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"See you in another life, brother"

Lost: a Shakespearean "Romance"?

Sarah Hatchuel et Randy Laist
Traduction de Brian Stacy
Cet article est une traduction de :
Lost : une « romance » shakespearienne ? [fr]

Résumés

Qu’est-ce qu’une romance shakespearienne ? Comment lire Lost à l’aune de Shakespeare ? Et comment, en retour, lire Shakespeare à l’aune de Lost ? Les quatre pièces dites « tardives » de Shakespeare, Pericles (1608), Cymbeline (1609), Le Conte d’hiver (1610) et La Tempête (1611), ont brouillé la frontière entre les genres en incorporant des épisodes tragiques tout en se terminant dans l’harmonie. Ces pièces ont mis au défi les catégories dramatiques et ont échappé aux définitions simples. Pérégrinations géographiques, jeu avec le temps, naufrages, morts qui n’en sont pas, conflits passés qui resurgissent dans le présent, enfants perdus, arnaques, déguisements, interventions magiques ou surnaturelles, rêves, coïncidences incroyables, retournements de situation, retrouvailles et rédemptions – les thèmes de la série Lost sont avant tout des éléments constitutifs des romances shakespeariennes et ont suscité les mêmes réactions de la part des spectateurs et des critiques. Lost, comme les romances de Shakespeare, ne nous donnerait-elle pas des clés pour appréhender les défis d’un siècle qui commence ?

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Texte intégral

  • 1 An abridged version of this article appeared in La Revue des Deux Mondes (May 2016).
  • 2 Michel Riffaterre, La Production du texte, Paris, Seuil, 1979, p. 9.

1What is Shakespearean romance? How and why might this genre aid us in understanding Lost1? The following analysis will explore the "reading effect", a term coined by Michel Riffaterre referring to readers' perception of the relationship between a given piece of literature and other texts written prior or subsequent to it, since the order in which we discover works doesn't always coincide with the time of their writing2. One could for example be introduced to Lost after having read Shakespeare or (re)read Shakespeare after watching Lost. While in the traditional study of sources and influences, intertextual dialog operates from the past into the present, Riffaterre argues that said dialog can also operate from the present into the past. It therefore becomes possible to shed light on a text through the use of contemporary works that came after it. How does one go about reading Lost through a Shakespearian prism? And how, in turn, might we read Shakespeare through the prism of Lost? Reading Lost as a Shakespearean romance may very well help us understand heated reactions the series finale and revisit Lost's ending so as to better come to grips with the vision this fictional drama puts forward regarding coexistence in 21st century society.

2Shakespeare's four 'late' works, Pericles (1608), Cymbeline (1609), The Winter's Tale (1610) and The Tempest (1611), blur genre boundaries by including tragic moments but ending in harmony. While tragedies emphasize evil and comedies downplay it, romances acknowledge the reality of human suffering while ending on a miraculous high note, thereby running counter to the narrative logic set in motion. They defy dramatic categories and elude easy definition. Originally labelled "tragicomedies" (a term coined by playwright John Fletcher in the preface to his 1608 play The Faithful Shepherdess), they were re-termed as "romances" in 1875 by the Irish poet and critic Edward Dowden. Unknown and far-flung locales, long voyages, time warping, shipwrecks, faked and unexplained deaths, past conflicts that resurface in the present, missing children, hustles, masquerades, magical and supernatural interventions, dreams, tension between fate and chance, twists and turns, reunions and redemptions - though reading like a laundry list of the Lost series' underlying themes, the elements above are above all else the core features of Shakespearean romances. Beyond these thematic parallels, the series seems to deal in and raise the same narrative, intellectual and philosophical issues. In fact, Lost makes a pointed nod to Shakespeare with the name assigned to the two Dharma stations: "The Tempest" and "The Swan", the latter being the theater where Shakespeare put on plays prior to the building of the Globe Theater. Shunning labels and eluding its own set of easy definitions (survival, adventure, science fiction, or fantasy series?), Lost invites us to meet and interact with Shakespeare's work.

Motifs from The Tempest

  • 3 See http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/The_Tempest/Theories
  • 4 Sarah Clarke Stuart, Literary Lost: Viewing Television Through the Lens of Literature, New York, Co (...)
  • 5 Ryan Howe, "New Space, New Time, and Newly Told Tales: Lost and The Tempest", in Looking for Lost: (...)
  • 6 Kara M. Zimmerman, "Hermeneutics and Heterotopias in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the Cult TV Seri (...)
  • 7 "a DHARMA Initiative station called The Tempest manufactured deadly toxic gas, which according to J (...)

3Much has already been written about the relationship between Lost and the play The Tempest, the last of Shakespeare's romances. These include an entry in the online encyclopedia Lostpedia3, a brief chapter in the book Literary Lost4, two scholarly articles5, and an entire bachelor's dissertation published in the US6. The links between Lost and The Tempest are more readily apparent than links to Shakespeare's other works. Both are set on a mysterious island cut off from the world, a both utopian and dystopian setting. Lost does not attempt to retell the story of The Tempest per se, but rather uses themes, figures and references to form a palimpsest wherein traces of Shakespeare's play repeatedly emerge. Kara Zimmerman views Tempest station’s depiction as both a weather station and a power station as a crucial metaphor: The Tempest is a work that powers and drives forward the fictional tale of Lost7.

4The series can, in fact, be read as a deconstruction and reconfiguration of The Tempest. Critics and spectators alike have singled out the figure of the powerful magician Prospero (who, banished from the Duchy of Milan, unleashes a tempest to summon his former enemies to the island) as Jacob (who acts as a stage director by bringing the candidates for his succession to the island), but also Rousseau (who sets traps and knows the island's every nook and cranny), the Nameless Man and Ben (both of whom manipulate the shipwrecked crew with illusions and lies). A rewriting of Ariel, the spirit compelled to serve Prospero after his release from the premises of the witch Sycorax and who endlessly clamors for his freedom, appears in the characters of Richard Alpert, Ben, the Nameless Man, the smoke monster, and even the whispers heard in the jungle - in the play, Ariel speaks into the ears of the castaways without them seeing him. Caliban, the monstrous son of the witch Sycorax, a rebellious slave who claims power on the island, also finds an echo in the characters of the former slave Richard Alpert, Ben or the Nameless Man8. Antonio, who in The Tempest attempts to persuade Sebastian to kill his brother Alonso to become King of Naples in his place, evokes Ben the Manipulator or fake Locke who succeeds in convincing Ben to kill Jacob.

  • 9 Douglas M. Lanier, "L’Homme blanc et l’homme noir: Othello in Les Enfants du paradis", Shakespeare (...)

