Bill Kerwin's Reviews > The Tempest

The Tempest by William Shakespeare
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's review
Apr 26, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: 16th-17th-c-brit, stuart-drama
Read in May, 2012

Simple yet profound, The Tempest is a heartbreakingly sincere piece of elaborate theatrical artifice. Shakespeare is a magician at the height of his powers, so accomplished at his craft that he can reveal the mechanisms of his most marvelous tricks and still astonish us.

This time through, I was struck by how closely references to language, freedom, power and transformation are bound up together, and how they all seem to point to some metaphysical resolution, even if they don't finally achieve it. But perhaps--by the power of Prospero's staff-- they do?
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Reading Progress

02/20 marked as: read

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-11 of 11) </span> <span class="smallText">(11 new)</span>

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message 1: by Ana (new) - added it

Ana Filipe Between The Tempest and Hamlet ( though they're very different plays), which one would you recommend to someone who never read Shakespeare before?

Bill  Kerwin Hard to say, but since you loved the first Harry Potter book, I'll go with the wizard play and recommend "The Tempest." Then, after you read it, watch the movie with Helen Mirren, which cleverly turns the magician Prospero into Prospera, a woman.

message 3: by Ana (new) - added it

Ana Filipe Actually, i've already read Hamlet. I asked not for me but for a friend who never read Shakespeare. And based on your comment the best choice for my friend seems to be Hamlet. But thanks for the recommadation, i'am even more curious to read The Tempest.

Bill  Kerwin Hamlet is great too. One of my favorite themes is Revenge!

message 5: by Jon (new)

Jon I had a professor in college who thought the phrase "like this insubstantial pageant faded" was perhaps the saddest and most sonorous ever written. I've never heard anybody--including Helen Mirren--give it the weight he thought it deserved.

message 6: by Etnik (new)

Etnik awesome review sir,as always=)

Bill  Kerwin Etnik wrote: "awesome review sir,as always=)"


message 8: by Fortunr (last edited Aug 07, 2015 11:57PM) (new)

Fortunr Very nice review, Bill.

message 9: by Axolotl (new)

Axolotl What about the Cassavetes version?

message 10: by Bill (last edited Aug 08, 2015 02:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill  Kerwin Axolotl wrote: "What about the Cassavetes version?"

I'd forgot completely about it until you mentioned it. I never saw it.

I love Cassavetes and Rowland, but I decided to skip it because the writer-director Paul Mazurzky was someone whose work I never cared for. Plus, although I don't mind a modernization, it was hard for me to accept the idea that Prospero has a girlfriend.

Any comments?

message 11: by Erica (new)

Erica Anytime I see the name Prospero, I think of Lorenna McKennitt and her song about him.

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