~by William Shakespeare
Since I was in Ann Arbor when the Royal Shakespeare Company came through in 2006, with Patrick Stewart in tow, how could I give up and opportunity to attend at least one of the performances? It required camping out the night before the student tickets went on sale, and getting very wet and cold, but I became a happy owner of a ticket to see The Tempest. The RSC interpretation was a little unorthodox (it took place on an arctic island, among other things) I absolutely loved it and decided that I should probably actually read it at some point.
The Tempest is the last finished play to be attributed completely to Shakespeare and is the favorite of many of The Bard's aficionados. While I have a preference to see his plays performed, reading them is very enjoyable as well. The Tempest occurs in one location over the course of one day; the plot, while inspired, is entirely Shakespeare's own. Prospero, the usurped Duke of Milan and a great sorcerer, has lived in exile with his daughter Miranda on a nearly deserted island for twelve years. When a ship sails close by carrying those who put him in such an unfortunate state, he quickly devises a plan to achieve his revenge and even more quickly puts it into motion.
I read the Signet Classics edition which provides a general introduction to Shakespeare, an introduction to the play, excerpts from the sources it was derived from, and various commentaries in addition to the play itself, all of which were very nice to have.