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English Literature   >   Shakespeare: The Tempest


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Shakespeare: The Tempest

In this course, Dr Charles Moseley (Cambridge) explores Shakespeare's last play, 'The Tempest'. The first modules concentrate on historical context, looking in particular at the influence of the accession of King James to the throne, and the importance of the Blackfriars Theatre. After that, we explore the growing popularity of romance and tragicomedy in Jacobean England, before thinking about how the original Jacobean audience would have understood the play. In the second half of the course, we explore two of the great themes of 'The Tempest' - power and education - before thinking about the structuring of the play as a whole, and its potential Christian subtexts.


In this module, Charles reminds us that Jacobethan drama was non-naturalistic, intertextual and allusive, and often symbolic. In addition, he adds, it was not written for posterity, but for a world very different from ours, with different values, particularly when it came to ideas of the self and the universe.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Moseley, C. (2018, August 15). Shakespeare: The Tempest - Prologue [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Moseley, C. "Shakespeare: The Tempest – Prologue." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


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Dr Charles Moseley

University of Cambridge