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Believed to have been written between 1610 and 1611, “The Tempest” is likely the last play written solely by Shakespeare. The story concerns the Magician Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, and his daughter, Miranda, who have been stranded on an island by Prospero’s jealous brother Antonio. The plot of “The Tempest” itself is however of less importance than in Shakespeare’s other works. Supernatural elements are introduced with great freedom, and the dramatist’s interest was clearly not in the reproduction of lifelike events. The presentation of character and the attractive picturing of the beauty of magnanimity and forgiveness are the things which, along with its delightful poetry, make the charm of this play. It is not to be wondered at that readers have frequently been led to find in the figure of the great magician, laying aside his robes and wonder-working rod in a spirit of love and peace toward all men, a symbol of the dramatist himself at the close of his great career; and it is surely legitimate to play with this idea without assuming that Shakespeare consciously embodied it. One can hardly conceive a more fitting epilogue to the volume which is the crown of the world’s dramatic literature than the romance of “The Tempest.” This edition is annotated by Henry N. Hudson and includes an introduction by Charles Harold Herford.

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