Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Shakespeare for Kids
• Discover Our Collection
Very Like a Whale

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Prospero and Magic

Shakespeare for Kids

Prospero is a powerful magician in Shakespeare's play, The Tempest, who has been shipwrecked on an island. In the play, he uses books to cast spells on creatures who are living on the island.


Although Prospero is a made-up character, books of spells exist, and a few of them are at the Folger Shakespeare Library! You can see one of them, called a grimoire, in the exhibition Very Like a Whale. The grimoire has drawings and instructions for casting spells.


You can learn more about the book, as well as spells and magic, by clicking here. 


"Prospero" from Park's Shakspearean Twelfth-Night Characters. Hand-colored print, ca. 1830

Book of magic, with instructions for invoking spirits, etc. Manuscript, ca. 1577-1583

Bookmark and Share   
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623