• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Exploring the theme of enslavement in The Tempest

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Coursework: The Tempest Shakespeare wrote most of his tragedies in the early seventeenth century. The Tempest was written around the year of 1611 when drama was beginning to become more political. It is said that this was the last play Shakespeare wrote and for this reason many critics believe the theme and plot of the play have an underlying, hidden meaning. I wish to explore is the theme of enslavement tied to the relationship between Prospero and Caliban within The Tempest and explore the link with colonialism. The theme of colonialism is prominent in the play, particularly in relationship between Prospero, the Coloniser and Caliban, the Colonised. Shakespeare uses a lot of dramatic methods to bring this theme to life. The slavery industry was closely linked to colonialism and understanding of this contemporary topic is crucial in the way one reads the play. There was a notable visit to London by the black-skinned ambassador of the King of Barbary in 1600-1601. It caused quite a stir in society and a lot of critics claim, provided considerable material for the writing of 'Othello'. It is possible this furthermore provided Shakespeare with ideas for the tempest. ...read more.

Middle

With raven's feather from unwholesome fen ... Drop you both!" encourage a reaction from Prospero; he uses his magic to inflict "Side-stitches". As we know, Caliban was born by Sycorax when she arrived on the island and that Ariel was imprisoned by her for 12 years until Prospero came and broke her spell. It is now 12 years since Prospero's arrival, so Caliban is probably 24 years old. In Act 1 Scene 2, there is textual evidence of a strong past relationship between Caliban and Prospero; Caliban remembers how the magician "strok'st me, and made much of me" when he first arrived. However, a dramatic contrast is shown by the fact that their initial relationship has deteriorated as Prospero, in a tone of frustration, speaks of how he gave "humane care" for Caliban, but Caliban "thanked" him by attempting to violate his daughter. The relationship of Prospero and Caliban can also be judged in scenes which they are not present together. For example, Act 2 Scene 2 begins with Caliban cursing Prospero. The dramatic method of soliloquy is used in Caliban's opening words, "All the infections that the Sun sucks up ... ...read more.

Conclusion

But despite this, Prospero remains in complete power. And even in the last scene, Caliban is still only recognised as a way of making money, as Antonio keeps expressing an interest in the "marketable" value of him. However, I've already spoken about the fact that Caliban may well be an ungrateful beneficiary of Prospero's teachings and I myself agree with this. Some may argue that colonialism is wrong, but the human race would not be what it is today if colonialism hadn't taken place. I would argue that the only thing Prospero was guilty of was trying to enhance Caliban's life by enabling him to communicate properly with other beings. And again, without communication, or world today would not be as we know it. I believe colonialism was a necessary step that the human race needed in order to develop as a species and one which has had a great effect on people everywhere. In my opinion, as long as we continue to try to educate each other, there is no limit as to what mankind can achieve. "...in the Tempest Period, man is master of the universe. And - what is here essential - this masterhood of Nature is accompanied by a supreme moral goodness to fellow-man." - Sidney Lanier, 1880. ?? ?? ?? ?? Steven Blundell, 13 Stevenson Page | 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Tempest section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Tempest essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How does Shakespeare ensure that the theme of usurpation and its consequences runs throughout ...

    3 star(s)

    The wedding of Ferdinand and Miranda means that everything will be better than normal because Milan and Naples would unite and Miranda and Ferdinand will one day rule both Milan and Naples together. At the end of the scene Caliban returns accompanied by Trinculo and Stephano, and Caliban turns to

  2. Discuss the character of Caliban and his relationship with Prospero

    However this good relationship quickly disintegrated when Caliban committed a crime. He tried to "violate the honour" of Miranda because he wanted "the isle to be filled with Caliban s". Prospero is still punishing him severely for this betrayal of trust, even for small mistakes.

  1. Presentation of Prospero in the Tempest

    aid of magic, causes him to influence and control the happenings on the island. Conversely, Shakespeare presents the audience with a character who is reformed at the end of the play. He relieves his possession of magic, presents his altruistic nature, and is able to forgive everybody, as well as

  2. Why is Caliban such an interesting an important character in 'The Tempest' and how ...

    The curse is ironic because he is using language that Prospero and Miranda taught him to curse with. Shakespeare gives Caliban this soliloquy because it is a good opening to a scene and it shows Caliban's more human side and Prospero in a more tyrannical light.

  1. Shakespeares 'The Tempest' as a Study of Colonialism.

    In his renunciation of magic and return to Europe, Prospero would appear to be finally conceding that continuing on the island is wrong. Significantly, among his last words is the potentially pregnant comment (about Caliban) "This thing of darkness I/ Acknowledge mine."

  2. How effective is the opening of 'The Tempest'?

    They are nobility. However, there is also nobility in scene 1 in the shape of King Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Ferdinand, Gonzalo etc. They do not speak in poetry, but prose. This shows that the nobility on the ship, though upper-class show no signs of politeness and good manners.

  1. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of the theme of power in the "The Tempest"

    fact that everyone on the island land on different points and never cross paths. The main kind of magic that he uses to control people is the use of a sleeping spell and a spell to make them follow, which he uses when he wants people to stop what they are doing.

  2. How far do you agree that The Tempest is a play about the use ...

    Act 1, Scene 2 in which he reveals to his ignorant daughter Miranda how they have been victims of his brothers treachery, from lines 71-79 "And Prospero the prime duke, being so reputed/Thy false uncle" ; however this is hypocritical of him, as he may be enraged with his brother

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work