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This article is about the Shakespeare play. For other uses, see The Tempest (disambiguation).
The shipwreck in Act I, Scene 1, in a 1797 engraving based on a painting by George Romney The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio's lowly nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Ferdinand. There is no obvious single source for the plot of The Tempest, but researchers have seen parallels in Erasmus's Naufragium, Peter Martyr's De orbe novo, and an eyewitness report by William Strachey of the real-life shipwreck of the Sea Venture on the islands of Bermuda. In addition, one of Gonzalo's speeches is derived fromMontaigne's essay Of the Canibales, and much of Prospero's renunciative speech is taken word for word from a speech by Medea in Ovid's poem Metamorphoses. Themasque in Act 4 may have been a later addition, possibly in honour of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Frederick V in 1613. The play was first published in the First Folio of 1623. The story draws heavily on the tradition of the romance, and it was influenced by tragicomedy and the courtly masque and perhaps by the commedia dell'arte. It differs from Shakespeare's other plays in its observation of a stricter, more organised neoclassical style. Critics see The Tempest as explicitly concerned with its own nature as a play, frequently drawing links between Prospero's "art"...
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