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'The Tempest' in Context

'The Tempest' in Context

Sin, Repentance and Forgiveness

By Keith Linley

How did the court audience of 1611 respond to this unusual play? Situating ‘The Tempest’ in its time, this guide explains the Christian ethics, contemporary political scene, literary atmosphere and requirements of tragi-comedy that inform the background of this magical and mysterious play.

Paperback, 288 Pages

ISBN:9781783083756

February 2015

£14.99, $24.95

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  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents

About This Book

How would a Jacobean audience have assessed ‘The Tempest’? What would King James I have thought of it? This book provides detailed in-depth discussion of the various influences that an audience in 1611 would have brought to interpreting the play. How did people think about the world, about God, about sin, about kings, about civilized conduct? Historical, literary, political and sociological backgrounds are explained within the biblical-moral matrices by which the play would have been judged. This book links real life in the 1600s to the world of Prospero on the stage. Learn about the social hierarchy, gender relationships, parenting and family dynamics, court corruption, class tensions, the concept of tragi-comedy – and all the subversions, transgressions, and oppositions that made the play an unsettling picture of a world attempting to come to terms with capitalism and colonialism while re-addressing the nature of rule.

Reviews

‘Those wishing to develop an insight into the contextual background from which the themes in the play developed need look no further. Although scholarly in approach, the guide avoids dry and confusing language, using an easy and informative style that will easily engage a range of readers. This guide will help students of Shakespeare manipulate themes and take a contextual overview, and will quickly become a resource for revision and essay practice. Whetting the appetite for further reading, it uses cross reference to other plays to develop an appreciation of Shakespeare’s other works and mind-set. This dynamic, contextual guide will surely become an essential study companion for students and teachers alike.’ —Jill Leese, secondary English teacher and team leader with leading UK examinations board

Author Information

Dr Keith Linley is an academic, educator and experienced A-level examiner. He has taught English at both secondary and post-secondary levels.

Series

Anthem Perspectives in Literature

Table of Contents

Introduction; Prologue; 1. The Historical Context: An Overview; 2. The Elizabethan World Order: From Divinity to Dust; 3. Sin, Death and the Prince of Darkness; 4. The Seven Cardinal Virtues; 5. Kingship; 6. Patriarchy, Family Authority and Gender Relationships; 7. Man in His Place; 8. Images of Disorder: The Religious Context; 9. The Context of Education: Nature versus Nurture; 10. The Contemporary Political Context; 11. Enchantment: The Context of Magic; 12. The Context of Colonialism and Cannibals: Theft or Duty?; 13. Literary Context; 14. Tender Patriarch or Tyrant? The Limits of Authority; 15. The Moral Context: Sins, Virtues and Transgressions; Notes; Bibliography; Index

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