Synopses & Reviews
A short and juicy play that encapsulates many of the dramatic elements that delight admirers of the Shakespearean oeuvre: betrayal, good spirits, evil relations, loyal friends, dramatic plot twists, terrible weather and, of course, love. The play is entertaining and introduces timeless themes such as redemption, the nature of the soul, magic and the supernatural, and art's imitation of life (and vice versa). The story itself shows us the essence of the traditional Italian commedia dell'arte.Prospero uses magic to conjure a storm and torment the survivors of a shipwreck, including the King of Naples and Prospero's treacherous brother, Antonio. Prospero's slave, Caliban, plots to rid himself of his master, but is thwarted by Prospero's spirit-servant Ariel. The King's young son Ferdinand, thought to be dead, falls in love with Prospero's daughter Miranda. Their celebrations are cut short when Prospero confronts his brother and reveals his identity as the usurped Duke of Milan. The families are reunited and all conflict is resolved. Prospero grants Ariel his freedom and prepares to leave the island.SCENE IOn a ship at sea: a tempestuous noiseof thunder and lightning heard. Enter a Master and a Boatswain]MasterBoatswain BoatswainHere, master: what cheer?MasterGood, speak to the mariners: fall to't, yarely, or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir. Exit] Enter Mariners]BoatswainHeigh, my hearts cheerly, cheerly, my hearts yare, yare Take in the topsail. Tend to the master's whistle. Blow, till thou burst thy wind, if room enough Enter ALONSO, SEBASTIAN, ANTONIO, FERDINAND, GONZALO, and others]ALONSOGood boatswain, have care. Where's the master? Play the men.BoatswainI pray now, keep below.ANTONIOWhere is the master, boatswain?BoatswainDo you not hear him? You mar our labour: keep your cabins: you do assist the storm.GONZALONay, good, be patient.BoatswainWhen the sea is. Hence What cares these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: silence trouble us not.GONZALOGood, yet remember whom thou hast aboard.BoatswainNone that I more love than myself. You are a counsellor; if you can command these elements to silence, and work the peace of the present, we will not hand a rope more; use your authority: if you cannot, give thanks you have lived so long, and make yourself ready in your cabin for the mischance of the hour, if it so hap. Cheerly, good hearts Out of our way, I say. Exit]GONZALOI have great comfort from this fellow: methinks he hath no drowning mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good Fate, to his hanging: make the rope of his destiny our cable, for our own doth little advantage. If he be not born to be hanged, our case is miserable.