5In Lost, The Tempest is diffused in a variety of resonances, parallels and echoes. Building on the play, the TV series features new alternate portrayals of Prospero, Caliban and Ariel, as well as characters with shifting roles - Ben successively evokes both Prospero or Caliban. To borrow from Douglas Lanier's analysis of Othello's appearance in Les Enfants du Paradis (directed by Marcel Carné, 1945), it is as if Shakespeare's play had been narratively and thematically unraveled into a network of free-flowing themes and motifs9. Lost is a kind of Tempest in which we're only introduced to the magician demiurge in the closing act.

  • 10 Caliban declares: "The isle is full of noises,/ Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt (...)
  • 11 Alonso says the following: "These are not natural events; they strengthen/ From strange to stranger(...)
  • 12 As Ariel tells their master Prospero:: "as thou bad’st me,/ In troops I have dispersed them ’bout t (...)
  • 13 "A confused noise within. Mercy on us!/ We split, we split!/ 'Farewell, my wife and children!/ Fare (...)

6In Shakespeare's play, the castaways are stranded on various parts of the island, washed ashore by Prospero's storm, just as the passengers on Lost were brought to the island by Jacob's hand - or by an electromagnetic disturbance causing the plane crash. Just as in Lost, where the jungle is shrouded in whispers, those stranded on Prospero's island hear strange voices10. The unusual occurrences on the island in The Tempest11 are echoed by the supernatural events on the island in Lost. Each group of castaways believes themselves to be the sole survivors12 before meeting coming across others and enduring a series of hardships to atone for their past misdeeds. The separation of the survivors13 in The Tempest is echoed by the disintegration of the plane in Lost: the cockpit, tail and forward sections of the plane don't crash down at the same location. Rose and her husband Bernard don't meet again until episode S02E08. Just as Act 2 of The Tempest begins with a geographical didascalia marking out the other side of the island ("Another part of the island"), Lost Season 2 shows us what the survivors seated in the rear section of the plane endured (episode S02E07, "The Other 48 days"), shifting our perspective on events.

7Both the play and the TV series similarly touch on themes of kinship and power. Prospero's protective relationship with his daughter Miranda is reflected in Ben's protective relationship with his daughter Alex. Ben disagrees with Alex's romance with her boyfriend, just as Prospero first appears to disown Miranda's relationship with Ferdinand. While in The Tempest, Miranda and Ferdinand play chess to pass the time before receiving permission to marry, Jacob and the Nameless Man play backgammon, emphasizing opposition and strategies of domination. In the TV series, the rivalries between Jacob and his brother, or between Ben Linus and Charles Widmore, for control over the island are reminiscent of the conflicts between Prospero and his brother Antonio over the Duchy of Milan, as well as that between Alonso and his brother Sebastian for the throne of Naples.

  • 14 See Karen Gaffney, "Ideology and Otherness in Lost: ‘Stuck in a bloody Snow Globe", in The Ultimate (...)

8The opposition between the survivors and the Others, between the Dharma Initiative and the Enemies (the hostiles) also reflects the conflict between Prospero and Caliban over the right to rule the island: "This is our island," the Others shout; "This island's mine!" repeats Caliban. Who deserves the island more? The ones who got there first or a character having landed there by circumstance? The series, like the play, challenges us to reflect on issues of colonialism and what it means to claim land rights14.

9In the TV series as in the play, the parents are separated from their children. On the island in The Tempest, Alonso is looking for his son Ferdinand; on the island in Lost, Rousseau searches for his daughter Alex, Claire is looking for Aaron, and Michael is looking for Walt. The seemingly heaven-sent feast in The Tempest (which is, in fact, an illusion staged by Prospero) echoes the boxes of food dropped by the Dharma Initiative and the survivors' various visions (such as the black horse seen by Kate in the jungle). Prospero's magical grimoires are reflected in the many books read by the characters in Lost, books later seen by viewers as miraculous sources of clues.

10Filmmaker Jack Bender, who directed 38 of the 121 Lost episodes (including landmark episodes such as "Exodus", "Dave", "The Beginning of the End", "The Constant" and "The End") also penned the script of the 1998 film The Tempest, an adaptation of the Civil War era play set in a Mississippi bayou, in which Harold Perrineau - who plays Michael in Lost - performs the role of Ariel15.

Figure 1: The Tempest, dir. Jack Bender, 1998

Figure 1: The Tempest, dir. Jack Bender, 1998

11To quote one of the show's central queries: is it a token of fate or mere coincidence? In any case, some Lost viewers are certain as to the filiation between Shakespeare's The Tempest and Lost. One online forum reads: "Planes were before Shakespeare, but I am sure the Bard would have crashed Oceanic flight 815 on the island if he had written it now16." Even The Tempest's ship, The Black Rock, the nineteenth century slave ship which incongruously runs aground in the jungle after a fierce thunderstorm.

Figure 2: The Black Rock ship in Lost

Figure 2: The Black Rock ship in Lost

12Shakespeare's The Tempest has often been adapted and quoted in works of science fiction - be it in the movie Forbidden Planet (director Fred McLeod Wilcox, 1956) or Star Trek (NBC, 1966-69). Referring to Shakespeare, appropriating the immense cultural capital he represents lends productions a veneer that distances them from popular culture17. In Lost's case, however, the relationship between "elite" culture and popular culture seems to be reversed. In 2010, Sky1, the channel that broadcast Lost in the UK, chose to kick off Season 6 with a media and stage event. In partnership with the American Reduced Shakespeare Company, famous for performing a wacky condensed (few minute) version of Shakespeare's plays, the channel treated fans to a theater production summing up the first five seasons in just ten minutes18. The play, entitled LOST Reduced, was performed on January 28, 2010 in Covent Garden in front of radio and internet contest winners, before being uploaded to YouTube19. The performance can be seen as a zany and over-the-top mashup of "previously on" sequences (i.e. "recap of previous episodes"), but also as a dramatic portrayal of Lost. A choir sets the stage, disclosing early on that the series was inspired by The Tempest. The performance emulates the Elizabethan theater style: each actor plays several characters, the female roles are played by men and actors repeatedly address the audience directly. Such audience interaction is reminiscent of Hurley's self-directed musings, such as "We're dreaming!"(S01E03), "I didn't expect that" (S01E17, S02E9), "Now I want some freakin’ answers! "(S01E18). The ease with which Lost is adapted to stage may have something to do with its theatrical roots.

13Shortly before the performance of LOST Reduced, an opening video, recorded by Lost creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, was shown to the audience in the hall. The creators put on a comedy bit: Lindelof pretends to believe that the play will be performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company, which would elevate Lost by lending it British and Shakespearean grandeur; Cuse pulls Lindelof back down to earth by setting the performance in a popular American context: he reminds his fellow actor that the Reduced Shakespeare Company is not the famed Royal Shakespeare Company, despite sporting the same acronym, and that the troupe is based in the US and not England. This exchange is very telling. Lost indeed appear to struggle between a desire to be anchored in a Shakespearean heritage perceived as "elitist" and its roots in American pop culture, as reflected in the series' many references to Star Wars and Stephen King. Lost undoubtedly does a lot to revamp and re-popularize Shakespeare, whose cultural capital might well wane if his plays were not continually adapted and re-appropriated by/in productions appealing to ever younger and more diverse audiences.

