Cultural definitions for The Tempest
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.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.