The Tempest and theatrical reality
in Shakespeare’s storms
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This chapter explores the ways in which the play's opening storm allows for a reading of the weather in the text. In Back To Nature, Robert N. Watson, exploring As You Like It, 'interprets the longing for reunion with the world of nature as a sentimental manifestation of a philosophical problem: the suspicion that our cognitive mechanisms allow us to know things only as we liken them'. The chapter argues that the possibilities and the connotations of the theatrical storm are repeatedly investigated during the play and that this process is part of The Tempest's wider concern with the dramatic representation of nature. William Shakespeare is careful to complement the staging of the storm effects with the dramatic language of his characters. Although the storm is an illusion, the actions and diction of the crew are firmly grounded in Jacobean reality.

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