  • 20 Jonathan Kaufman, 12 mars 2012 : "I’m considering producing an open-air version of The Tempest in L (...)
  • 21 "The Tempest has been freely adapted and re-adapted by authors and productions over the centuries; (...)
  • 22 See http://www.patioplayhouse.org/

14The apparent tie-ins with The Tempest have had a ripple in the theater world. In March 2012, English director Jonathan Kaufman planned to produce an outdoor version of The Tempest in London using Lost as the inspiration for the set, costumes, props and music20. The actual production is apparently still in the works, but in the United States, the influences had by Lost are already evident. Produced by the Lawn Chair Theater company, directed by Tal Aviezer and performed at Lyon Park in Portchester (New York) from August 12 to 14, 2010, a production of The Tempest reprised the TV series' diegetic motifs: the shipwreck was replaced by a plane crash and backstory scenes feature flashbacks acted out live. The playbill cites the play's many offhand reappropriations, such as Forbidden Planet and Lost, and called for a "borrowing back" of the ideas from these modernized versions21 into a play based on Shakespeare's text. This notion of "borrowing back" speaks to the dissemination and revival of Shakespeare through the use of the cultural capital that Shakespearean appropriations themselves helped create. Similarly, from March 29 to April 13, 2013, the Patio Playhouse22 theater company presented a version of The Tempest (directed by Spencer Farmer) whose poster sports the colors and layout of Lost posters. As a result, it is no longer Lost which appears to be an adaptation of The Tempest, but rather The Tempest which feels spun off from Lost, taking advantage of the series' cultural capital - its "youth" capital as well.

Figures 3 and 4 : The poster for the Patio Playhouse theater production and its Lostian influences

Figures 3 and 4 : The poster for the Patio Playhouse theater production and its Lostian influences

15It is also worth inquiring whether, in 2010, director Julie Taymor chose to set her film adaptation of The Tempest, using Shakespeare' s script, in Hawaii because Lost was filmed there over a six-year period. Until 2010, Shakespeare' s island was adapted for film through metaphorical means - a mansion for Derek Jarman (1979), a library for Peter Greenaway (1991), a faraway planet in Forbidden Planet (1956) or an island in the Mediterranean (Tempest, directed by Paul Mazursky, 1982). By shooting in Hawaii in 2010, Taymor's new film adaptation takes over, so to speak, from the series that ended that year, as if Lost were giving back to the play the energy originally imparted to it. Lost-based theater and film productions call on us to reread Shakespeare through the prism of Lost: they point out the extent to which the play is based on the idea of loss, wandering and reunion - the adjective "lost" is uttered eleven times, the noun "loss" nine, and the verb "lose" six.

Figure 5: The Tempest (dir. Julie Taymor, 2010), movie shot in Hawaii

Figure 5: The Tempest (dir. Julie Taymor, 2010), movie shot in Hawaii

Motifs underlying other romances

16While critics and fans often projected The Tempest onto Lost, they overlooked the series' connections to other Shakespearean romances, as if the focus on The Tempest were a screen blocking out connections with Pericles, Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale. Lost has so far only been used as an adaptation of The Winter's Tale once. In Shakesqueer (2011), Kathryn Bond Stockton sees in Perdita (a girl whom Leontes walked out on because he believes she was born of a love affair between his wife Hermione and his best friend Polixenes) a symbol of the loss of the same-sex relationship between Leontes and his best friend Polixenes. This loss is accompanied by motifs also found in Lost:

  • 23 Kathryn Bond Stockton, "Lost, or ‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’: Causing Queer children on Shakespeare’s (...)

Shakespeare knew that his drama in the future would be ‘written from its middle, focusing on the story’s outcasts, and that its name could only be Lost. (There would be seacoasts, survivors, bears…. It would play primetime on ABC…)23.

17The Winter's Tale is, in fact, the only play by Shakespeare that includes the following stage direction: "Exit, pursued by a bear". In a humorous but insightful work, Kathryn Bond Stockton revisits Shakespeare through the prism of Lost, as if The Winter's Tale had pre-empted the series and its prominent motifs - a shoreline, survivors, characters chased by polar bears.

  • 24 Howard Felperin, Shakespearean Romance, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1972.

18Howard Felperin24, in his Shakespearean Romance (1972) placed Shakespeare's plays in the tradition of ancient Greek romances (Homer's Odyssey, for example), medieval romances and other Renaissance romances (such as Spenser's epic poem, The Faerie Queene, 1590, 1596). The adventure of the quest is fraught with far greater perils than in classical comedies; twists and turns abound right up to a dénouement that goes beyond the happy ending, becoming epiphanic. Weddings and final reunions can't erase the memory of lives Lost along the way.

19Personal happiness matters less than the healing of rifts within the community. While tragedy involves the deaths of individuals, romance emphasizes the collective cycle of life and death. In Lost, with a Jack that keeps insisting, "If we can't live together, we're going to die alone," one of the key themes is redemption through a community formed by mutual pain and joy, grief, solidarity, friendship and love. Moreover, while Shakespeare's comedies usually feature young heroes, his romances involve older protagonists: this also holds true for the plot of Lost. Jack, Sayid, Sawyer, Juliet, Hurley, Desmond, Penny, Jin, Sun, Jacob are all played by actors over age thirty when filming begins; Ben Linus, John Locke, Charles Widmore are played by actors in their fifties.

20Romances are a blend of despair and joy, disasters and miracles. The providential turnarounds that bridge the gap from tragedy to harmonious resolution are effected by divine intervention or some immortal force able to be personified in many ways. In Cymbeline, the god Jupiter appears to Posthumus in a dream, while a soothsayer foretells, through unsolved riddles, that England and Posthumus will meet a happy fate. The goddess Diana tells Pericles to go to Ephesus where he will find his wife. Apollo appears to Leontes in The Winter's Tale to assure him of his wife's faithfulness - which he refuses to believe at first. Like Lost in which the characters of Charlie, Boone, Locke, Desmond and Mr. Eko have prophetic dreams, the romances are imbued with visions, the religious, the spiritual and the decoding of omens.

  • 25 "Impute it not a crime/ To me or my swift passage that I slide/ O’er sixteen years and leave the gr (...)

