The Tempest by William Shakespeare

     The Tempest is arguably Shakespeare’s last play written by him alone. The play tells the story of a sorcerer Prospero who takes revenge on his brother Antonio, who had deposed him as the duke of Milan and sent him and his three-year-old daughter Miranda to the sea on a boat.

     Prospero, after being set adrift by his enemies, had reached an island, where he met Ariel, a spirit, and Caliban, a deformed monster. He had successfully maintained the loyalty of Ariel by promising repeatedly his release. Prospero and Miranda had taught Caliban language and religion. Caliban, on the other hand, was rebellious and resentful to them as he saw them as usurpers. At the beginning of the play, Antonio, his friend and fellow conspirator, King Alonso of Naples, Alonso’s brother Sebastian, son Ferdinand and Alonso’s trusted counselor, Gonzalo, who were returning from a wedding, were shipwrecked and brought to Prospero’s island. Ferdinand and Miranda fell in love as soon as they met each other, as Prospero had desired. All characters in the play were under the spell of Prospero and behaved strangely. In the end, he forgave all of them and set Caliban and Ariel free. Prospero was a happy man as Ferdinand and Miranda readied them-selves to marry each other in Naples. As a final act, Prospero buried his magic equipment and drowned his book of magic.

     Being the last play of Shakespeare, The Tempest has many autobiographical elements according to scholars. They say burying the magical staff is suggestive of Shakespeare’s telling the world that he is now contemplating to quit writing plays. Anyway, the play is considered the most well written play of Shakespeare.

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