Shakespeare Storm Quiz

Storm still.

If I scheduled it properly and my software behaved, you should be reading this while I’m sitting up in New England under about a foot of snow.

How often does Shakespeare make a storm of some sort a major plot point?

  • The Tempest, duh.
  • Twelfth Night needs to deposit Viola in Illyria to get started, so a shipwreck seems as good a reason as any. But does the description of how they went down count as a storm, or was it just bad luck at sea?
  • Poor Antonio’s ships in The Merchant of Venice.  Or am I misremembering that? Do we get much of an explanation about how all of his ships go down? I think I’ve always just assumed a storm but not sure my evidence.
  • Macbeth opens with thunder and lightning.  And then there’s Macduff’s description of the night before he arrives at Macbeth’s castle, where it all hits the fan.
  • King Lear on the heath.  I didn’t realize the power of stage directions until I went back and looked and saw how many scenes say, “Storm still.”  That is a huge storm.

What did I miss?


3 thoughts on “Shakespeare Storm Quiz

  1. The storm in The Winter’s Tale that takes out Antigonus’s ship, killing all aboard (and making knowledge of Perdita’s whereabouts unknown).

    I seem to recall a bad storm in Pericles, when he dumps Thaisa overboard in response to the fears of the sailors.

  2. Ed O'Toole says:

    The storm in Othello that destroys the Turkish fleet is another.

    In Comedy of Errors, a storm that separated the twins is described in a monologue by Aegeon early in the play

  3. Don’t have it with me, but does a storm hinder Henry (Richmond) as he attempts to invade England in Richard III?

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