21Although The Tempest incorporates flashbacks to tell characters' backstories (Prospero reveals to his daughter Miranda how Antonio chased him out of the court of Milan twelve years earlier), the play maintains unity of time, place, and action. This is not the case in other romances, which play with shifts across space and time. Pericles spans at least an entire generation, with its sizeable leaps in time. The Winter's Tale stretches over a sixteen-year period: to underline the leap in time at the end of Act 3, Act 4 begins with the intervention of a Choir called The Time25. Pericles sails all over the Mediterranean, becoming shipwrecked; Cymbeline is set on the island of Britain (present-day England), Wales and ancient Rome; The Winter's Tale straddles Sicily, Bohemia and distant and unknown shores. Yet all these geography-spanning journeys paradoxically take place in a single place - the backdrop-less stage of the Globe Theater. Likewise, the story of Lost, with its flashbacks and flashforwards, takes us to Germany, Australia, South Korea, the United States, France, Iraq, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom, Thailand or Tunisia, but all the scenes are shot in Hawaii, an anchor point used to reconstruct a variety of regions the world over. In both cases, the great geographical diversity is a mere artistic illusion requiring viewers to suspend their disbelief.

22Romances point out the abuses and paranoia of patriarchy. Cymbeline protests her daughter Imogen's marriage to Posthumus, the man with whom she's in love. In Pericles, King Antioch is an incestuous father intent on keeping his daughter to himself and poses a riddle to her suitors to kill or keep them under his thumb. In The Winter's Tale, Leontes first plans to kill the child he alleges to be born of adultery, only to exile her to a desolate, faraway land. Lost likewise dwells obsessively on the origin of births ("Who is Sun's child?" is a defining issue in Season 3) and challenges patriarchal figures. Ben was abused by his father, whom he ends up killing during the Dharma Project "purge"; Ben sacrifices his own adopted daughter, Alex, rather than give in to blackmail by Widmore's mercenaries; Hurley is abandoned by her father, who reappears only when his son wins the lottery; Kate killed her father, who beat her mother; Sun and Penny both have domineering fathers; Christian Shephard, Jack and Claire's heavy-handed and manipulative father, never cared about his son and failed to be there for his daughter; Anthony Cooper, Locke's father, cons his son into donating him his kidney, then abandons him, finally throwing him out of a window causing him to become paraplegic; Cooper is also indirectly to blame for the death of Sawyer's parents; the same Sawyer refuses to see his daughter Clementine.

23Sawyer is a sort of modern-day Autolycus, the thieving hustler willing to go to any lengths for money in The Winter's Tale. Autolycus purports to have been robbed and takes advantage of the opportunity to pick the pockets of passers-by. He deals in all manner of contraband (bracelets, perfumes, gloves, necklaces) and lures in clients, much in the way Sawyer sets up a small-scale racket involving watches before pulling off more elaborate operations. Autolycus and Sawyer are both examples of theatrical mise en abyme, whereby an actor portrays a character who is pretending to be someone else. Whereas Shakespeare's plays present the world as a stage where we all play roles, especially gendered roles (in Cymbeline, Imogen disguises himself as a man to protect himself), Lost also partakes in this reflection. In the series' second episode, Sawyer tells Sayid: "I'm the criminal. You’re the terrorist. We can all play a part", then asks Shannon: "Who do you want to be?” Acting is prominently featured in certain characters' roles: the Others paint themselves up and disguise themselves as "savages"; Kate, on the run, marries as Monica; Michael takes the name of Kevin Johnson in order to board as an informant on Widmore's boat; the Oceanic Six put on appearances with the media to protect those having stayed behind on the island.

  • 26 "Our revels now are ended. These our actors,/ As I foretold you, were all spirits, and/ Are melted (...)

24Like all Shakespeare's plays, romances cast the spectacle of fiction into a mise en abyme. When he breaks up the entertainment he arranged for his daughter's wedding, Prospero recalls that the show was performed by actors and ends with the famous lines, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep26." Prospero's words about theatrical mise en abyme could just as well apply to The Tempest itself. Fiction may be an illusion, but life is also a dream. Lost explores this idea in its sixth season. The flash-sideways are portrayed as a sort of post-mortem dream, a dreamlike existence set outside of time and conjured up by the characters to meet again before "letting go" and heading off towards horizons from which there can be no return. It is an afterlife that is dreamt up by everyone after their deaths, even those, like Kate, Claire or Sawyer, who have been able to leave the island, or those who become the new Protectors of the island (Hugo and Ben).

25In Shakespearean romances, deceased characters aren't dead and gone. In Cymbeline, Imogen wakes up next to the headless body of Cloten, a man she doesn't love, dressed in the clothes of Posthumus, whom she does. Imogen believes thereupon that her lover has died. In turn, Posthumus thinks Imogen was killed by his servant Pisano. In Pericles, Thaisa appears to die in childbirth aboard the ship; her body, in a coffin, is cast adrift, but she washes up on the coast of Ephesus, waking there. Thinking that she will never see Pericles again, she resolves to lead a chaste existence in a temple devoted to Diana. Similar scenarios are encountered in Lost: young Ben and Sayid come back to life in the Temple's water; Christian Shephard and John Locke rise from their coffins; and steadfastly faithful Penny waits years for Desmond, the love of her life, to cross the world on a sailboat.

26They retrieve, in astonishing and outlandish fashion, that which seemed Lost forever: a husband is reunited with the wife he thought dead (Leontes in Hermione; Pericles in Thaisa); abandoned or missing children (such as Perdita in The Winter's Tale or Marina in Pericles) are found; and wishes are granted. In Lost, Sun believes that her husband Jin died in the boat explosion only to find him on the island a few years later. At the end of Season 6, the flash-sideways where everyone remembers what they experienced, recognizes themselves and those they loved, present a series of unforeseen reunions. Imogen and her father meet and reconcile in Cymbeline, just as Jack and Christian make amends in the post-mortem dream. Jack who finds a father and sister - Claire - can also be read as Imogen who finds her father and two brothers kidnapped in childhood. His brothers had been kidnapped by Belarius, a Roman soldier considered a traitor and banished by King Cymbeline - just as Widmore was banished and exiled from the island in Lost. Belarius raised the two children in the wilderness away from the society he regards as corrupt; when they grow up, the two brothers are keen to learn about the outside world. We are reminded here of the adoptive mother in Lost: she abducts Jacob and his twin brother the Nameless Man; as he grows up, the nameless man longs to escape from the island.

27The divine serendipity that underpins these romances is also integral to the Lost TV series: flashbacks reveal connections between survivors even before they meet on the island, as if destiny, Providence or Jacob's spirit forever drew them together. Sawyer had previously crossed Boone's path in an Australian police station (S01E13) and spoken with Jack's father Christian in a Sydney bar (S01E16) shortly before his death, while Jack had met Desmond in a Los Angeles stadium (S01E02) before finding him behind the hatch door. Locke had appraised a property for Nadia, Sayid's sweetheart (S02E17); Charlie had rescued Nadia from an assault (S03E21); Christian and Ana Lucia had traveled together to Sydney (S02E20); Libby had gifted Desmond with a sailboat (S02E23) to enter a race sponsored by the Widmore Foundation; Kate met Cassidy, the future mother of Sawyer's daughter (S03E15).

