The Tempest

American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

The Tempest definition


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.

Note: Prospero's daughter, on first seeing a handsome young man, says, “O brave new world!” a phrase that is often quoted.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature