Definition of The Tempest from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


The Tempest

; NAmE
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a play by William Shakespeare, probably written in 1611 and generally thought to be the last play he wrote. In fact the speech by Prospero near the end of the play is often seen as Shakespeare's own farewell to the stage and to life itself. The action of the play takes place on an island and its central character is Prospero, who lives there with his daughter Miranda. Prospero has been replaced as duke of Milan by his brother Antonio and he uses his magic powers to create a storm so that his brother's ship is wrecked and his brother and others come onto the island. With the help of Ariel, a magical creature, Prospero then gets back his position as duke.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,As I foretold you, were all spirits andAre melted into air, into thin air:And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,The solemn temples, the great globe itself,Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolveAnd, like this insubstantial pageant faded,Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuffAs dreams are made on, and our little lifeIs rounded with a sleep.
Prospero in The Tempest