"These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air,
And, like the baseless fabric of vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with sleep."
- William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 4.1
Did you know that Shakespeare's The Tempest was performed for the first time before King James on November 1st, 1611, otherwise known as "Hallowmas Nyght" at Banqueting House in the Whitehall Palace? Or that two years later it was performed at court in honor of the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to Frederick, the Elector Palatine of Bohemia? While the Globe Theater in London opened in 1599, and was most associated with William Shakespeare, The Bard's arguably most beloved work was certainly drama fit for royalty, and has since been loved by wider audiences in theaters throughout the world, still to this day.
Believed to be one of Shakespeare's last plays, The Tempest is a comedy set on a distant island once ruled by the witch Sycorax, but now inhabited by Caliban, her son, and Ariel, a spirit. The play explores the complex themes of betrayal, revenge, ill treatment, magic, love, theater, and even playwriting -- through the rich, captivating characters of Prospero, the deposed, bookish Duke of Milan; his young, innocent daughter, Miranda; the handsome Ferdinand, prince of Naples; and a cast of other highly colorful, imaginative figures.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- The Drama: Shakespeare At Daly' Theatre Production Of "The Tempest.". (1897, Apr 07). New - York Tribune (1866-1899)
- M, A. L. (1920, Aug 12). Prince's Theatre: "The Tempest". The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959)
- Teall, G. (1923, Mar 18). Tercentenary Of the First Folio: Shakespeare's Plays In Collected Form For "The Great Variety Of Readers". New York Times (1923-Current File)
- On Prospero's' Island: Sir Frank Benson As Caliban. (1930, Feb 10). The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- Lucio. L. (1940, Aug 09). Miscellany: White Shirts and Brown. The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959)
- Ormsbee, H. (1945, Jan 21). Shakespeare's "The Tempest," With Vera Zorina As Ariel, Gomes To the Alvin. New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- The Tempest Celebrates. (1945, Apr 15). New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- 'Enter Ariel Like a Harpy'. (1951, Mar 22). The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- Hall, P. (1963, Mar 24). When We Do Shakespeare. The Observer (1901- 2003)
- 'The Tempest'...: Shakespeare's Farewell To the Theater. (1968, Sep 29). The Austin Statesman (1921-1973)
- Ronan, J .(2000, May 31). Midsummer Nights At the Globe Theater. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- Monahan, J. (2003, Nov 04). Teaching The Tempest To Primary Pupils. The Guardian (1959-2003)
Read more about the stage history of The Tempest, via the Royal Shakespeare Company.
- Stephano, Trinculo and Caliban, detail of "The Tempest", a painting by Johann Heinrich Ramberg, Wikimedia Commons
- Special New Slide Courtesy of EdLab Studios
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