Secondary Catalogue

The Tempest

Bitesize Shakespeare

The Tempest is a play about magic, betrayal, love and forgiveness. It is set on an island somewhere near Italy where Prospero, the one-time Duke of Milan, and his beautiful daughter, Miranda, live with a sprite called Ariel and a strange wildman called Caliban. Prospero is a powerful magician who creates a storm, or tempest, that sets the scene for the play. In the events that follow we see a plot to murder the King of Naples, a drunken scheme to kill Prospero and a romance between Miranda and the King’s son, Ferdinand. In the end everyone is forgiven and they all set sail for home. There are many ideas and concepts that run through The Tempest. Depending on your reading of the text, you might think one or another is more significant. For example, in recent years critics have examined how Caliban might represent colonised people, even though Shakespeare was writing long before the world of empire building had begun. You could also say that this is a play about love in its different forms – parental, romantic, brotherly, aesthetic. The themes are often connected and you will notice links between many of the key ideas.

Rating: E
Production Year: 2014
Duration: 6 min
Series: Bitesize Shakespeare
Printable Resources: Yes

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