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The Tempest
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Table of Contents

Introduction to The Tempest.- Introduction to the Text.- Key Facts.- The Tempest.- Textual Notes.- Second Quarto passages that do not appear in the Folio.- Scene-by-scene Analysis.- The Tempest in Performance: the RSC and Beyond.- Four Centuries of The Tempest: An Overview.- At the RSC.- The Director's Cut: interviews with Peter Brook, Sam Mendes, Rupert Goold.- Shakespeare's Career in the Theatre.- Shakespeare's Works: a Conjectural Chronology.- Further Reading

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'Informative, thought-provoking and humane.' - Dr Colin Burrow, University of Oxford 'Footnotes at the bottom of each page gloss unfamiliar items of vocabulary, paraphrase tricky meanings and uncover bawdy puns. There is a universe to be found in these annotations: the Renaissance world of power and fate, sex and death, language and philosophy.' - Times Educational Supplement

About the Author

SIR JONATHAN BATE is Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, University of Warwick, UK, and the editor of The RSC Shakespeare: The Complete Works. He has held visiting posts at Harvard, Yale and UCLA and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine's College, Cambridge, and a Governor and Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. A prominent critic, award-winning biographer and broadcaster, he is the author of several books on Shakespeare, including The Genius of Shakespeare (Picador), which was praised by Sir Peter Hall, founder of the RSC, as "the best modern book on Shakespeare." In June 2006 he was awarded a CBE by HM The Queen 'for services to Higher Education'.

ERIC RASMUSSEN is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, USA, and the Textual Editor of The RSC Shakespeare: The Complete Works. He is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of English Renaissance Drama and has edited volumes in both the Arden Shakespeare and Oxford World's Classics series. He is the General Textual Editor of the Internet Shakespeare Editions project - one of the most visited Shakespeare websites in the world. For over nine years he has written the annual review of editions and textual studies for the Shakespeare Survey.

Reviews

Prospero-like in their artistry, Spirin's dazzling watercolors dominate this retelling of Shakespeare's final play. Shaped like altar panels fit for a Renaissance church or palace, the illustrations are romantic, regal and magical, richly interpreting the play's themes of betrayal, revenge and all-conquering love. A wispy ethereal air pervades island scenes, beautifully suggesting the atmosphere of enchantment, while Antonio and the King of Naples are pictured in brocade and velvet, the stench of power upon them. The other characters, too, are both otherworldly and very much flesh and blood. Especially well rendered is the monster Caliban, shown here as part man, part beast, part mythical creature, a sense of evil glee lighting his features. While this prose adaptation does not, of course, retain the full magic of the Bard's work, Beneduce nonetheless provides an intelligent, gripping story. Several passages from Shakespeare introduced at key points give a taste of the original. Symbols and small pictures integrated into the text further enhance the lavish presentation. All ages. (Mar.)

"'Informative, thought-provoking and humane.' - Dr Colin Burrow, University of Oxford 'Footnotes at the bottom of each page gloss unfamiliar items of vocabulary, paraphrase tricky meanings and uncover bawdy puns. There is a universe to be found in these annotations: the Renaissance world of power and fate, sex and death, language and philosophy.' - Times Educational Supplement"

Gr 3 Up‘The play is set circa 1610. Spirin expands Beneduce's retelling by basing his lavish watercolors on Italian Renaissance paintings. Though the pages are carefully framed, highly ornate, and formally structured, there is plenty of leeway for individual imagination to make itself felt. Ariel is a decorative Renaissance angel. Caliban is given piscine characteristics and expressions that evoke the longing as much as the brutishness in his character. And the human characters have the complexity of portraits. Spirin's illustrations highlight the fantastic while Ruth Sanderson's landscapes for Bruce Coville's version of the play (Doubleday, 1994) focus on the effects of nature. Both are valid. Coville's simpler retelling is easier to follow. Beneduce, too, eliminates some of the subplots in order to avoid confusion, but her fuller text manages to incorporate most of the romantic, magical, and political elements. Within the main text, she modernizes the dialogue. This works smoothly for the most part, though it's hard to see how "What a wonderful new world I am about to enter..." is an improvement over "O brave new world..." A few passages of original text are set off in isolated frames, for a sense of the poetry. Readers and potential playgoers will need to see the play performed to experience the comic scenes of Caliban and his cronies. Brief appendixes explain the context in which the play was written and the reteller's choices and give an overview of Shakespeare's life. This is a case in which an acceptably graceful text plays a supporting role to the illustrations. They are worth the price of admission.‘Sally Margolis, formerly at Deerfield Public Library, IL

Two of the bard's heavy dramas join Yale's wonderful "Annotated Shakespeare" series. Along with a heavily annotated text, each volume includes a scholarly introduction plus notes on the annotations. All that for the price of a Happy Meal; how can you go wrong? Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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