A play by William Shakespeare, sometimes called a comedy but also called a romance — that is, a work involving mysterious happenings in an exotic place. The central character is Prospero, a duke who has been overthrown and banished to an island. As a sage and magician, he rules the spirits who inhabit the island. When the men who overthrew Prospero pass near the island on an ocean voyage, he raises a tempest, wrecks their ship, and causes them to be washed ashore. In the end, they give back to Prospero his former authority, and he gives up his magic.