The Tempest

The Tempest

3.8 52
by William Shakespeare, Eric Kincaid
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the first edition: 'If you are looking for a model edition - by which I mean one that is concerned to honour the text and to explain the processes involved in editing - this is it. If I were ever again to undertake the editing of a Shakespeare play, I would keep Lindley's edition of The Tempest open beside me.' Peter Thompson

Review of the first edition: 'David Lindley's [The] Tempest is the best edition on the market and the paperback is a snip.' Studies in Theatre and Performance

Review of the first edition: 'Lindley aims both to represent and to explain the range of readings given the play in its theatrical and critical afterlives. His edition meets the high standards of the series in an exemplary manner, offering an especially fine introduction that focuses on the elusiveness of The Tempest, a feature that has made it central to late-twentieth-century criticism.' Barbara Hodgdon, Studies in English Literature

Review of the first edition: 'David Lindley's edition of The Tempest is easily the most outstanding version of this ostensibly straightforward yet hugely teasing play produced over the last thirty years. Its precise and scrupulous commentary notes are careful to the variety of ways the text can be spoken on stage. Its notes on the music and songs are admirably evocative, and its economical account of the huge range of critical views will send thousands of readers out in fruitful chases after the play's own multitudinous interests.' Andrew Gurr, editor, New Variorum 'Tempest'

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781858542706
Publisher:
Brimax Books, Limited
Publication date:
06/28/1996
Pages:
27
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

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The Tempest

An Introduction to This Text


The Tempest was first printed in the 1623 collection of Shakespeare’s plays now known as the First Folio. The present edition is based directly upon that printing.I For the convenience of the reader, we have modernized the punctuation and the spelling of the Folio. Sometimes we go so far as to modernize certain old forms of words; for example, when a means “he,” we change it to he; we change mo to more, and ye to you. But it is not our practice in editing any of the plays to modernize words that sound distinctly different from modern forms. For example, when the early printed texts read sith or apricocks or porpentine, we have not modernized to since, apricots, porcupine. When the forms an, and, or and if appear instead of the modern form if, we have reduced and to an but have not changed any of these forms to their modern equivalent, if. We also modernize and, where necessary, correct passages in foreign languages, unless an error in the early printed text can be reasonably explained as a joke.

Whenever we change the wording of the First Folio or add anything to its stage directions, we mark the change by enclosing it in superior half-brackets (< >). We want our readers to be immediately aware when we have intervened. (Only when we correct an obvious typographical error in the First Folio does the change not get marked.) Whenever we change either the First Folio’s wording or its punctuation so that meaning changes, we list the change in the textual notes at the back of the book, even if all we have done is fix an obvious error.

We regularize a number of the proper names, as is the usual practice in editions of the play. For example, the Folio once names the Boatswain the “Boson,” a form that is interesting for its reproduction of the word’s pronunciation; nevertheless, we regularize this spelling to boatswain. The Folio often employs the spelling Anthonio for Antonio in stage directions and speech headings, but this edition is consistent in using only Antonio.

This edition differs from many earlier ones in its efforts to aid the reader in imagining the play as a performance rather than as a series of actual events. Thus stage directions are written with reference to the stage. For example, many earlier editions add the following stage direction to the play’s last scene to describe an important piece of stage business: “Prospero draws a magic circle with his staff.” Because, in a stage production, the circle drawn by the actor is, of course, not “magic” at all, we instead print the following stage direction: “Prospero draws a large circle on the stage with his staff.” Whenever it is reasonably certain, in our view, that a speech is accompanied by a particular action, we provide a stage direction describing the action. (Occasional exceptions to this rule occur when the action is so obvious that to add a stage direction would insult the reader.) Stage directions for the entrance of characters in mid-scene are, with rare exceptions, placed so that they immediately precede the characters’ participation in the scene, even though these entrances may appear somewhat earlier in the early printed texts. Whenever we move a stage direction, we record this change in the textual notes. Latin stage directions (e.g., Exeunt) are translated into English (e.g., They exit).

We expand the often severely abbreviated forms of names used as speech headings in early printed texts into the full names of the characters. We also regularize the speakers’ names in speech headings, using only a single designation for each character, even though the early printed texts sometimes use a variety of designations. Variations in the speech headings of the early printed texts are recorded in the textual notes.

In the present edition, as well, we mark with a dash any change of address within a speech, unless a stage direction intervenes. When the -ed ending of a word is to be pronounced, we mark it with an accent. Like editors for the past two centuries we print metrically linked lines in the following way:

PROSPERO

    But are they, Ariel, safe?

ARIEL                                       Not a hair perished.

                                                         (1.2.257–58)

However, when there are a number of short verse lines that can be linked in more than one way, we do not, with rare exceptions, indent any of them.

The Explanatory Notes


The notes that appear in the commentary linked to the text are designed to provide readers with the help they may need to enjoy the play. Whenever the meaning of a word in the text is not readily accessible in a good contemporary dictionary, we offer the meaning in a note. Sometimes we provide a note even when the relevant meaning is to be found in the dictionary but when the word has acquired since Shakespeare’s time other potentially confusing meanings. In our notes, we try to offer modern synonyms for Shakespeare’s words. We also try to indicate to the reader the connection between the word in the play and the modern synonym. For example, Shakespeare sometimes uses the word head to mean “source,” but, for modern readers, there may be no connection evident between these two words. We provide the connection by explaining Shakespeare’s usage as follows: “head: fountainhead, source.” On some occasions, a whole phrase or clause needs explanation. Then we rephrase in our own words the difficult passage, and add at the end synonyms for individual words in the passage. When scholars have been unable to determine the meaning of a word or a phrase, we acknowledge the uncertainty.

I. We have also consulted the computerized text of the First Folio provided by the Text Archive of the Oxford University Computing Centre, to which we are grateful.

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Meet the Author

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.

Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances and of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and their editing.

Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King’s University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare’s plays.

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The Tempest (Shakespeare in Production Series) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
....second only to 'The Winters Tale'. The main character serves as an image for a loving father, God Himself even. I was afraid when I took a course on Shakespeare that his stories would be too hard to follow in their old language, but it's really not that hard if you just stay focused and refer to Cliffsnotes whenever you get really lost.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A total classic i loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is awesome because i had a play about it and i didnt even know about it and it helped me my favorite charecter was areal (because she was my part)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was so boring that when i was reading this to my cat he tried to plug his ears now was that painful thanks for that auther
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a big fan..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A southwest wind blow on ye and blister ye all o'er!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a good story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GO SHAKESPEARE GO!!! YOU ROCK!!!!
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