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The Tempest [Paperback]

William Shakespeare
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 3.25 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 13 1998 048640658X 978-0486406589 1
This bewitching play, Shakespeare's final work, articulates a wealth of the playwright's mature reflections on life and contains some of his most familiar and oft-quoted lines. The story concerns Miranda, a lovely young maiden, and Prospero, her philosophical old magician father, who dwell on an enchanted island, alone except for their servants — Ariel, an invisible sprite, and Caliban, a monstrous witch's son.
Into their idyllic but isolated lives comes a shipwrecked party that includes the enemies who usurped Prospero's dukedom years before, and set him and his daughter adrift on the ocean. Also among the castaways is a handsome prince, the first young man Miranda has ever seen. Comedy, romance, and reconciliation ensue, in a masterly drama that begins with a storm at sea and concludes in joyous harmony.
Students, poetry lovers, and drama enthusiasts will treasure this convenient, modestly priced edition of one of Shakespeare's greatest plays and one of literature's finest comedies.

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Product Description

From Amazon

One of Shakespeare's most famous but also enigmatic plays, for many years the story of Prospero's exile from his native Milan, and life with his daughter Miranda on an unnamed island in the Mediterranean, was seen as an autobiographical dramatisation of Shakespeare's departure from the London stage. The Epilogue, spoken by Prospero, claims that "now my charms are all o'erthrown", appeared to reflect Shakespeare's own renunciation of his magical dramatic powers as he retired to Stratford. But The Tempest is far more than this, as recent commentators have pointed out. The dramatic action observes the classical unities of time, place and action, as Prospero uses his "rough magic" to lure his wicked usurping brother, Antonio, and King Alonso of Naples to his island retreat to torment them before engineering his return to Milan.

However, the play is full of extraordinary anomalies and fantastic interludes, including Gonzalo's fantasy of a utopian commonwealth, Prospero's magical servant Ariel, and the "poisonous slave" Caliban. The creation of Caliban has particularly fascinated critics, who have noticed in his creation a colonial dimension to the play. In this respect Caliban can be seen as an American Indian or African slave, who articulates a particularly powerful strain of anti-colonial sentiment, telling Prospero that "this island's mine, by Sycorax my mother,/ Which thou tak'st from me". This has led to an intense reassessment of the play from a post-colonial perspective, as critics and historians have debated the extent to which the play endorses or criticises early English colonial expansion. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"David Lindley's Tempest is the best edition on the market. [...] If I were ever again to undertake the editing of a Shakespeare play, I would keep Lindley's edition of The Tempest open beside me."
-Studies in Theatre and Performance (UK)

"[Lindley's] edition meets the high standards of the series in an exemplary manner, offering an especially fine introduction."
-Studies in English Literature

"David Lindley's edition of The Tempest is easily the most outstanding version of this ostensibly straightforward yet hugely teasing play produced over the last thirty years. Its precise and scrupulous commentary notes are careful to the variety of ways the text can be spoken on stage. Its notes on the music and songs are admirably evocative, and its economical account of the huge range of critical views will send thousands of readers out in fruitful chases after the play's own multitudinous interests.
- Andrew Gurr, editor of the forthcoming New Variorum Tempest --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rather like a dream June 4 2010
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Many consider "The Tempest" to be the final play that Shakespeare wrote solo, which gives a certain bittersweet flavor to its story -- especially since the main character is a sorcerer who manipulates others to get the ending he desires. Shakespeare juggled a trio of main stories before tying them off in rare style, but it's Prospero and his final speech that are truly intriguing.

For many years, the exiled Duke of Milan Prospero has lived on a remote island with his young daughter Miranda. But when he discovers that his treacherous brother Antonio and his similarly treacherous friends are nearby on a sailing ship, he summons a storm that causes the ship to crash on the island.

And like a puppet-master, Prospero arranges this as he wants -- he sends his servant Ariel to haunt the men who betrayed him, he thwarts the machinations of his evil servant Caliban, and he pretends to treat Alonso's son Ferdinand badly while secretly matchmaking him with Miranda. In the end, everything will be as he desired.

"The Tempest" is a play with two different dimensions. On one hand, we have a simple story about a mage whose power allows him to manipulate everything in his little domain. And on the other, we have the story of a brilliant storyteller who arranges his own little worlds as he sees fit, and bids farewell to his role ("Now my charms are all o'erthrown/And what strength I have's mine own...")