28In Shakespeare's tragedies, the chain of causality proceeds relentlessly and without interruption until the dramatic finale, leaving no avenue for escape. In romances, as in Lost, time is instead "reversible": the "dead" are resurrected; there is always a possibility of redemption, a second chance, a new beginning. In The Winter's Tale, Leontes, believing his wife to be dead and his daughter lost, mopes around in grievance, eventually repenting. In Cymbeline, the traitor Iachimo, who manipulates the lovers through bogus stories (making them both think the other was unfaithful), finally makes amends. Ben makes the same choice at the end of Lost. Destruction gives way to restoration, revenge to reconciliation. Shakespearean romances and Lost therefore end in redemption, forgiveness and love rather than murder, revenge and carnage. These endings question viewers' expectations, challenge what a "satisfying" ending means, and offer a novel outlook as a means of resolving conflict and envisioning life in the twenty-first century.

The Reception of the ending: from Shakespeare to Lost

29It is perhaps precisely because the end of Lost resembles the endings so characteristic of Shakespearean romances that the episode "The End" has become the target of so much criticism from fans of the series. The Late Romances are, after all, Shakespeare's least understood plays. Howard Felperin argues that the late romances:

  • 27 Felperin, p. vii.

have received less than justice in this century, not so much because they have lacked sensitive readers as because those readers have lacked a working theory of romance […] Coming to terms with romance is a difficult task, precisely because romance, of all the imaginative modes, is the most fundamental, universal, and heterogenous modes27.

  • 28 Edward Dowden, Shakespeare, New York, D. Appleton and Company, 1889.
  • 29 George Bernard Shaw, "Cymbeline Refinished: A Variation on Shakespeare’s Ending", Project Gutenberg (...)

30Over the past four hundred years, Shakespeare's admirers have been far more interested in his comedies and tragedies than his romances, which combine the genres by way of morally ambiguous and often frustrating compromises. The tragic and comic modes intuitively struck a chord with critics, scholars, and artists in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, serving to elevate plays such as Hamlet, King Lear, As You Like It, or Much ado about Nothing to the cultural status they've now assumed. Lost's screenwriters avoided a comic or tragic ending, preferring instead to draw inspiration from the spirit of romance. By deviating from the narrative conventions of "everyone dies" or "everyone lived happily ever after", Lost's ending sidestepped the kind of facile conclusion that would have served most viewers' expectations. The fans who criticized or mocked the writers' chosen ending recall Shakespeare lovers capable of quoting Hamlet or Macbeth by heart only to admit their lack of fondness for the playwright's late works. In fact, the dismay felt by fans at the end of Lost echoes the disappointed bewilderment that Shakespeare's romances caused in their time. For Edward Dowden, who coined the term "romance" in the 19th century to describe the last four plays, Pericles was not spectacular enough and lacked unity of action28. The criticism that Pericles is a play in which the author fails to coherently weave together all the plotlines is reminiscent of the grievances of those Lost fans who grumbled about loose ends. Shakespeare's late romances have also been faulted for ending with drawn-out, tedious scenes in which the characters reunite, recognize each other and reconcile. Perhaps the most famous blow dealt to Shakespearean drama was that of George Bernard Shaw, who wrote that Cymbeline was a good play that "collapses in the last act29". Shaw suggested an ending of his own in Cymbeline Refinished. Shaw's response found a contemporary reflection in the reception of Lost by Baltimore Sun journalist David Zurawik, who complained in the following terms:

  • 30 Baltimore Sun, May 23, 2010

Once Jack stepped into the church it looked like he was walking into a Hollywood wrap party without food or music – just a bunch of actors grinning idiotically for 10 minutes and hugging one another30

31In the second half of the 18th century, the English writer Samuel Johnson wrote the following about Cymbeline:

To remark the folly of the fiction, the absurdity of the conduct, the confusion of the names […] and the impossibility of the events in any system of life, were to waste criticism upon unresisting imbecility, upon faults too evident for detection, and too gross for aggravation31.

32One might place such a scornful indictment of the fantastic theatricality offered by Cymbeline alongside the recriminations of journalist Gabriel Bell concerning Lost:

  • 32 Gabriel Bell, "Did ‘Lost’ actually suck? R29 editors duke it out", R29, July 12, 2013, www.refinery (...)

the basic justification for all the bad dialogue, lame sets, pointless diversions, cloying music, ridiculous plot twists, silly performances, unbelievable romances, endless flashbacks, self-seriousness, gratuitous wet-T-shirt shots, pretentiousness, over-sentimentalized moments, product tie-ins, on-screen Tweeting (remember that?), constant off-screen online theorizing, and tease, after tease, after tease never comes. Why? Because there was no secret, no meaning to begin with32.

33What Bell may be suggesting is that all of these "flaws" would have been acceptable had they been borne out by some profound revelation in the last episode. But without such a unifying factor, the story breaks down into separate parts, recalling Lytton Strachey's analysis of Shakespeare's late career:

  • 33 Lytton Strachey, "Shakespeare’s Final Period", Independent Review, no. 3, August 1904, p. 414-15.

"[he is] no longer interested […] in what happens, or who says what, so long as he can find a place for a faultless lyric or a new, unimagined rhythmical effect, or a grand and mystic speech33."

34The point that regularly crops up in critiques by disappointed Lost viewers is not, however, related to the narrative structure, but rather to the tone employed. The series had built its popularity on the fact that it didn't shy away from killing off characters. Yet the ending places the characters into a virtually everlasting afterlife. Lost had attracted an audience of postmodern skeptics but its ending smacks of syrupy transcendence. The irony that had been a feature of the show since its inception was swiftly swept under the rug and replaced by an unabashedly cynical piety. A universe rooted in the zeitgeist of the twentieth century, full of chance, parallel realities, quantum indeterminacy, turned out to be not a multiverse but an essentialist monoverse where everyone comes to be exactly what fate intended for them.

35This sense of betrayal lies at the root of many fans' resentment and, although it would be difficult to precisely identify like-minded remarks against Shakespeare, a similar dynamic underlies the relative unpopularity of the four late romances. Shakespeare built his reputation on blood and extreme violence - anger, revenge, betrayals, catastrophes and staggering body counts. His romances turn away from this bleak blueprint and replace it with an ethos of forgiveness and understanding imbued with pagan-tinged Christianity. Like Lost's writers, Shakespeare seems to have grown weary of killing or marrying his characters, and thus focused on portraying their redemption.

36How can we explain such a parallel? Despite the several centuries that stand between Shakespeare, Lindelof and Cuse, the Elizabethan playwright faced the same challenge of authorship: how does one extend a series of successful scripts while simultaneously carrying forward a process of artistic maturation? While some writers prefer to fall back on the easy solution of rehashing proven formulas, those with taller aspirations seek to steer their creative momentum in a new direction: they experiment with new artistic forms even if it means putting off admirers of their past works. Moreover, the way in which the "late writing" phase of Lindelof and Cuse refers to the tropes of Shakespeare's late career may suggest that the playwright provided the authors with a model for dealing with this artistic dilemma. Lost had already borrowed so many narrative elements from Shakespeare's romances that, when it came time to think up a series finale, a conclusion echoing that of the late plays must have prevailed.

