I read my first Shakespeare in...eight years? Nine? Za Tempest. Last apparent solo play by Shakespeare, first in the First Folio put together after his death, so first in this sweet first folio edition by the Royal Shakespeare Company that I splurged for the other week. Wizard name of Prospero crashes a ship of his enemies on his island that said enemies incidentally crashed him on twelve years previously when they were putsching over his dukedom. The party of aristocrats, servants, and boatmen are split apart, assume one another doomed and dead, and subsequently embark on their own adventures. It's all a part of old man Prospero's plan, however, to bring them all together in Act 5 and graciously forgive the lot of'em for all the wrongs they've done him and get back to Milan to be a good Christian and fairly very wealthy duke. (Antonio, Prospero's brother and usurper, doesn't have much to say when the king of Naples returns Milan to Prospero. But since Prospero's taken up sorcery in his recent extended exile, that's perhaps not unwise.)
Rant uncontentedly about my university education as I might, it's nice to feel my consciousness glide over Shakespeare like this. Back in high school I was in that minority that needed the ModernEnglish transationcrutch for the bard and his plays, even though I acted in a few of them. I couldn't assimillate the language very well for whatever reason. Seven years and a college degree in English later, it's not just cake, it's pretty. The Tempest was an easy read, a quick one, too, and I recommend it to all you fine folks out there looking to step into the pool of Shakespeare from the shallow end. There's drama, comedy, Tarantinoesque tellings off, breezy romance, trechery, a handful of famous quotes, magic, and monologues that press right up against the 4th wall. And also a big storm that nobody seems to be able to shut up about.