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The Tempest

The Tempest

The Tempest Analysis

Literary Devices in The Tempest

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Like the storm in King Lear, the tempest that opens our play is full of symbolic meaning. When Prospero uses magic to whip up a storm that shipwrecks the King of Naples on the island, the tempest...

Setting

The play takes place entirely on an island (and the water surrounding it). We have a confession, Shmoopsters. We're not exactly sure where the island is located. Since the King of Naples and his p...

Genre

The Tempest is actually classified in Shakespeare's first folio as a comedy, which would be fine enough, except this play has certain elements that are peculiar to a new genre. When The Tempest ca...

Tone

The play's opening scene is set in the midst of a murderous storm, which would seem to suggest that The Tempest is going to be as dark as, say, Macbeth, which also happens to begin with a terrible...

Writing Style

Reading any one of Shakespeare's plays can feel like reading a long poem and that's because they're written in a combination of verse (poetry) and prose (how we talk every day). (Note: The play Ric...

What’s Up With the Title?

The Tempest is named after the big storm that dominates the entire first scene of the play. The rest of the play takes place on an island, so maybe the play should really be called The Island, rig...

What's Up With the Ending?

At the play's end, everyone is ready to head back to Naples, where Miranda and Ferdinand will get hitched before old Prospero retires to Milan. (Good thing Prospero's big, nasty storm didn't actua...

Plot Analysis

Prospero lives on a lonely island with his daughter, Miranda, and two spirits.The play starts out on a rather even keel for the characters. They've lived this way for twelve years in relative peace...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Voyage and Return

Prospero is forced out of Milan (his dukedom) along with his baby daughter.Prospero has been wrongly thrust onto this island, and that wrong must be addressed, or, by Jove, this isn't a play by Wil...

Trivia

Shakespeare's play may have been inspired by a real life shipwreck. In 1609, a ship named the Sea Venture (part of the Virginia Company) was on its way from England to Jamestown (yep – that's th...

Steaminess Rating

There's not a lot of explicit sex in this play, even between the two characters who are in love. When Miranda and Ferdinand meet secretly, they hold hands, and when Prospero sends them alone toget...

Allusions

The big tempest in Act 1, Scene 1: The storms in King Lear and MacbethProspero's evil, power hungry brother Antonio: Claudius in Hamlet, Edmund vs. Edgar in King Lear, Oliver in As You Like It,Rich...
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