  • 34 Harold Bloom, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, New York, Riverhead Books, 1998, p. xix-xx.
  • 35 Northrop Frye, On Shakespeare, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1986, p. 6.

37Through the introjection of the moral sensibility prevalent in Shakespearean romances, Lost reprises a literary mystery or a form of meta-mystery encompassing the enigmas contained in all storylines. While Felperin suggested that the key to unlocking the romances has yet to be invented, Howard Bloom attributed our inability to grasp aspects of Shakespearean thought to the fact that the plays "remain the outward limit of human achievement: aesthetically, cognitively, in certain ways morally, even spiritually. They abide beyond the end of the mind’s reach; we cannot catch up to them34." Northrop Frye similarly hypothesized that "Whatever we don't like in [Shakespeare], we probably don’t fully understand35." According to this principle, our confusion with late romances is, in fact, a symptom of the challenge of interpreting these demanding texts. By adapting the narratological and moral values of Shakespearean romances, Lost combines its own narrative project with the deeper historical mystery of what Shakespeare was trying to say in his final writing phase.

38One widespread critical approach to The Tempest involves reading the play as Shakespeare's response to the boldness of the 17th century. In the advent of new technologies, the exploration of new lands and the "discovery" of new peoples, Shakespeare saw the future taking shape. He is therefore thought to have crafted the peculiar storyline of The Tempest as a language for thinking about this techno-future. It can therefore be argued that Shakespeare invented the genre of science fiction and its characteristic tropes - magical technologies, remote landscapes, aliens - a genre that generations of writers have used to grasp the present moment. However, the broader meaning of the genre which romance embodies has yet to be decoded. The cultural value of these texts remains bound by our inability to grasp the layers of meaning within them.

39Once again, the parallel with Lost is obvious. Shakespeare composed his romances between 1608 and 1611, or at the end of the century's first decade. The last season of Lost was penned almost exactly four hundred years later, from 2009 to 2010, at a time of similar anxieties and expectations about the future of global techno-culture. Lost has never made a secret of its ambition to showcase the most salient features of living in the twenty-first century, through its cross-cultural cast, its environmental themes as well as its post-9/11 iconography. Taking on the sensibility of the Late Romances, the episode "The End" reappropriates the moral values of the plays as a way of dealing with a world rife with confusion and turmoil. More specifically, the series breaks away from the aura of irony and uncertainty so typical of the twentieth century established in its first five seasons. Through this reversal, Lost suggests that the romances' conclusions might provide contemporary viewers with valuable clues for addressing the challenges of the historical period ahead. What irritated so many viewers in Lost's finale may indeed be the moments when the writers deviated from the 20th-century sensibility on which the series was built, ultimately settling instead for redemption, forgiveness, and transcendence.

40Lost has been criticized for leaving questions unanswered, just as Shakespeare's romances have been charged with having loose, dead-end plotlines. Yet Lost and the Romances are perhaps the works most acutely mindful of the fact that conventional narrative structures are too limited to represent the open-ended nature of an entire century - be it the seventeenth or the twenty-first - in which hyper-connectedness is ramping up. The idea that "The End", like the endings of the four romances, is disappointing and far-fetched speaks volumes about the desire to prolong the enmity and violence that scarred the twentieth century. The emphasis in Lost and in the Shakespearean romances on values of redemption, reconciliation, faith and transcendence directly challenges the worldview of an audience that prides itself on being cynical and skeptical. Macbeth, Hamlet and King Lear are probably the most nihilistic and desperate works in the history of human expression, and the fascination we still feel for these plays reflects our penchant for the worldview they present.

41Likewise, the most defining episodes of Lost's early seasons present an existential landscape wherein the fragilities of the heroes are cruelly manipulated and transcendence is always sadistically deferred to the next episode, and when the characters achieve their goals, they end up even more unhappy. In the last half hour of "The End", as in the end of romances, characters' sorrows are turned into nostalgic joy. These fictions ask their viewers to aspire to some higher plane, one that is more magical and unnerving than expected.

  • 36 See Jean E. Howard, "Shakespeare’s Creation of a Fit Audience for The Tempest", in Shakespeare: Con (...)

42In the last scene of The Tempest, Prospero declares that he is giving up his magic and prepares to drop his books in the sea. He implores the audience to free him from the island's prison and the confines of fiction. Just as Prospero sets his trusty Ariel free, the viewers of The Tempest are invited to free the characters of the story. We are encouraged to put down the book, walk out of the theater, and return to a reality transformed by fiction36. Likewise, the last episode of the series in which, in the post-mortem dream, each character looks back on his past life, is presented as a preparation of the spectators for Lost's finale: The idea is to relive, in flashbacks, the moments that stood out, to look back on the road we've travelled, to think back on what we've lived through over the past six years, both in and outside of fiction, and finally to accept that one story ends, to move on to other fictions, to step back into our lives, transformed and realigned by the series, to celebrate the relationships that have impacted, and continue to impact, our lives. If fiction is fabricated, if it is artifice, it can also think, speak, and claim truths. By writing the romances at the end of his career, Shakespeare not only highlights the power of the imagination, but also the value of fiction and the power of art in general. In The Winter's Tale, Hermione's statue comes to life: a statue that is supposed to imitate life becomes "real" in a play where the characters come to life for the audience for as long as the performance lasts. This blurring between illusion and reality can be seen in the series when, at the end of the last episode, Jack finds his deceased father and realizes that he too is now dead:

Jack. Are you real?
Christian: I sure hope so. Yeah, I'm real. You're real. Everything that's happened to you is real. All those people in the church, they're all real too.

43Jack, who wonders about the reality of the other characters and his own, directs us back to a Shakespearean reflection on illusion. There is no clear boundary between fiction and reality, but a continuum between the two, notably through the impact that fiction has on our lives. Not only are both "real" life and fiction evanescent, but they both haunt and mutually shape each other. Fiction is fully realized when it overtakes "real life" and changes it.

  • 37 Bond Stockton, p. 427.

44According to Kathryn Bond Stockton, "Lost is Shakespeare's heir, his TV version37". We can never know what Shakespeare might have written or directed had he lived in a different time than he did, all the more so given that his art is intrinsically linked to the medium that gave rise to him. The Lost series may not be Shakespeare's heir or the television program he would have produced, but it presents itself as such and was so perceived. The final message transforms the audience's cynicism and despair into a strange new world of love and forgiveness, and proposes these values as a representation of the greatest mystery of all. It is a message of singular relevance and profundity for our contemporary age, if we are prepared to hear it and take it to heart.

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Bibliographie

BARNES Todd Landon, « The Tempest’s ‘Standing Water’: Echoes of Early Modern Cosmographies in Lost », in Shakespearean Echoes, éd. Kevin J. Wetmore Jr, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, p. 168-85.

