- Series: Bantam Classics
- Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Bantam Classics (February 1, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553213075
- ISBN-13: 978-0553213072
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.4 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 334 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #925,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Tempest (Bantam Classics)
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“Gorgeous new Shakespeare paperbacks.”
—Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Tempest is one of Shakespeare's most suggestive, yet most elusive plays. It is a magical romance, yet deeply embedded in seventeenth-century debates about authority and power. This edition attends to the implications of Prospero's magic, his political and paternal ambitions, and the controversial issue of his 'colonialist' control of Caliban. The Tempest was also Shakespeare's response to the new opportunities offered by the Blackfriars theatre, and careful attention is given to the play's dramatic form, stage-craft, and use of music and spectacle, to demonstrate its uniquely experimental nature. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The play takes the form of following three separate groups on an enchanted isle. A group of foul noblemen, who gained power through the usurpation of the rightful ruler, a comic trio who stumble about in drunkenness and plot evil deeds (the play's comic relief) and the "lord" of the island (Prospero) and his faithful spirit world servants. When the three plots converge in the final act of the text Shakespeare gives the reader a satisfying conclusion, but one that still has a hint of sadness and darkness to it. The famous epilogue of the play spoken by Prospero (Now my charms are all o'erthrown...) leaves the reader with a plethora of questions and emotions. This epilogue is one of the most beautiful pieces in the entire canon.
It has become fashionable to make "The Tempest" a valedictory play for Shakespeare, and there are many moments in the text that can be read as Prospero speaking for him. At the play's conclusion Prospero frees his trusty servant Ariel (some say his muse), acknowledges the half human Caliban as "mine own" (some say his own dark nature) and gives up his magic powers (his talent). This is an appropriate reading, and a satisfying one for lovers of Shakespeare. Just be careful not to limit the text to just that interpretation.
I think the greater strength in the piece is its portrayal of the absolute humanity of forgiveness, and how lucky we as humans are to be able to practice it. The most poignant scene in Shakespeare begins at the beginning of Act V when Ariel tells Prospero that he would be moved to pity for the people that Prospero has entrapped on the island (with the plan of taking revenge) "were I human". This stunning declaration causes Prospero to recant his vengeful purposes, "the rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance." A grown up Shakespeare has lived a life and seen the capacity for good that humanity can engender. It is hard to imagine the man who wrote "The Tempest" as the same man who wrote the revenge blood fest "Titus Andronicus" so many years earlier. A mature work, from a mature playwright!
As for the Pelican Shakespeare series, they are my favorite editions as the scholarly research is usually top notch and the editions themselves look good as an aesthetic unit. It looks and feel like a play and this compliments the text's contents admirably. The Pelican series was recently reedited and has the latest scholarship on Shakespeare and his time period. Well priced and well worth it.
This makes me ENJOY the story, PASS the class and save TIME. Get this series for each adn every shakespear book.
It is difficult to find good explanations of how freedom developed in England. Shakespeare's historical novels may give the Best explanation.
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