This lecture isthus the lead off in a trio of initial possibilities.
I think Tyrwhitt's reading of 'life' for 'wife'
This play seems to be saying thattheatrical art, the magic of Prospero, can achieve what isnot possible in the world of Milan, where everyone mustalways be on guard, because it's a Machiavellian world ruledby the realities of power and injury.
After all, look what happens in this play.
Here is Cassio's warm-hearted, yet perfectly disengaged, praise of Desdemona, and sympathy with the 'most fortunately' wived Othello;and yet Cassia is an enthusiastic admirer, almost a worshipper, of Desdemona. O that detestable code that excellence cannot be loved in any form that is female, but it must needs be selfish! Observe Othello's 'honest,' and Cassio's 'bold' Iago, and Cassio's full guileless-hearted wishes for the safety and love raptures of Othello and 'the divine Desdemona.' And also note the exquisite circumstance of Cassio's kissing Iago's wife, as if it ought to be impossible that the dullest auditor should not feel Cassio's religious love of Desdemona's purity. Iago's answers are the sneers which a proud bad intellect feels towards women, aid expresses to a wife. Surely it ought to be considered a very exalted compliment to women, that all the sarcasms on them in Shakspeare are put in the mouths of villains
That is something she is going to discover inher turn.
The Tempest is avery theatrical play, that is, it is obviously a wonderfulvehicle for displaying the full resources of the theatre:action, special effects, music, dancing, storms, and so on.
The over-zeal of innocence in Desdemona.
ADMIRABLE is the preparation, so truly and peculiarly Shakspearian, in the introduction of Roderigo, as the dupe on whom Iago shall first exercise his art, and in so doing display his own character. Roderigo, without any fixed principle, but not without the moral notions and sympathies with honour, which his rank and connections had hung upon him, is already well fitted and predisposed for the purpose; for very want of character and strength of passion, like wind loudest in an empty house, constitute his character. The first three lines happily state the nature and foundation of the friendship between him and Iago, the purse,as also the contrast of Roderigo's intemperance of mind with Iago's coolness,the coolness of a preconceiving experimenter. The mere language of protestation
And it may be that Prospero recognizes thatfact.
And it is clear that The Tempest does depend formuch of its effectiveness on a wide range of special effects--sound, lighting, fantastic visions, a whole realm of"magic." But I think there's more to the theatricality ofthe play than just its style.