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A Tempest: Based on Shakespeare's 'The Tempest;' Adaptation for a Black Theatre Paperback – May 1, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

About the Author

Aime Cesaire is a world-renowned poet, essayist and playwright, His poetry is published by the University of California Press. Cesaire has long been a major force in the culture and politics of the Caribbean.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 69 pages
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group/TGC Translations; 1 edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559362103
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559362108
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By George Schaefer on June 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Aime Cesaire wrote this variation of The Tempest from an Afrocentric, Carribean perspective. It is a magnificent achievement. Caliban becomes the hero as Cesaire advances a variety of different ideas. By changing the perspective, A Tempest explores a lot of issues like rascism and colonialism. Prospero becomes the Oppressor and Caliban is the Native wrongly robbed of his ancestral right to rule his own land. Ariel is reduced to something of an Uncle Tom. To his credit, Cesaire never allows any character in the play become completely unsympathetic. That is a grand feat. It is consistent with Shakespeare who also grants humanity even to Caliban. I found this adaptation to be brilliant. Cesaire follows the theme of The Tempest all the while making it his own work. I was even compelled to reread The Tempest just for comparative purposes. The reread of The Tempest served only to heighten my appreciation for A Tempest. This is work that should be read by anyone interested in the theatre.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Sullivan on December 27, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cesaire's A TEMPEST wears its politics on its sleeve, and that can be grating even when its political message is agreeable with your own leanings. This is not a particularly subtle work, but it is of supreme importance to understanding a number of socio-political movements, especillly as they relate to the Carribean (though it reaches far beyond that limited geographic range in its implications). Order this in conjunction with Shakepeare's original, Dryden's rewrite, Rodo's ARIEL, Retamar's CALIBAN and perhaps PROSPERO'S BOOKS starring John Gielgud. Then go to town...or perhaps away from it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By FicktionPhotography on February 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
A Tempest, translated from the original French to English, is a stunning masterpiece in the shadow of the more popular Shakespearean play of many years gone.

In short, almost all of the characters are the same, and the storyline follows along the path of the original Shakespeare version, but this has an African twist that is straight from the heart of emancipation and freedom. Amazingly, the author is French born and bred, but while he was active he took many strides towards alleviating the pressure of Western culture upon the black minorities of the WORLD instead of just those of the Americas. A poet and politician, he did not turn from his roots, but rather he fought for them.

A Tempest is a short play, but laden with intellectual points and rife with critique on the Western culture. To Cesaire, the author, Western civilizations doctrines were debilitating not only minority races but itself. By becoming barbaric and cruel, westerners drop into barbarism and animalistic cruelty. Prospero, the ruler of the fated island, dictates this relationship with a very heavy hand. Ariel, a mulatto slave, attempts to win over his master through morality and pessimism while his counterpart, Caliban, speaks outright and demands that the injustices of Prospero's rule be recognized and alleviated. Thus unfolds the relationship that is at the center of this play, demanding that all hear the equally sound evidence of Ariel and Caliban in face of great opposition.

A sheer stroke of genius can be said for this simple, delightful read that begs to be performed and worked with in even today's culture.
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By Billy Gunn on March 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a reader interested in Shakespeare and/or post-colonial theory, Aime Cesaire's A TEMPEST is a great resource. Cesaire's critique of colonialism is, at times, heavy-handed, but he makes up for this with a fluency in Shakespeare that allows him to produce a powerful and innovative text with strong echoes of its classical predecessor. There is more than a little irony in the fact that Cesaire relies on the rigid dramatic structure of the colonizer, but then perhaps this is Cesaire's political and artistic legacy - a voice that attempted to affect change from within existing power structures.
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Ceasaire is one of the fathers of Post-Colonial thought/literature. Shakespeare fans, post colonial readers and those interested in experimental theater will love this play.
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By Adella on May 15, 2014
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I read this in my post-colonial lit. class and found it to be absolutely amazing. Cesaire manages to take a classical Shakespearean play (The Tempest) and invert it on his head, paralleling it with the plight of the African slave. It is also an immaculate work of post-modernism, with some of the most brilliant stage directions ever!
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By Leann on January 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
needed this for a class, i found both the class and the book incredibly boring, bu the product itself was good.
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By Vlada Pimenova on November 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived on time. Packaged nicely. Great condition.
It is certainly a must for anyone studying literature, but it is also a great read for anyone interested in the application of Shakespeare's play to a historically relevant social movement.
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