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What’s for Dinner on a Desert Island: Feast and Famine in The Tempest

Fri, September 23, 2011 | Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

2:45 PM - 4:00 PM


If one dips below the surface of The Tempest, even slightly, one discovers that the question of food and drink is intriguingly pervasive.  No surprise, since the early modern literature about unknown worlds beyond Europe was often obsessed with the question of what (or who) was eaten in those far-off places. Caliban’s menu, Stephano’s wine cask, the sumptuous banquet that magically appears and disappears in front of the hungry travellers: these add up to a significant dimension of the play.


Leonard Barkan is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton University, where he has taught courses on subjects including Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Narcissus, and Comedy.  His books include Michelangelo: A Life on Paper, which was published in November 2010. The recipient of the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he writes often on the subject of food and wine.

Sponsored by: Faculty Seminar on British Studies

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