The Tempest Study Guide

The Tempest is one of the most beloved plays written by Shakespeare. The story is about the duke of Milan who had to escape to an island. Prospero uses magic to revenge his brother for betrayal and takes control over the royal party for that. If it sounds intriguing, you are welcome to look though The Tempest study guide we created!

The Tempest Key Facts

Full Name The Tempest
Author William Shakespeare
Genre Romance and comedy
Date of Publishing 1623
Setting (Time) Renaissance
Setting (Place) Remote island near Italy

The Tempest Articles

Summary of the play

Looking for The Tempest summary? Acts 1 – 4 and all the key events of the play by Shakespeare are described on this page. A short synopsis and an illustrated timeline of the play are also here.

Characters list with descriptions

Looking for The Tempest characters? Find them all analyzed here! This article contains character descriptions and analysis of Prospero, Miranda, Alonso, and other characters in the play

Themes in The Tempest

Looking for The Tempest themes? Find them all described here! This article contains descriptions and analysis of the key themes in the play: power, colonization, magic, and others.

Literary analysis: symbols, setting, & genre

Looking for The Tempest analysis? We’ve prepared this page for those who love getting into details. It describes the play’s setting, genre, literary devices, and symbols.

Essay topics & examples 

Looking for The Tempest essay topics? On this page, we’ve collected best questions, prompts, and title ideas on the Shakespeare’s play, together with essay examples.

The Tempest Q&A 

Looking for The Tempest questions and answers? On this page, we’ve collected the answers to the most pressing questions about Shakespeare’s masterpiece. Enjoy!

Historical Context of The Tempest

Shakespeare created The Tempest around 1610-1611. The play was first performed at Court shortly after that. General public had the pleasure to enjoy it only a year later during the celebrations of king’s daughter’s marriage. One of the most remarkable things about historical context of The Tempest is that the play is considered to be the last one William Shakespeare wrote. Moreover, it stands out due to its original plot which is not corelated to other pieces of work.

The Tempest context also highlights how considerate Shakespeare was of the trends at the time. Voyages to the distant lands and colonization were some of the most discussed topics. In fact, it is assumed that the news about a particular shipwreck inspired the writer. Another thing is how he incorporated the theme of colonization in the play. It seems like almost every character who gets on the island imagines to be its ruler. Besides, they treat the local inhabitant as some uneducated savage. No wonder, Shakespeare chose the name Caliban for his, which may have been a referral to the essay Of the Cannibals.

The Tempest context implied all the specifics of theatrical plays of that time. Elizabethan actors had very little options to play with. Lighting, décor, and costumes were quite poorly assembled so most of the setting had to be left for the audience’s imagination. All the descriptions and imagery in The Tempest are definitely great tools to cover up that issue.

Another thing is that it is believed that the last scene has a hidden meaning to it. Prospero comes out on stage and ask the audience to clap so that he can finally leave the island. It might be interpreted as Shakespeare’s desire to leave the stage as well and end his playwright career.

In our study guide on The Tempest, you’ll find a bunch of ideas for your essay on the play! And if you are interested in writing an excellent paper, try our summarizing and paraphrasing tools for students. Finally, you might want to compare your style to that of a famous writer!

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