. by contrast, many contemporary shipwreck narratives as an alternative embody the potential for a brand new type of life. That even now the shipwreck topic is still handled, in a number of media, testifies to its long-lasting attract a really vast audience.

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