Known as 'The Bard of Avon', William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, around April of 1564. His father, John Shakespeare, was a successful local businessman and his mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a wealthy landowner. In 1582, eighteen-year-old William married an older woman named Anne Hathaway. Soon they had their first daughter, Susanna, who was followed by twins Hamnet and Judith. Sadly, Hamnet died at the age of eleven.
Translated into innumerable languages across the globe, Shakespeare's plays and sonnets are undoubtedly the most studied works of literature in the English language. He was just as adept at writing comedies as he was tragedies, histories, and poetry. On top of this, he was also an actor.
In 1599, he became one of the partners in the new Globe Theatre in London, and a part owner of his own theatre company called The Chamberlain's Men--a group of remarkable actors who were also business partners and close friends of Shakespeare. When Queen Elizabeth died in 1603 and was succeeded by her cousin King James of Scotland, The Chamberlain's Men was renamed The King's Men. Shakespeare died in 1616. Till date, his plays are performed all over the world and have been adapted into movies, comics, cartoons, operas, and musicals.
When the King Alonso of Naples and his entourage sail home for Italy after attending the princess Claribel's wedding in Tunis, Africa, they encounter a violent tempest. After jumping overboard, everyone washes ashore on a strange island inhabited by the magician Prospero, who deliberately conjured the storm. Who is this Prospero and why does he produce the tempest? What is the power that he has over the spirits inhabiting the island, especially concerning the half human, half savage Caliban?
A delightful romantic drama with undertones of betrayal and retribution, domination and subjugation, The Tempest remains to this day one of the more popular plays written by Shakespeare. The themes of freedom, friendship, repentance and forgiveness are beautifully interwoven, and by the end of the play, the tempest--both real and figurative--has calmed the most vengeful of avengers and washed away the sins of the most evil of wrongdoers.
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