In order to provide reading groups with the most informed and thought-provoking questions possible, it is necessary to reveal certain aspects of the story in this novel. If you have not finished reading Hag-Seed, we respectfully suggest that you do so before reviewing this guide.
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. What are your thoughts about how Atwood reimagined The Tempest? Did her approach surprise you?
2. Compare and contrast Atwood’s Felix with Shakespeare’s Prospero.
3. Do you think there is a similarity between sorcerers/magic and theater? If you were to reimagine The Tempest in modern times, what profession would you give Prospero?
4. How do you think the notion of vengeance morphs and evolves throughout the book?
5. What do you think of Felix’s relationship with the Fletcher Correctional Players? Are they simply a means to an end? Or do you think he feels attachment to them?
6. Discuss the setting of the prison and the symbolic meaning it serves in connection to The Tempest. Do you think the correctional players relate to the play because it is about prisons?
7. Felix spends time teaching the inmates about Shakespeare, do you think he is a good teacher? Do you think we will always be teaching and performing Shakespeare?
8. Discuss the role that grief plays in the novel. How has the loss of his daughter, Miranda, haunted and impacted Felix throughout the novel?
9. What do you think of Atwood’s decision to stage a play within a novel that is based on that same play? (Felix stages The Tempest in Hag-Seed, a re-imagining of The Tempest.)
10. Discuss the ending, were you satisfied with the conclusion of Hag-Seed?