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The Tempest (Signet Classics) Updated Edition

86 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0451527127
ISBN-10: 0451527127
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Editorial Reviews


"The Vaughans have provided a valuable new edition of the play, one whose expanded contextualization, especially, will contribute to The Tempest's lively and varied afterlife both within and beyond the classroom...Extensive, up-to-date critical introduction that incorporates recent and even forthcoming scholarship...Te introduction provides a formidable range of materials for teachers, performers, and directors. The section on “The afterlife” of the text is especially strong, with a comprehensive survey of both stage and film productions, Particularly valuable is this section’s geographical breadth...Lavish illustrations further enhance the production history. The notes to the text itself are copious and replete with useful information, from staging possibilities to related literary usages. They also refer frequently to previous editions, providing a virtual map of the text’s editorial history. The notes...are a model of thorough scholarship."—Shakespeare Quarterly
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Updated edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451527127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451527127
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By pandajama on March 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
I looked over the 48 other reviews of this book and found that just one of them reviews the Arden edition, which is the page all these reviews are on, and the page this review of mine is meant for.

First, anyone who looks at what Amazon reviewers think of Shakespeare before deciding to buy a Shakespeare play is going about it wrong. I can't even fathom what motivates people to write an Amazon review and say things like "I read this play and it sucked." Good grief, people, this is Shakespeare, the preeminent artist of the English language. You're welcome to your opinions, but I think Shakespeare's reputation will withstand the review page.

As for the Arden edition: I've looked at many and read a few different editions, and this one wins for several reasons. The notes are outstanding even for Arden's generally high standards. The editors do a wonderful job not just of clarifying the language but also highlighting in an unobtrusive way the subtleties of the drama.

Better still is their long introduction, which is beautifully written and comprehensive. A very fine work (you'll want to read it *after* you've read the play, of course.)

And I also want to mention that the book itself is incredibly sturdy -- I am hard on books and like all the Ardens, this is one tough book. Very strongly bound with good paper and covers. It seems kind of silly, but that sort of thing matters to me in a book I intend to read more than once.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruno on February 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Tempest is rightly regarded as being one of the Bard's greatest works, containing some of his deepest thoughts on the nature of power and the relationship between rational man as controller of nature, and the animal man always to be at the mercy of the passions both of himself, others, and the world around him. In fact, this play could be thought of as representing Shakespeare's final and definitive statement on topics that he had explored throughout his cannon. But profound as the philosophy is, and despite the beauty of the poetry and the many magical elements contained within the play, the fact is that as far as the average attention lacking teenager is concerned, not a lot happens. This is why this Cambridge schools edition scores over most others. It is almost entirely activity focused, the expressed aim being to 'bring the play to life'. With at least one suggested activity beside each page of Shakespeare's text (as well as a decent amount of background notes and interpretation), every teacher armed with this book should be able to enthuse his charges with the very real relevance of this play to the world which we have bequeathed them.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book Review For The Tempest, by Shakespeare
The Tempest is a play like no other works of Shakespeare. The play starts out with an array of colorful characters, which are easy to loathe or become friendly with through out the play. Page after page of reading, you find out more about the characters lives and roles in the play. The play has, in the beginning, almost all of the characters trapped on a boat in the middle of a tempest (a storm)-hence the name of the play. This being Shakespeare's last play, he hid some messages in the speeches of Prospero. One of these speeches is in the epilogue. The other is in a speech that Prospero recites from a play which Shakespeare took from the famous Greek playwright, Ovid. Shakespeare shows this by saying that he will, "Drown his book" and, " Break his staff" as well as, " Let your indulgence set me free" to hint of Shakespeare's retirement as a playwright. Prospero was my favorite character in the play. He had shown a large display of trickery, genius, and brainpower, to be able to set up the whole scenario of placing the people on the island in such strategic places. I recommend this play because it is one of my favorites, of all the works of Shakespeare. The Tempest is a wonderful play for people of all ages to read, act out, or to just have some fun.
By Andrew Katz, Grade 9
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By mp on August 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Comedy, in the strictest sense, is concerned with ultimate forgiveness and reconciliation. In Shakespeare's play, "The Tempest," the protagonist, Prospero, must come to terms with his brother Antonio, who conspired to have him driven from his duchy in Milan, and with the world of social interaction in general.
Magic, Power, and Conspiracy are the foundational thematic elements through which Shakespeare effects Prospero's reintegration into human society. Thrown into a boat with his infant daughter Miranda, Prospero comes to live on a nearly deserted island in the Mediterranean Sea. Prospero's concentration on developing his proficiency in Magic caused him to become alienated from his political and social responsibilities in Milan, leading to his expulsion. His brother Antonio conspired with Alonso, king of Naples, and seized the power Prospero forsook for book-learning.
Prospero hears of a sea voyage undertaken by his enemies, and, using his Magic, whips up a storm, a great tempest, which causes his enemies to be shipwrecked on his island. On the island, Prospero exercises total power - over the education of his daughter, his slave, the deformed Caliban, and now over his enemies. He engages Ariel, a sprite, to orchestrate the division of the traveling party, and to put them through various trials to exact vengeance and ultimately, submission from them.
"The Tempest" is a fine effort from Shakespeare, but the power relations in the play are problematic. Prospero's insistent dominance over the action of the play is extremely troubling. Although he is presented as a benevolent character, Prospero's relationships with Miranda, Caliban, and Ferdinand, King Alonso's son, complicate his overall worth as a man and an authority figure.
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