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The Tempest Paperback – Oct 13 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 1 edition (Oct. 13 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048640658X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486406589
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.2 x 0.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 68 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on June 4 2010
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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Format: Paperback
The Oxford School Shakespeare series is excellent for students, both high schoolers and undergraduates. They provide play text that is clearly and attractively laid out on the page with copious notes and annotations, as well as line-drawings and illustrations to enliven and elucidate. The introductory material on sources, plot summary, characterizations, thematic interpretations, music, and even suggestions for classwork and projects for expanded study, are excellent. Highly recommended!
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By Amelie Kirk on Feb. 25 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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. This is unlike any Shakespeare I have read before, I enjoyed but was a bit surprised. Shakespeare doesn't usually lean toward magic but this time he did. It was enjoyable, a fast read, that takes a reader into another world.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shakespeare is not my favorite author, although I do understand the concept of his Iambic Pentameter and its style and flourishes are highly regarded. While I can appreciate the labor it must take to put a story in such format, I frankly find the poetics of it hard to read. That makes the commentary (which is about half of this version) very helpful to people such as myself. By reading the corresponding notes, I was better able to put the story together with the style, making for an exciting tale. I would highly recommend this version to people who have difficulty deciphering Shakespeare's style.
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By James Yanni on 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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By A Customer on May 11 2002
Format: Paperback
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 her father's tormented imprisonment of his own making.
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