The Tempest (Oxford World's Classics)

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9780192834140: The Tempest (Oxford World's Classics)

Though written near the end of his career, The Tempest stands first in Shakespeare's First Folio of 1623. Recently redefined by modern criticism as a romance, the play has been read as an escapist fantasy, a political allegory, and a celebratory fiction. Most often, however, The Tempest is interpreted as a summary of Shakespeare's view of his own art of playwriting. In this edition, Stephen Orgel reassesses the evidence for each of these critical speculations, and finds the play to be both more open and more historically determined than traditional views have allowed. The text has been newly edited, and includes a stage history of its production, from the radical revisions of Davenant, Dryden, and Shadwell to the recent stagings of Peter Hall, Jonathan Miller, and Peter Brook.

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Book Description:

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.

From the Publisher:

This joyous play, the last comedy of Shakespeare's career, sums up his stagecraft with a display of seemingly effortless skill. Prospero, exiled Duke of Milan, living on an enchanted island, has the opportunity to punish and forgive his enemies when he raises a tempest that drives them ashore--as well as to forestall a rebellion, to arrange the meeting of his daughter, Miranda, with an eminently suitable young prince, and, more important, to relinquish his magic powers in recognition of his advancing age. Richly filled with music and magic, romance and comedy, the play's theme of love and reconciliation offers a splendid feast for the senses and the heart.

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