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The Tempest: A Case Study in Critical Controversy

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Designed for "teaching the conflicts," this critical edition of Shakespeares The Tempest reprints the authoritative Bevington text of the play along with 21 selections representing major critical and cultural controversies surrounding the work. The distinctive editorial material helps readers grapple not only with the plays critical issues but also with cultural debates Designed for "teaching the conflicts," this critical edition of Shakespeare’s The Tempest reprints the authoritative Bevington text of the play along with 21 selections representing major critical and cultural controversies surrounding the work. The distinctive editorial material helps readers grapple not only with the play’s critical issues but also with cultural debates about literature itself. The second edition includes four new readings, revised headnotes that more helpfully contextualize the critical essays, a portfolio of visual representations of Caliban, and an appendix on writing about critical controversies and The Tempest.


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Designed for "teaching the conflicts," this critical edition of Shakespeares The Tempest reprints the authoritative Bevington text of the play along with 21 selections representing major critical and cultural controversies surrounding the work. The distinctive editorial material helps readers grapple not only with the plays critical issues but also with cultural debates Designed for "teaching the conflicts," this critical edition of Shakespeare’s The Tempest reprints the authoritative Bevington text of the play along with 21 selections representing major critical and cultural controversies surrounding the work. The distinctive editorial material helps readers grapple not only with the play’s critical issues but also with cultural debates about literature itself. The second edition includes four new readings, revised headnotes that more helpfully contextualize the critical essays, a portfolio of visual representations of Caliban, and an appendix on writing about critical controversies and The Tempest.

30 review for The Tempest: A Case Study in Critical Controversy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kyra

    It is irritating when certain of the essays in this book literally get the facts wrong about _The Tempest_. When, for instance, Ronald Takaki writes that "the scene of the play was actually the mainland near the 'Bermoothes' - Virgina," he is making a factual statement which is not equivalent to pointing out that the play's description of the island on which it takes place is inspired by "contemporary documents about the New World" - the latter does not mean the former, and the play takes place, It is irritating when certain of the essays in this book literally get the facts wrong about _The Tempest_. When, for instance, Ronald Takaki writes that "the scene of the play was actually the mainland near the 'Bermoothes' - Virgina," he is making a factual statement which is not equivalent to pointing out that the play's description of the island on which it takes place is inspired by "contemporary documents about the New World" - the latter does not mean the former, and the play takes place, as Takaki himself admits, on an "island." Both sides of the "critical controversy" here are equally at fault, however, for the postcolonial Takaki is matched by the New Critic Reuben A. Brower who, evidently, in the 1950s was under the rather bizarre impression that Claribel was Antonio's sister (where did this come from? Just. . . where?). That having been said, I have now been alerted thanks to this book to the existence of a man named Randall McCleod who used at various points in his career the pseudonym "Random Cloud," which I find more endearing than I can fully express. I think my colleague would find this book very useful! No, I haven't read any books this year not related to _The Tempest_. Why do you ask?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hunter Tidwell

    Possibly my favorite Shakespeare play. A perfect and subtly complex text. How did generations of critics read Prospero as the hero of the play, though?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

    read for uni!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mansi Dh

    Please don't read....I got brain fucked

  5. 5 out of 5

    Korri

    A friend of mine is staging a production of 'The Tempest' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival so I picked up a copy. Fortunately my local used book store had an edition of the play--A Case Study in Critical Controversy--that features scholarly articles in the debate about Caliban, race, gender, European colonialism, and the New World. I found the play itself a bit underwhelming compared to the other Shakespeare plays I have loved, though I bet some good staging and interpretations could make it A friend of mine is staging a production of 'The Tempest' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival so I picked up a copy. Fortunately my local used book store had an edition of the play--A Case Study in Critical Controversy--that features scholarly articles in the debate about Caliban, race, gender, European colonialism, and the New World. I found the play itself a bit underwhelming compared to the other Shakespeare plays I have loved, though I bet some good staging and interpretations could make it shine. There are rich thematic materials and metaphors in the text about initiation, space/geography, fertility, and usurpation/governance, among others. Perhaps the thing that threw me the most was how churlish all the male characters are. It's as if having lost his dukedom due to lack of attention, Prospero intends to exert monomaniacal control over everyone and even nature itself. Antonio and Sebastian reminded me of dudebros, amusing themselves by turning everything into a joke. The critical essays and apparatus were illuminating. Beginning with primary documents from the era about colonial expansion and the shipwreck that may have inspired Shakespeare, the collection moves on to trace the debates about the extent to which colonialism is a factor in the play.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

    Ugh. Read this if you've ever wanted to know The Tempest more intimately than you do your lover. It's a mandatory read for my introduction to literary criticism class. While I'm not crazy about breaking apart The Tempest and analyzing every facet (wasn't totally thrilled with it to begin with and I don't care who knows...) the snippets of essays from published critics are really good. They can be a little sophisticated and hard to understand, but the book does a great job at introducing how Ugh. Read this if you've ever wanted to know The Tempest more intimately than you do your lover. It's a mandatory read for my introduction to literary criticism class. While I'm not crazy about breaking apart The Tempest and analyzing every facet (wasn't totally thrilled with it to begin with and I don't care who knows...) the snippets of essays from published critics are really good. They can be a little sophisticated and hard to understand, but the book does a great job at introducing how criticism bounces from idea to idea over time. I'm glad I'm done with this at least until midterms.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ned

    shipwreck, spiritual possession, loss of life, limb, progeny, sanity, home, or plot, conspiracies of wizards with dunces, revenge stories gone awry, random accidents. You know what scares me? Putting this play on in the park in 6 months. Scary. Actually got some good out of this copy that works as a crit with primary documents! Reminding me of Montaigne.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cory

    Sock-knocking edition that takes a nuanced approach to the post-colonial and feminist critical hydras of the text. Also, having just read this play for the first time, I must sat it is a new favorite. I have much to say; but it is late, so I will hopefully get around to a complete entry of my thoughts at some point in the near-to-middle-future.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Eilers

    Lots of people love The Tempest; I think it's decent. It's quite annoying how much this play has been studied w/ the Postcolonial critical lens. Blargh! Colonialism had hardly even started in the early 1600s, you people.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    dreams vs. assurances, foison and books. man. (ps. what happened to the helen mirren "Tempest" adaptation?)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    The Graff/Phelan edited edition is a good one to teach as the Tempest is framed as a controversial text.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    Three words: PAUL BROWN'S ESSAY. WHAT A GEM. Also: NEW FAVORITE SHAKESPEARE PLAY

  13. 5 out of 5

    Donna

  14. 4 out of 5

    Isabella

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mike McGuinness

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ted

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bri Forney

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Abright

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarayah

  20. 5 out of 5

    Staci

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pedro

  23. 4 out of 5

    Madison Nelson

  24. 4 out of 5

    Henry Desai

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alisha

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura Slingo

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Thomasson

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nourhan Abd El Hakim

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathe

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