Bluff Your Way Through the Play
The Tempest is unlike any other play in Shakespeare’s body of work. It takes place all in one day; it is filled with magic and spirits; it revisits many themes Shakespeare has tackled before; and, it focuses on Prospero, a main character who is totally in control of his own story.
What a Difference a Day Makes
The Tempest takes place during the course of a single day (the only other play in the canon to do that is The Comedy of Errors). It also follows Aristotle’s other two rules for drama by having a main plot line and taking place in one setting.
The Tempest is Shakespeare’s third shortest play, at 17,233 words. But even shorter are A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 16,511 words and The Comedy of Errors at 14,701 words.
Turning a Phrase
Several common phrases and expressions that originated in The Tempest made their way into our everyday language. Some of them include: “brave new world,” “in a pickle,” “melted into thin air,” “sea change,” and “such stuff as dreams are made on”.
The Tempest contains more music and musical interludes than any other Shakespeare play. Unfortunately they often get cut from the production. We’ve added original songs and updated some of Shakespeare’s for this production.
The Tempest is the last play that Shakespeare wrote on his own. It is similar to other “Romances” like Pericles, Cymbeline, and The Winter’s Tale, where characters go through harrowing situations that lead them to forgiveness and a happy ending.
Your Magical Guide
From the moment The Tempest begins, Prospero creates the story. The character, while definitely integral to the plot, serves as a mystical master of ceremonies manipulating characters and guiding us to the play’s conclusion.
Dualities are peppered throughout The Tempest: parent vs. child, master vs. servant, revenge vs. forgiveness, family vs. strangers, human vs. magical. The opposing ideas create the drama and complexity of the play.
After the discovery of two satellites circling Uranus, astronomers established a convention of naming the planet’s new moons after Shakespeare’s characters. So far the most (7) are named for characters in The Tempest
This Thing of Darkness?
While called a monster in the play, the character of Caliban has some of the most tender and joyful lines in the play when talking about the island. It’s also interesting to note that the character speaks verse when alone, but prose when with other characters.