Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

It is often said that the classic 50s movie Forbidden Planet is basically just a remake of The Tempest, Shakesepeare's last play. (The original credits don't reference this.)

Is this right? What are the specific parallels between the characters and events in the movie and play?

share|improve this question

It's my understanding that Morbius, the scientist in Forbidden Planet who is alone save for his daughter, is a reflection of Prospero, the anti-hero of Shakespeare's play who is likewise living alone on an island with his daughter. Both Morbius and Prospero seek to control the elements, and thus the world around them, through 'magic' - in Morbius' case, an advanced alien technology.

In both versions of the story a group of young men (sailors swept in by the tempest of the title, a space crew on a routine mission) enter this supposed utopia, only to cause upheaval and eventual destruction when the leader of said groups falls in love with Morbius/Prospero's daughter.

One other factor that surely reveals the origins of Forbidden Planet's storyline is the inclusion in both versions of a cook for comic relief, this character being a drunken buffoon in both versions.

share|improve this answer

There is an excellent paper written on the topic. This document can be located at the following reference:

"Comparison of Shakespeare's Tempest and Forbidden Planet." 21 Feb 2012

share|improve this answer
Your answer would be better if you summarized the paper or even just included some of the key arguments as block quotes. Looks like an interesting (if appallingly formatted) paper. – matt_black Feb 22 '12 at 13:17
Thanks. I felt that maybe just the link might be too brief. – Andrei Freeman Feb 23 '12 at 4:15
"... they (the Krell) had left behind their physical bodies in exchange for computers." Totally incorrect interpretation. According to the film's dialog, the Krell created a mind controlled machine that manifested in reality whatever their individual minds desired. Unfortunately for the Krell, the primitive emotional subconscious part of their minds could also access and control the machine which eventually led to their annihilation. – user7101 Dec 10 '13 at 17:16

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.