In my humblest opinion, “The Tempest” is the most confusing play written by Shakespeare. I actually saw a production of the play long before I was tempted to pluck “The Tempest” off my shelves that left me befuddled and wondering what in the world was going on. I was afraid it was the acting and how far away I was from the stage that contributed to my confusion, so I decided to revisit Shakespeare’s play.
The rightful Duke of Milan, Prospero, and his daughter, Miranda, have been stranded on an island for twelve years because of Prospero’s jealous plot with the king to rid the dukedom of Propsero. They aren’t alone, though, as the two have a deformed slave named Caliban and the spirit, Ariel, that Prospero commands to do his bidding. Upon discovering that that his brother, the king, and a couple of foot-solders will be sailing past the island, Prospero creates a massive storm and causes the cast of characters to be shipwrecked on the island.
This is no “Gilligan’s Island,” though, and reading “The Tempest” compared to listening and watching wasn’t any better. I had an extremely hard time following along and although some scholars say this is Shakespeare’s masterpiece, I have to say “absolutely not.” I couldn’t get into it, and therefore just couldn’t see what others have.
- Shakespeare, William. “The Tempest”. New York: Washington Square Press, 2005. Originally published 1609. Print. 272 pgs. ISBN: 9780743482837. Source: PaperBackSwap.