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A shipwreck, an old magician, a lovely maiden, a fairy spirit, and a troubled monster will capture your attention in this late Shakespearean romance. A group of Italians returning from Africa wash ashore on what they think is a deserted island. In reality the island is already inhabited by Prospero, a strange sorcerer; his daughter Miranda; and their servant, the frightening Caliban. Prospero summons his faithful fairy Ariel to play confusing tricks on the shipwrecked men, who lose each other in the confusion. As it turns out, not all of the castaways are strangers. Years ago, some of them helped Prospero’s brother usurp his dukedom, causing Prospero to flee to the island with his books and spells. Meanwhile, Caliban begins to resent his lowly position: as the son of a witch and the island’s only native, Caliban believes himself to be the rightful ruler of the land. As Prospero casts spells and Caliban schemes against him, the plot blurs the line between fantasy and reality, weaving a uniquely fanciful story of power and control. The Tempest is a must-read for anyone intrigued by Shakespeare’s ability to experiment with—and bend—conventions.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
[Enter a SHIPMASTER and a BOATSWAIN severally]
Here, master: what cheer?
we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir.
Heigh, my hearts! cheerly, cheerly, my hearts!
whistle.--Blow till thou burst thy wind, if room ...
Reviewed by beefeater23 on Dec 19, 2010
That's Why They Didn't Teach This at Central
I can imagine some of the CHS English Department breaking-out in a cold sweat at the thought of having to unpack some of the passages in The Tempest. Appeals to pagan gods, gentle sorcery, and some rather sordid descriptions of youthful flower balance a jarring lack of lyricism in the text.
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Ratings for 'The Tempest' by Shakespeare, William