Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Lindsay Ann Reid
Speech, Silence, and Shakespearean Quotation in The Sounding (2017)
Optional Fields
Shakespeare; quotation; gender; voice; audibility; canonicity; The Sounding; Catherine Eaton; film adaptation
This article examines Catherine Eatonís The Sounding (2017). It uses the polarised critical interpretations that have emerged in response to Isabellaís wordlessness in Act 5 of Shakespeareís Measure for Measure as a useful set of lenses for considering the non-normative communication strategies employed by Liv, the female protagonist in this cinematic adaptation of The Tempest. Orphaned as a child, the thirty-something Liv has been brought up in relative isolation on an island off the coast of Maine by her doting (and overtly Prospero-like) grandfather Lionel, a retired psychiatric professional. Though well-read, quick-witted, and the cultural beneficiary of her grandfatherís careful tutelage, from childhood, Liv has not spoken. When she finally breaks her long years of verbal silence on foot of Lionelís death partway through the film, Livís output proves to be exclusively limited to Shakespearean quotations Ė much to the consternation of her emergent love interest Dr. Michael Lande. Focusing on the gender politics of silence, quotation, audibility, and canonicity in Eatonís film, the article queries, in turn, whether Livís storyline in The Sounding is best understood as a tale of linguistic resistance and empowerment or as one of inarticulacy and patriarchal domination.
Grant Details
NUI Galway
This work was supported by an Athena Swan Mid-Career Lecturer Research Capacity Building Grant, NUI Galway.
Publication Themes
Humanities in Context