The Tempest is William Shakespear’s one of the greatest plays written in the 16th century. It is believed to be one of the last plays written by Shakespeare alone. The story is set on a distant island where the sorcerer Prospero is living with his daughter Miranda. He has two servants namely Caliban, a savage monster representing the earth and Ariel who is a spirit of the air. This suggests that Prospero is a master of both the elements earth and the air. The play contains music and songs and explores many themes which include magic, betrayal, revenge and family.
Tempest is believed to be the play through which Shakespeare bids farewell to the public from the stage. This play has several interpretations depending upon who is analysing. It also attracts the feminist interpretation in which Miranda is deprived of her freedom in a world controlled by men.
It is not known for certain exactly when The Tempest was written. The plot of The Tempest is believed to be created from several sources. The overall structure of The Tempest is believed to be taken from an Italian art comedy. The play was first printed in 1623 in the Shakespeare’s collection of thirty-six plays. The Tempest was originally listed as a comedy in the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays but later changed to Shakespearean romance. It was highly influenced by the then new genre tragicomedy.
The Tempest is a play created in a male dominated society. By only having one female role, Miranda, a beautiful 15 year old girl, the play explores the gender imbalance prevalent at that time. The Tempest has more music than any other Shakespeare play. It has influenced many traditional song writers. The first Tempest movie was launched in 1905 along with many other silent versions before it was filmed in color.