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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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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.


"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

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Tempest": July 9 2002
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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4.0 out of 5 stars What to say about The Tempest Feb. 2 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In every Shakespeare play I've read, i always have been depressed...partially because I've read most of the tragedies, but let's not get into that.
The Tempest is called a if. The romance part belongs to Ferdinand and Miranda, who have maybe, MAYBE twenty lines at most. That's the only romance in this play. No, this is a comedy, and a fairly funny comedy. The group of men who are stranded on Prosperos island are hilarious. While Gonzalo can be that boring old worrywart, Adrian, Sebastian, Alonso are makinf fun of everyone, and it's funny.
Trinculo and Stephano are funny because of how drunk they are, and poor Caliban, even though he tried to rape Miranda...he thought he got himself out of being a servant for Prosepero, and landed a job with a bunch of drunks.
Ariel is the character I liked the most because he...or maybe a she, I never could the sanest of the lot. he does what he is told, and he enjoys it, and he never complains about it. He speaks with intelligence, and he's not as ditzy or mystical, as his three other faries, Juno, Ceres, and Iris.
The Tempest is a great Shakespeare play (Macbeth still ranks number one on my list) but it gets four stars for how long some of the scenes are. Act four is one scene, if that tells you anything. After a while, you need some funniness from Adrian and Sebastian to save you from prosepero, or maybe you need Devotion and Loyalty from Ferdinand, Miranda, and Ariel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The stuff dreams are made of Nov. 7 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I took this play with me out on my morning walks this week, and I feel that at the same time I was excercising my body I was also giving my mind and my imagination a pretty good workout.
Like any form of excercise, reading Shakespeare isn't always easy, especially when you're just getting started. But if you stick with it, you're apt to find that it gets easier and the benefits become more apparent. Shakespeare's metaphorical language forces your mind to stay nimble and alert and his rich imagery gives you no other choice than to reconnect your soul to the world around you.
"The Tempest" is a lot of fun to read and it's not as weighty or ponderous as some of Shakespeare's dramas. It's a good choice to start with if you haven't read Shaksepeare before, or if you haven't read him since high school. The story involves Prospero, a duke who has been banished to a deserted island, along with his young daughter, Miranda. Propsero uses his magic to shipwreck a party of ex-compatriates who were originally responsible for his ousting. The ensuing drama deals with issues of loyalty, treachery, forgiveness, freedom, and the mind and body dichotomy. But the best part of it all is the vivid imagery. In the play's best moments, the words glow on the page.
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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 11 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 11 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 Rather like a dream
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... Read more
Published on June 4 2010 by E. A Solinas
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
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