BELL Gabriel, « Did ‘Lost’ actually suck? R29 editors duke it out », R29, 12 juillet 2013, www.refinery29.com/2013/07/49898/lost-tv-show-reviews-criticism (consulté le 26 juin 2015).

BLOOM Harold, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, New York, Riverhead Books, 1998.

BOND STOCKTON Kathryn, « Lost, or ‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’: Causing Queer children on Shakespeare’s TV », in Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare, ed. Madhavi Menon, Durham et Londres, Duke University Press, 2011, p. 421-8.

CLARKE STUART Sarah, Literary Lost: Viewing Television Through the Lens of Literature, New York, Continuum, 2011.

DOWDEN Edward, Shakespeare, New York, D. Appleton and Company, 1889.

FELPERIN Howard, Shakespearean Romance, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1972.

FRYE Northrop, On Shakespeare, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1986.

GAFFNEY Karen, « Ideology and Otherness in Lost: ‘Stuck in a bloody Snow Globe’ », in The Ultimate Lost and Philosophy, éd. S. Kaye, Hoboken, John Wylez & Sons, 2011, p. 187-204.

HODGDON Barbara, The Shakespeare Trade: Performances and Appropriations, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998.

HOWARD Jean E., « Shakespeare’s Creation of a Fit Audience for The Tempest », in Shakespeare: Contemporary Critical Approaches, éd. Harry Raphael Garvin et Michael Payne (eds.), Lewisburg, Bucknell University Press, 1980, p. 142-53.

HOWE Ryan, « New Space, New Time, and Newly Told Tales: Lost and The Tempest », in Looking for Lost: Critical Essays on the Enigmatic Series, éd. Randy Laist, Jefferson, McFarland, 2011, p. 59-71

JOHNSON Samuel, Notes to Shakespeare: Tragedies, Project Gutenberg, 2015 [1765], http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15566/15566-h/15566-h.htm (consulté le 28 juin 2015).

LANIER Douglas M., « L’Homme blanc et l’homme noir: Othello in Les Enfants du paradis », Shakespeare on Screen in Francophonia, éd. Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin et Patricia Dorval, université Paul Valéry Montpellier III, Institut de Recherche sur la Renaissance, l’Âge Classique et les Lumières (IRCL), 2013, http://shakscreen.org/analysis/analysis_homme_blanc/ (consulté le 21 juin 2015).

___. Shakespeare and Modern Popular Culture, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002.

RIFFATERRE Michel, La Production du texte, Paris, Seuil, 1979.

SHAKESPEARE William, The Norton Shakespeare, d’après l’édition Oxford, éditeur général Stephen Greenblatt, éditeurs Walter Cohen, Jean E. Howard et Katharine Eisaman Maus, New York, W. W. Norton, 1997.

SHAW George Bernard, « Cymbeline Refinished: A Variation on Shakespear’s Ending », Project Gutenberg Australia, 2003 [1936], http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0301031h.html (consulté le 28 juin 2015).

SINFIELD Alan, Faultlines: Cultural Materialism and the Politics of Dissident Reading, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1992.

STRACHEY Lytton, « Shakespeare’s Final Period », Independent Review, n°3, août 1904, p. 414-15.

ZIMMERMAN Kara M., « Hermeneutics and Heterotopias in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the Cult TV Series LOST », avril 2010, Faculty of Emory College of Arts and Sciences of Emory University, https://etd.library.emory.edu/view/record/pid/emory:7tm8v

ZURAWIK David, « ‘Lost’ finale: wondering where the wisdom was », Baltimore Sun, 23 mai 2010.

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Notes

1 An abridged version of this article appeared in La Revue des Deux Mondes (May 2016).

2 Michel Riffaterre, La Production du texte, Paris, Seuil, 1979, p. 9.

3 See http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/The_Tempest/Theories

4 Sarah Clarke Stuart, Literary Lost: Viewing Television Through the Lens of Literature, New York, Continuum, 2011.

5 Ryan Howe, "New Space, New Time, and Newly Told Tales: Lost and The Tempest", in Looking for Lost: Critical Essays on the Enigmatic Series, ed. Randy Laist, Jefferson, McFarland, 2011, p. 59-71; Todd Landon Barnes, "The Tempest’s ‘Standing Water’: Echoes of Early Modern Cosmographies in Lost", in Shakespearean Echoes, éd. Kevin J. Wetmore Jr, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, p. 168-85.

6 Kara M. Zimmerman, "Hermeneutics and Heterotopias in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the Cult TV Series LOST", April 2010, Faculty of Emory College of Arts and Sciences of Emory University, https://etd.library.emory.edu/view/record/pid/emory:7tm8v

7 "a DHARMA Initiative station called The Tempest manufactured deadly toxic gas, which according to Juliet, is also an electrical station that powers the Island, ‖as though, perhaps on a metaphorical level, The Tempest is giving fuel to the LOST narrative", Zimmerman, p. 63.

8 Eziegler, November 10, 2010, http://shakespeare.about.com/b/2010/11/02/is-lost-based-on-the-tempest.htm (accessed June 20, 2014).

9 Douglas M. Lanier, "L’Homme blanc et l’homme noir: Othello in Les Enfants du paradis", Shakespeare on Screen in Francophonia, éd. Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin et Patricia Dorval, université Paul Valéry Montpellier III, Institut de Recherche sur la Renaissance, l’Âge Classique et les Lumières (IRCL), 2013, http://shakscreen.org/analysis/analysis_homme_blanc/ (accessed June 21, 2015).

10 Caliban declares: "The isle is full of noises,/ Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not./ Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments/ Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices" (The Tempest, 3.2.130-33). References to Shakespeare's plays are taken from The Norton Shakespeare, after the Oxford edition, general editor Stephen Greenblatt, editors Walter Cohen, Jean E. Howard and Katharine Eisaman Maus, New York, W. W. Norton, 1997.

11 Alonso says the following: "These are not natural events; they strengthen/ From strange to stranger" (The Tempest, 5.1.230-31).

12 As Ariel tells their master Prospero:: "as thou bad’st me,/ In troops I have dispersed them ’bout the isle./ The king’s son have I landed by himself" (The Tempest, 1.2.220-22).

13 "A confused noise within. Mercy on us!/ We split, we split!/ 'Farewell, my wife and children!/ Farewell, brother! We split, we split, we split!" (The Tempest, 1.1.54-6).

14 See Karen Gaffney, "Ideology and Otherness in Lost: ‘Stuck in a bloody Snow Globe", in The Ultimate Lost and Philosophy, ed. S. Kaye, Hoboken, John Wylez & Sons, 2011, p. 187-204.

15 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0178928/?ref_=nm_knf_i3 (accessed June 25, 2015).

