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matter that is antagonistic to the theory of Shakespeare's authorship and it was quite customary to insert a masque within a play in the early years of James I's reign. Beaumont and Fletcher offer several examples of this: for instance in the Maid's Tragedy, which was probably written two years before the Tempest, there is a masque in the first act which far more seriously hinders the action than in Shakespeare's play.
With the exception of the Comedy of Errors, the Tempest is the shortest of Shakespeare's plays: hence it has been conjectured that the text is incomplete, and represents a version abridged for acting purposes. This theory again has little to commend its acceptance. The abruptness of the action, of which much has been made, seems entirely in accord with the conception of the play.
No source has been discovered for the Tempest. Reference has already been made to Jourdain's pamphlet: there is nothing in it beyond a few unimportant details that can be said to have furnished any hint to the author. A German dramatist, Ayrer, who died in 1605, composed a play which has been translated under the title of the Fair Sidea, in which certain similarities have been traced and very much exaggerated. This production is crude and painfully wearisome; and though it contains a banished duke who becomes a magician and eventually marries his daughter to the son of the king whom he holds in his power, the story is almost as different in its conception as it is in its treatment. The curious reader must be referred to Furness' Variorum Edition, where a carefully condensed version will be found.
The dramatic value of the Tempest is not very great: there are four themes, (1) the Prospero-Antonio; (2) the FerdinandMiranda; (3) the Sebastian-Alonso; (4) the Trinculo-Stephano and Caliban. In all of these Prospero with his obedient spirit is supreme and none of the action is developed but concludes almost as soon as it is expounded, Neither is the characterisation very subtle the charm of the Tempest lies almost wholly in the inexhaustible treasures of poetry with which it is garnished.
Prospero is an interesting and pleasing study of an old man, who has seen trouble and ingratitude, and remains serious and sad but in no way bitter or unrelenting. Miranda is a charming picture of sweet and holy innocence, and ranks only second to Perdita. The cheery, good-natured and lovable Gonzalo stands forth among the crowd of rather conventional courtiers who are shipwrecked with Alonso. Caliban is certainly a marvellous creation. As Hazlitt has said, 'It is the essence of grossness, but there is not a particle of vulgarity in it. Shakespeare has described the brutal mind of Caliban, in contact with the pure and original forms of Nature: the character grows out of the soil where it is rooted, uncontrolled, uncouth and wild, uncramped by any of the meannesses of custom. It is "of the earth, earthy." It is possible, indeed, that Shakespeare may have obtained the germ of this creation from Job Hartop in Hakluyt's Voyages, III. 493. 'When we came in the height of Bermuda, we discovered a monster in the sea, who shewed himselfe three times unto us from the middle upwards, in which part he was proportioned like a man, of the complection of a Malato or tawny Indian.'
Ariel, too, commands our highest admiration. His airiness, charm, fancy, and tenderness mingled with his love of mischief and occasional rebelliousness make him sympathetic and delightful in the highest degree. He forms an instructive contrast with the earlier Puck of the Midsummer Night's Dream.
The purely humorous characters Trinculo and Stephano provide no little diversion, but there is nothing in their characters that calls for particular notice.
The Scene, an vn-inhabited Ifland.
Names of the Actors.
ALONSO, King of Naples, I.i.9, p. 1; II.i.9, p. 19; III.iii.4, p. 41; V.i.11I,
SEBASTIAN, his Brother, I.i.39, p. 2; II.i.10, p. 19; III.iii.13, p. 42; V.i.129, p. 58.
PROSPERO, the right Duke of Millaine, I.ii.13, P. 4; III.i.31, p. 35; III.iii. 34, p. 43; IV.i.1, p. 45; V.i.1, p. 54.
ANTHONIO, his brother, the vfurping Duke of Millaine, I.i.12, p. 1, II.i.11. p. 19; III.iii.11, p. 42; V.i.265, p. 62.
FERDINAND, Son to the King of Naples, I.ii.386, p. 15; III.i.1, p. 34; IV.i.11, p. 46; V.i.172, p. 59.
GONZALO, an honeft old Councellor, I.i.15, p. 2; II.i.1, p. 19; III.iii.1, p. 41; V.i. 104, p. 57.
ADRIAN, & FRANCISCO, Lords.
ADRIAN, II.i.34, p. 20; III.iii. 109, p. 45,
V.i. 57,* P. 55.
FRANCISCO, II.i.108, p. 22; III.iii. 40, p. 43; V.i.57, p. 45.
CALIBAN, a faluage and deformed flaue, I.ii.314, p. 13; II.ii.1, p. 29; III.ii. 22, p. 38; ÍV.1.194, p. 51; V.i.261, p. 62.
TRINCULO, a Iefter, II.ii.18, p. 29; III.ii.4, p. 37; IV.i.198, p. 52; V.i.259, p. 62.
STEPHANO, a drunken Butler, II.ii.41, p. 30; III.ü.1, p. 37; IV.i.196, p. 52; V.i.256, p. 62.
Mafter of a Ship, I.i.1, p. 1; V.i.216,* p. 60.
Boate-Swaine, I.i.2, p. 1; V.i.221, p. 61.
7 Mar., I.i.57, P. 3.
2 Mar., I.i.58, p. 3.
Marriners, I.i.6,* p. 1; I.i.49, P. 3.
3 Mar., I.i. 58, p. 3.
4 Mar., I.i.59, P. 3.
5 Mar., I.i. 59, P. 3.
MIRANDA, daughter to PROSPERO, I.ii.1, p. 3; III.i.15, p. 34; IV.i.144, p. 50; V.i.172, p. 59.
ARIELL, an ayrie fpirit, I.ii.189, p. 9; II.i.292, p. 28; III.ii.44, p. 38; (like a Harpey) III.iii.53, p. 43; IV.i.34, p. 46; V.i.4, P. 54.
Shapes, bringing in a Banket, and dancing, &c., III.iii.17,* p. 42; 82,* P. 44.
The Stage-time of the Play is about four hours, from just before 2 p.m. to 6. The
1 As this line, and the list of 'Names of the Actors,' are given in the Folio at the end of the Play, the entries are left here in the Folio order, references only to their first Speeches in every Scene being added. When they don't speak * is put.
In the Text, black type (Clarendon or Sans-serif) is used for all emendations and insertions.
'F' means the First Folio of 1623. F2, the Second Folio of 1632 (whose emendations are not treated as Shakspere's). ¶ in the Text, means that the speaker turns and speaks to a fresh person.
Words having now a different stress to the Elizabethan, are generally accented, for the reader's convenience, as 'exíle,' &c. When -ed final is pronounst as a separate syllable, the e is printed ē.