Sunday, January 15

Book Review: The Tempest

Title: The Tempest

Author: William Shakespeare

Pages: EBook 234

Summary: Putting romance onstage, The Tempest gives us a magician, Prospero, a former duke of Milan who was displaced by his treacherous brother, Antonio. Prospero is exiled on an island, where his only companions are his daughter, Miranda, the spirit Ariel, and the monster Caliban. When his enemies are among those caught in a storm near the island, Prospero turns his power upon them through Ariel and other spirits.

The characters exceed the roles of villains and heroes. Prospero seems heroic, yet he enslaves Caliban and has an appetite for revenge. Caliban seems to be a monster for attacking Miranda, but appears heroic in resisting Prospero, evoking the period of colonialism during which the play was written. Miranda’s engagement to Ferdinand, the Prince of Naples and a member of the shipwrecked party, helps resolve the drama.

My Rating: 7.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Most of my experience with Shakespeare has been through his tragedies, which I read in high school many, many moons ago, so I found this one to be refreshing to read because it doesn’t end with everyone dying miserably
This one has all of Shakespeare’s typical elements, spirits, revenge, a man and woman see each other once and fall madly in love, and someone plots to kill someone else so they can have all the power. But, despite the similarities that I’ve read in his other works, I did enjoy this one. The story had something different to it, the characters were amusing at times, and the addition of the magical realism elements woven into the story was also enjoyable.

I did find that certain parts were hard to trudge through, but that happens with Shakespeare when his characters ramble on about their woes or whatever seems to be ailing them.

Overall, I enjoyed the book – which I read so I can read Margaret Atwood’s retelling, Hag-Seed.

Would I recommend it to read:  I would recommend to those who want to dip into Shakespeare, and haven’t yet, especially over the tragedies. While I enjoyed them, this one flowed better and would be a good choice for someone new to Shakespeare. It’s also a good choice for those who enjoy his plays but haven’t read this one yet, and I’d recommend this one over some of the others I’ve read.

What to read next: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood, more Shakespeare (probably Midsummer Nights Dream


  1. When I saw this pop up in your feed, I thought you must be aiming for Hag Seed. It's kinda cool that Margaret Atwood can get modern readers to dig out their Shakespeare, eh?

    1. Yes, I've started reading Hag-Seed, and while I'm only a few pages into it, it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. It's very cool she can do that. There's other authors who did retelling of Shakespeare, and I might try some of them out as well.