Beyond the known world
lay unknown lands - fertile realms for Shakespeare's imagination.
These were regions as yet unexplored
by Europeans, such as Terra Australis Nondum Cognita
(Unknown Land of Australia) and Tierra del Fuego
(The Land of Fire).
The existence of huge unknown
continents left Shakespeare free to imagine a fictional island
for The Tempest. Some map makers filled the seas
with mythical characters and sea beasts.