This edition of The Tempest is the first dedicated to its stage history. Dymkowski examines four centuries of mainstream, regional, and fringe productions in Britain, nineteenth- and twentieth-century American stagings, and recent Australian, Canadian, French, Italian, and Japanese productions. She analyzes the cultural significance of changes in theatrical representation, eg. when and why Caliban began to be represented by a black actor, and Ariel became a man's role rather than a woman's. The commentary annotates each line of the play with details about acting, setting, textual alteration and contemporary reception.
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This joyous play, the last comedy of Shakespeare's career, sums up his stagecraft with a display of seemingly effortless skill. Prospero, exiled Duke of Milan, living on an enchanted island, has the opportunity to punish and forgive his enemies when he raises a tempest that drives them ashore--as well as to forestall a rebellion, to arrange the meeting of his daughter, Miranda, with an eminently suitable young prince, and, more important, to relinquish his magic powers in recognition of his advancing age. Richly filled with music and magic, romance and comedy, the play's theme of love and reconciliation offers a splendid feast for the senses and the heart.
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