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The Tempest: A Guide to the Play Herbert R. Coursen

The Tempest: A Guide to the Play

Herbert R. Coursen

Published June 30th 2000
ISBN : 9780313311918
Hardcover
256 pages
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 About the Book 

The Tempest was first published in 1623 and is probably the last play Shakespeare wrote by himself. The product of his artistic maturity, it has inspired a variety of modern adaptations and remains one of his most popular plays. While its plot isMoreThe Tempest was first published in 1623 and is probably the last play Shakespeare wrote by himself. The product of his artistic maturity, it has inspired a variety of modern adaptations and remains one of his most popular plays. While its plot is fairly straightforward, The Tempest addresses numerous issues and topics current in the 17th century, such as magic and colonialism. Scholars, in turn, have responded by generating a vast body of criticism. This reference is a comprehensive guide to the play.The volume begins with a brief consideration of the plays textual history, followed by an evaluation of the merits of various modern editions. It then looks at some of Shakespeares likely sources and influences, from classical literature to accounts of a 17th-century shipwreck. A chapter on the plays dramatic structure moves through the text and touches on issues raised in greater detail later in the book. The volume then studies some of the plays themes and summarizes how critics have responded to them. Finally, the book comments on the plays performance history and analyzes major productions.