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Shakespeares 'The Tempest' as a Study of Colonialism.

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The Tempest as a Study of Colonialism particularly relevant political issues. that Prospero had usurped Caliban from his rule of the island and was thus an agent of imperialism. Since then such an approach to the play (with various modifications) has remained more or less current. This approach to The Tempest also begins with some obvious features of the play. Prospero is a European who has taken charge of a remote island. He has been able to do this because he brings with him special powers. With these he organizes a life for himself, gets the local inhabitants (Ariel and Caliban) to work for him, and maintains his control by a combination of painful force or threats of force, wonderful spells, and promises of freedom some day. In taking charge of a place which is not his and in exerting his European authority over the strange non-European creatures, compelling them to serve him and his values, Prospero, so the argument runs, is obviously a symbol for European colonial power, with which England was growing increasingly familiar during Shakespeare's lifetime. The key figure in this treatment of the play naturally is Caliban, the island native who regards himself as the rightful owner of the place, who is forced against his will to serve Prospero and Miranda, and who constantly proclaims his unwillingness to do so. Initially, Prospero extends to Caliban his European hospitality, teaches him language, and, in return, is shown all the natural resources of the island by Caliban, in an act of love. But Caliban refuses to live by Prospero's rules, tries to rape Miranda (he still wants to), and their relationship changes to one of master and slave. The gift of language, Caliban now says, is good only because it enables him to curse. Prospero may control Caliban (with painful torments), but he has not vanquished his resistance. For Prospero, the main problem with Caliban is that he is incapable of being educated (although Caliban's command of beautiful poetry might make us wonder about that). ...read more.


The experience of potential displacement and exclusion is clearly intensified in certain locations and situations, such as national borders, immigration control, social security structures. In such situations both physical spaces (the spaces of bureaucracy, the spaces of newsmedia, the negotiation of public space and private space) are intimately linked with language and the individual's abilities to negotiate languages of all types - from sign-systems to 'body-language' codes, to language groups. In The Tempest both Caliban and Miranda are displaced - the former through the effects of 'colonisation' , the latter through exile and separation. In Tempest(s) the characters of Caliban and Miranda are shown as a single shifting identity that may be recognised in each of us as individuals, and in the everyday social and cultural interactions we are involved with. The coherence and status of the dramatic character (at least in classical terms) is displaced with each performer as both Caliban and Miranda negotiating the projected images that are the illusions and power structures (happy families, ideal homes, social controls and legislation) of a disembodied Prospero, sometimes duplicating, sometimes subverting , always representing and merging with the 'live' presence of the performers. Ariel is the (sometime reluctant, sometime willing) agency of Prospero's authority and its idealisations in the form of the mechanics of projection. .Tempest(s) was created with a group of people from very diverse ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds who, in proposing that the process and dynamics of theatre and performance parallels and interacts with the dynamics and operations of the contemporary world, recognised that theatre and performance do not simply reflect the world through establishing an 'other scene' or fictional world through which the relationships of the real world can be read. Renaissance Contexts of William Shakespeare's The Tempest (1611) Neoplatonism, collective designation for the philosophical and religious doctrines of a heterogeneous school of speculative thinkers who sought to develop and synthesize the metaphysical ideas of Plato. ...read more.


He frees a spirit named Ariel from a spell and in turn makes the spirit his slave. He also enslaves a native monster named Caliban. These two slaves, Caliban and Ariel represent the theme of nature verses nature. Caliban is considered the illustration of the wild, a beast of nature. During the first meeting, Caliban comes across as very savage and immoral. Prospero, when approaching Caliban s lair, says disdainfully, ...[he] never/Yields us kind answer, meaning Caliban never responds with respect. Once Prospero reaches the cave he calls out and Caliban harshly retorts, There s wood enough within. This short reply reveals the bitterness he feels from leading his life as a slave. This attitude makes Caliban appear to be an valueless servant. There is also an extreme anger on the part of Caliban towards Prospero. When he is requested to come forward, Caliban answers, As wicked dew e er my mother brushed/With raven s feather from unwholesome fen/Drop on you both!...And blister you all o er! Although his actions may be justified they are still considered improper for a servant. Previous to Prospero s arrival on the island, Caliban was his own ruler. His mother, Sycorax, left the island to him. Regardless, Prospero took charge of the island and imprisoned Caliban. ...Thou strok st me...I loved thee... is a portion of a quote that portrays the relationship Caliban felt towards Prospero prior to be enslaved. Prospero was his teacher, he taught Caliban to speak and in return Caliban showed him the island, The fresh springs, brine pits, barren place and fertile... Rightfully so Caliban regrets helping Prospero, near the end of his speech he says, Cursed be I that did so! Caliban s imprisonment his why he feels this way. However, the attempted rape of Prospero s daughter, Miranda, is the direct cause of the enslavement. This crime appeals to the reader as a good cause for punishment, but Shakespeare also illustrates that Caliban deserves sympathy, instead of disgust. Caliban committed a crime that deserved punishment, but he was not raised in society so therefore did not know ...read more.

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