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Source Texts and History of The Tempest

Compared with other Shakespeare plays, the history of the Tempest is relatively simple: the text is found in the first folio of 1623, and although minor revisions can be found in the subsequent folios, there is no "bad quarto" or other major version of the text in competition for the title of "authentic Tempest."

The Tempest has a rich history of adaptation. Its Mediterranean setting and deep contemplation of questions of religion and colonization made the play attractive to playwrights in the Caribbean, as part of independence movements. The play is also rife for adaptation because Prospero is so often read as a facsimile of Shakespeare himself, an author relinquishing his power upon the completion of his final work (although this reading is deeply problematic, not the least because Shakespeare did not stop writing after Tempest).

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