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. 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

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