16 http://shakespeare.about.com/b/2010/11/02/is-lost-based-on-the-tempest.htm

17 See Barbara Hodgdon, The Shakespeare Trade: Performances and Appropriations, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998; Alan Sinfield, Faultlines: Cultural Materialism and the Politics of Dissident Reading, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1992. As Douglas M. Lanier reminds us, popular culture can associate Shakespeare with a certain Britishness, lending a theater production with cultural and artistic veneer: "quality craftsmanship, gravitas, trustworthiness, Britishness, antiquity, cultural sophistication, intellectuality, and artsiness". Shakespeare and Modern Popular Culture, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 112.

18 http://www.televisionaryblog.com/2010/01/lost-reduced-in-london-five-season-of.html (consulté le 25 juin 2015).

19 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eJ3IC0Rkw0 (visited on June 25, 2015).

20 Jonathan Kaufman, 12 mars 2012 : "I’m considering producing an open-air version of The Tempest in London, UK this spring, and would like to use LOST as an inspiration for its design (costumes, music, props etc). I’d be very interested in reading any comparisons between the Shakespeare original and the ABC TV masterwork." http://shakespeare.about.com/b/2010/11/02/is-lost-based-on-the-tempest.htm

21 "The Tempest has been freely adapted and re-adapted by authors and productions over the centuries; science fiction fans, in particular, will recognize that the plot of the 1956 MGM pulp classic Forbidden Planet was lifted wholesale from The Tempest, and that the recent hit television series Lost also counts the play among its many inspirations. In this production, we have taken the liberty of ‘borrowing back’ a few ideas from those modern variations", http://nickleshi.blogspot.fr/2010/08/tempest-when-shakespeare-meets-lost.html (accessed June 25, 2015).

22 See http://www.patioplayhouse.org/

23 Kathryn Bond Stockton, "Lost, or ‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’: Causing Queer children on Shakespeare’s TV", in Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare, ed. Madhavi Menon, Durham and London, Duke University Press, 2011, p. 427.

24 Howard Felperin, Shakespearean Romance, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1972.

25 "Impute it not a crime/ To me or my swift passage that I slide/ O’er sixteen years and leave the growth untried/ Of that wide gap" (The Winter’s Tale, 4.1.4-7).

26 "Our revels now are ended. These our actors,/ As I foretold you, were all spirits, and/ Are melted into air, into thin air;/ […] We are such stuff/ As dreams are made on, and our little life/ Is rounded with a sleep" (The Tempest, 4.1.148-58).

27 Felperin, p. vii.

28 Edward Dowden, Shakespeare, New York, D. Appleton and Company, 1889.

29 George Bernard Shaw, "Cymbeline Refinished: A Variation on Shakespeare’s Ending", Project Gutenberg Australia, 2003 [1936], http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0301031h.html (accessed June 28, 2015).

30 Baltimore Sun, May 23, 2010

31 Samuel Johnson, Notes to Shakespeare: Tragedies, Project Gutenberg, 2015 [1765], www.gutenberg.org/files/15566/15566-h/15566-h.htm (accessed June 28, 2015).

32 Gabriel Bell, "Did ‘Lost’ actually suck? R29 editors duke it out", R29, July 12, 2013, www.refinery29.com/2013/07/49898/lost-tv-show-reviews-criticism (accessed June 26, 2015).

33 Lytton Strachey, "Shakespeare’s Final Period", Independent Review, no. 3, August 1904, p. 414-15.

34 Harold Bloom, Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, New York, Riverhead Books, 1998, p. xix-xx.

35 Northrop Frye, On Shakespeare, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1986, p. 6.

36 See Jean E. Howard, "Shakespeare’s Creation of a Fit Audience for The Tempest", in Shakespeare: Contemporary Critical Approaches, ed. Harry Raphael Garvin et Michael Payne, Lewisburg, Bucknell University Press, 1980, p. 142-53.

37 Bond Stockton, p. 427.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1: The Tempest, dir. Jack Bender, 1998
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/4967/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 463k
Titre Figure 2: The Black Rock ship in Lost
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/4967/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 969k
Titre Figures 3 and 4 : The poster for the Patio Playhouse theater production and its Lostian influences
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/4967/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 92k
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/4967/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 250k
Titre Figure 5: The Tempest (dir. Julie Taymor, 2010), movie shot in Hawaii
URL http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/docannexe/image/4967/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 581k
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Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Sarah Hatchuel et Randy Laist, « Lost: a Shakespearean "Romance"? »TV/Series [En ligne], Hors séries 1 | 2016, mis en ligne le 01 décembre 2020, consulté le 29 novembre 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/tvseries/4967 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/tvseries.4967

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Auteurs

Sarah Hatchuel

Sarah Hatchuel is Professor of English Literature and Film at the University of Le Havre (France), President of the Société Française Shakespeare and head of the ‘Groupe de recherché Identités et Cultures’. She has written extensively on adaptations of Shakespeare's plays (Shakespeare and the Cleopatra/Caesar Intertext: Sequel, Conflation, Remake, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011; Shakespeare, from Stage to Screen, Cambridge University Press, 2004; A Companion to the Shakespearean Films of Kenneth Branagh, Blizzard Publishing, 2000) and on TV series (Lost: Fiction vitale, PUF, 2013; Rêves et series américaines: la fabrique d’autres mondes, Rouge Profond, 2015). She is general editor of the CUP Shakespeare on Screen collection (with Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin) and of the online journal TV/Series (with Ariane Hudelet).

Sarah Hatchuel, Présidente de la Société Française Shakespeare, est Professeure en littérature et cinéma anglophones à l’université du Havre. Elle est l’auteure de livres sur Shakespeare au cinéma (Shakespeare and the Cleopatra/Caesar Intertext : Sequel, Conflation, Remake, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011; Shakespeare, from Stage to Screen, Cambridge University Press, 2004 ; A Companion to the Shakespearean Films of Kenneth Branagh, Blizzard Publishing, 2000) et sur les séries télévisées américaines (Rêves et séries américaines: la fabrique d’autres mondes, Rouge Profond, 2015 ; Lost, PUF, 2013). Elle a codirigé (avec Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin) huit volumes de la collection Shakespeare on Screen et codirige (avec Ariane Hudelet) la revue TV/Series.

Articles du même auteur

Randy Laist

Randy Laist is Associate Professor of English at Goodwin College in East Hartford, Connecticut. He is the author of Cinema of Simulation: Hyperreal Hollywood in the Long 1990s and Technology and Postmodern Subjectivity in Don DeLillo’s Novels. He is also the editor of Plants and Literature: Essays in Critical Plant Studies and Looking for Lost: Critical Essays on the Enigmatic Series.

Randy Laist est professeur associé d’anglais à Goodwin College, East Hartford, Connecticut. Il est l’auteur de Cinema of Simulation: Hyperreal Hollywood in the Long 90s et de Technology and Postmodern Subjectivity in Don DeLillo’s Novels. Il a dirigé l'ouvrage Looking for Lost: Critical Essays on the Enigmatic Series.

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