The world that William Shakespeare creates in The Tempest has many features that make it recognizably like our own. There are bad, self-seeking people; brothers fall out with brothers; people who have power are reluctant to give it up; people fall in love; children love their fathers but want to break free. But there is also a fairy-spirit, music in the very air of the island, and a powerful magician who can command the elements and even, he tells us, bring the dead back to life. Combining reality and magic, Shakespeare creates an uncanny but morally coherent world.
This edition features interleaved materials that expand upon allusions in the play and explore elements of its stagecraft. Appendices offer excerpts from Shakespeare’s key sources and inspirations, along with historical materials on exploration and colonialism.