BookBrowse Reviews Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

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Hag-Seed

Hogarth Shakespeare

by Margaret Atwood

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Oct 2016, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
James Broderick

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This contemporary tale is a clever retelling of Shakespeare's Tempest.

There's a scene in The Tempest that many critics have concluded is indicative of Shakespeare's frame of mind at the time he wrote the play. In the final act, Prospero, the magician-father who dominates the story, tells those assembled on his enchanted island that he is going to renounce magic, bury his wand-like staff deep in the ground and drown his book of magic spells in the ocean. Some scholars see that renunciation of illusion as Shakespeare's valedictory speech, a goodbye to the magic of theatre and a prelude to his retirement, which followed shortly thereafter.

Maybe so—but there's another way of viewing Prospero's spell check. Shakespeare was a modern man (in as much as modernity was still taking shape) and he understood that reason, not superstition, represented the way forward to a "brave new world." Prospero's defiant act can be seen as a ...

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