And appreciated on its own, "The Tempest" is a brilliant play -- Shakespeare juggled the three main plotlines nicely, and brought a solid sense of resolution to the story. His rich dialogue is stunning ("But doth suffer a sea-change/Into something rich and strange/Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell..."), especially during Ariel's songs and Prospero's speeches.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "The Tempest": July 9 2002
Format:Paperback
First off, let's clarify one thing: when rating Shakespeare, I'm rating it as opposed to other Shakespeare. Otherwise, the consistent "5 stars" wouldn't tell you much. So when I rate this play five stars, I'm saying it's one of Shakespeare's absolute best.
It's a real shame that the language has changed so much since Shakespeare wrote that his plays are no longer accessable to the masses, because that's who Shakespeare was writing for, largely. (Especially in his comedies.) Granted, there is enough serious philosophizing to satisfy the intelligensia, but the action and bawdy humor would surely satisfy any connouiseur of modern hit movies, if only they understood it. Unfortunately, while the plots are good enough to be lifted and reworked into modern movies (and they frequently are, sometimes more subtly than others) once you change the language, it's no longer Shakespeare, until and unless the rewriter can be found who has as much genius for the modern language as Shakespeare had for his own. So far, that hasn't happened, and I don't expect it to any time soon.
As Shakespearean plays go, "The Tempest" is a fairly easy read. There are a few places where the footnotes are absolutely essential, and a few others where the main thrust can be grasped without them, but a double-entendre might be missed. But by and large, the play is readable for the literate modern reader. Granted, the romance element is as shallow as it usually is in Shakespeare, and there really isn't much drama: there's never any real doubt that Prospero and Ariel have matters well in hand. Still, it's an amusing comic romp, and that's all it was ever really intended to be. Don't try to read too many levels of symbolism and allegory into this play (or any other of Shakespeare's comedies, for that matter). You might as well do serious, in-depth analysis of the deeper meaning of "Men In Black II".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare's 'intellectual' play Feb. 28 2002
By ilmk
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'The Tempest' was the last of Shakespeare's plays and contains all of the finest elements of his comedies, tragedies and histories. Indeed, one wonders as to the autobiographical makeup of Prospero, 'The Tempest' coming across as a signatory piece.
The play deals with a shipwreck on an island inhabited by three people - the 'sorcerous' Prospero, his daughter Miranda and the 'beast' Caliban.
As such the play is probably the most thematic of all Shakespeare's plays, there being sub-themes of revenge (Prospero was banished from Milan), slavery (Ariel and Caliban), ridiculous material gain (Trinculo and and Stephano) whilst the main themes are those of innocence, baseness of character and intellectual impartment. Each of these comes into contact with 'civilisation' in the form of the princely shipwreckees with the inevitable innocent Miranda being seduced by Ferdinand and Prospero both separating and sending off the various parties around the island to manipulate the desired outcome. He gets it of course, but the primary focus is on his relationsip to his two 'slaves' Ariel the spirit and Caliban, the beast. The relationships are markedly different, the former being ethereal, intangible; the latter earthy and brutal.
This is certainly Shakespeare's finest play, if not the most poular, simply because it is a microcosm of everything that has gone before. It has romance, brutality, comedy, history, tragedy, pyschology, despair, laughter, the sublime, the ridiculous. None of the rest of the plays are as complete and, to echo George Eliot, you could say that 'The Tempest' was 'performed with [his] own best blood'.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars English assignment
While its good Shakespeare literature, it's not really my style and therefore I wasn't too into it. I had to read it in my English course, and like most teachers do, she butchered... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Linda Carter
3.0 out of 5 stars It ok
The book does not includes the introduction part.The shipping was on time . But I am not sure if It is the one that I want. But the price is reasonable.
Published 12 months ago by Sherry
3.0 out of 5 stars Feeble
Although I wasn't expecting a sturdy book since I ordered a paperback, the book is more feeble than most books I own. Read more
Published on Nov. 28 2011 by Mariane
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series for students
The Oxford School Shakespeare series is excellent for students, both high schoolers and undergraduates. Read more
Published on June 28 2004 by P. Hildebrand
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tempest Review
The Tempest is a play filled with deceit, manipulation and magic. Prospero was dethroned from his dukedom and sent to an island, he uses magic to lure his enemies there. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2004 by Amelie Kirk
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Commentary on an unusual play
Shakespeare is not my favorite author, although I do understand the concept of his Iambic Pentameter and its style and flourishes are highly regarded. Read more
Published on June 12 2003 by Matt
1.0 out of 5 stars Uninteresting Mediocre Play
"The Tempest" is the least interesting Shakespeare play I have read. "Macbeth," "Romeo and Juliet," and "Othello" were much more... Read more
Published on May 16 2003 by Eileen Sims
3.0 out of 5 stars huh?
i watched the bbc television production of this play and my only reaction was, huh? it seemed to be over before it began, and yet, nothing seemed to happen. Read more
Published on May 4 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Easy to Figure out
Shakespeare's play, The Tempest, is thought to be the most complex of his plays. The Island can be seen as a microcosm of life, and how Miranda comes alive after being captive to... Read more
Published on May 11 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare is Shakespeare, but buy this version
I'm not going to tell you about the Tempest, I'm going to dwell on the features of the book. This book contains numerous aids to guide you in your studies or pleasure reading. Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2002 by Darrell Fawley, III
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