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.
About the Author
William Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. His father, John Shakespeare, was a store owner and a farmer, and at one point, also served as the town's mayor. William was the third of eight children. He was married to Anne Hathaway who was eight years older than himself. They had three children: Susanna (1583), and twins Hamnet and Judith (1585). Shakespeare wrote 36 plays, 154 Sonnets and two narrative poems. He died on April 23, 1616, and was buried at Trinity Church in Stratford, England.
David Bevington is the Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago.
David Scott Kastan is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is a specialist on Shakespeare and early modern culture. His most recent book is Shakespeare After Theory (1999) and his other publications include Shakespeare and the Shapes of Time (1981), Staging the Renaissance (1991, edited with Peter Stallybrass), Critical Essays on Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' (1995), The New History of Early English Drama (1997, edited with John Cox, and winner of the 1998 ATHE award for the best book on theatre history), and A Companion to Shakespeare (1999).