"We are such stuff
As dreams are made of
And our little life
Is rounded with a sleep"
The Tempest is a first-rate entree to the Bard. Timeless themes provide the ingredients for one of Shakespeare's most inspired and persuasive comedies.
Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan has been deposed and set adrift on the high seas with his young daughter Miranda.
Their disabled boat floats to an island, and for some 12 years the two of them live on the island in safety.
There, Prospero plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place, using magic, and manipulation to punish his enemies, and come to terms with his supernatural powers.
Its complexity of thought, its range of charactersfrom the spirit Ariel and the monster Calibanto the beautiful Miranda and her prince Ferdinandits poetic beauty, and its exploration of the difficult questions that still haunt us today make this play superbly compelling.
The work is generally regarded as a complex combination of romance, comedy, and tragedy that highlights many of Shakespeare's distinctive concerns with the nature of dramatic art, Christian themes of reconciliation and forgiveness, and the perils of human interaction in society.
The Tempest is also seen by many as the culmination of the dramatist's later work, and has been compared with The Winter's Tale and King Lear, all touched by Shakespeare's inimitable vision of the relationship between the sexes.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616) was an English playwright poet, and actor, regarded as the world's pre-eminent dramatist, and the greatest writer in the English language. Author of such timeless works as Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet and King Lear, he is often called the "Bard of Avon," England's national poet.