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Staging Shakespeare's Late Plays$
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Roger Warren

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198128779

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128779.001.0001

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Rough Magic and Heavenly Music: The Tempest

Rough Magic and Heavenly Music: The Tempest

(p.158) 4 Rough Magic and Heavenly Music: The Tempest
Staging Shakespeare's Late Plays

Roger Warren

Oxford University Press

One of the first problems encountered in portraying The Tempest involved a line from the First Folio text: ‘A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard’. Because of how this is conventionally perceived as a cue for noise that would hopefully resemble that from a storm at sea, this often obscures the dialogue and further leads to misinterpretation. Ralph Crane, who is probably the one who prepared the First Folio for its publication, was known to possess the habit of distorting stage directions in the hope that such would provide the reader with an improved literary account. What this chapter attempts to point out is that making of such revisions may be the cause of veering away from the real message that the scene, or even the play as a whole, intended to portray.

Keywords:   The Tempest, Fist Folio, noise, dialogue, misinterpretation, stage direction, Ralph Crane

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