The Tempest - Literary Touchstone Edition

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Prestwick House Inc, 2006 - 96 pages
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The Tempest, Shakespeare?s final and most magical play, is filled with suspense, comedy, love, mystery, and revenge. Before the play begins, Prospero, former Duke of Milan, has been exiled from his country for practicing magic and lives on a deserted island with his daughter, Miranda. This isolation has given him the opportunity to become a powerful sorcerer, and when his enemies? ship nears his island, Prospero conjures his most forceful spell yet. He chants a conjurer?s spell, the sky darkens, and The Tempest begins. The fierce storm is underway, and the crew fears for their lives as they try to stay afloat. In the blink of an eye, they are shipwrecked on a seemingly deserted island. Wandering blindly around this strange land, they encounter a savagely deformed slave, sprites and fairies, and even unexpected romance. Unbeknownst to the shipwrecked victims, however, the secret of the island will change their lives forever. To make The Tempest more accessible to the modern reader, our Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classic? includes convenient sidebar notes, a glossary of difficult terms, and a list of vocabulary words. In doing this, it is our intention that the reader will enjoy the beauty of Shakespeare?s verse, the wisdom of his insights, and the impact of the drama.
 

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Contents

Dramatis PersonŠ
13
Act I
15
Scene II
17
Act II
33
Scene II
42
Act III
49
Scene II
52
Scene III
56
Act IV
61
Act V
71
Epilogue
81
Glossary
82
Vocabulary
91
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

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