The Tempest Allusions & Cultural References
When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.
Shakespeare's shout-outs to, um, Shakespeare
- The big tempest in Act 1, Scene 1: The storms in King Lear and Macbeth
- Prospero's evil, power hungry brother Antonio: Claudius in Hamlet, Edmund vs. Edgar in King Lear, Oliver in As You Like It,Richard III in Richard III.
- The story of loss and recovery: Pericles, The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline
- Journey from court to the wilderness and back: A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It
- Prospero's obsession with controlling his daughter's sex life and choice of husband: Polonius and Ophelia in Hamlet.
- Prospero's Masque (a "play" within the play): The Mousetrap in Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry IV Part 1
- Portrayal of Caliban as a dark "Other": Othello, Merchant of Venice, Titus Andronicus
- Surprise! Miranda's really a princess: Perdita's discovery of her royal status in The Winter's Tale
- Shipwrecks: Pericles, The Winter's Tale, The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night
- Prospero's Magic: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Henry VI Part 2
Literature and Mythology
- Virgil, The Aeneid – Virgil presents the Widow Dido in the story of Dido and Aeneas (2.1)
- Ceres' loss of Persephone to Pluto in Roman mythology (4.1.89)
- Montaigne, "Of Cannibals" (2.1)
- A Discovery of the Bermudas, Otherwise Called the Isle of the Devils, a travel log from Bermudas (1.2)
- "The great globe itself" (a reference to the Globe Theater) (4.1)
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