The Tempest: ‘Something Rich and Strange’

  • Philip C. McGuire
Part of the English Dramatists book series (ENGDRAMA)


No Shakespearean play uses music more extensively than The Tempest, widely regarded for more than one hundred and fifty years now as the final play Shakespeare wrote singlehandedly even though, as Stephen Orgel notes, there is no way to determine ‘chronological priority’ between it and The Winter’s Tale (1987, p. 63). The second of nine songs in The Tempest tells of changes being worked upon the body of Ferdinand’s father, drowned, he is certain, in the shipwreck he himself has just survived:

Full fadom five thy father lies;

Of his bones are coral made;

Those are pearls that were his eyes:

Nothing of him that doth fade,

But doth suffer a sea-change

Into something rich and strange.



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Copyright information

© Philip C. McGuire 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip C. McGuire
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishMichigan State UniversityUSA

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