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"The role of the teacher can often be a negative one" discuss…

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Tuesday, 13 May 2003 Jad Salfiti A2 English Literature "The role of the teacher can often be a negative one" discuss... The definition of a teacher is one who teaches or instructs; one whose business or occupation is to instruct others; an instructor; a tutor. The Tempest was written in 1611, following the discovery of the Bermudas and the colonisation of Ireland, during what is known as the Jacobean period. King James I resided over the throne. The most important themes are language and power: or to blend the two word power. The Tempest can be viewed as an allegory for power. The institution or individual that controls language: controls society. Prospero has a great control of language; his magical powers and intellect separate him from the other characters within the play. Prospero's magical powers signify his 'academic ascendancy' and he becomes the teacher figure within the play. Prospero emerges as the most obvious teacher within The Tempest. He was a scholar in Milan and he imposes his intellectualism on his daughter. This shows the chain of transmission of knowledge. Miranda is educated and empowered by her knowledge. Miranda is under the thumb of her dictatorial father. Prospero even refers to Miranda as his "foot". ...read more.


In doing so he has made the assumption that Caliban is inferior. This stresses the recurring theme of 'hegemony', the domination of one culture over another. He says to Prospero, "Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil himself/ Upon thy wicked dam, come forth!" Prospero defends his mistreatment of Caliban saying that Caliban must be punished for attempting to rape his daughter and desiring to populate the island with little Calibans. It could be argued that Caliban achieves a different type of dignity to that of Ariel (who serves willingly) by refusing, if only sporadically, to bow before Prospero's intimidation. Caliban's forced servitude and his native status on the island have led many critics to interpret him as a symbol of the cultures occupied and suppressed by European colonialists, which are represented by the power of Prospero. Aime Cesaire's "Une Tempete" Caliban's attempted rape of Miranda is intolerable in any culture. However, it only questions Prospero's ability as a teacher, he clearly hadn't taught Caliban as well as he'd like to believe because Caliban doesn't understand his place within the island and this shows confusion, a great theme within the play. Caliban has had no experience of society apart from the love of a mother; the much missed witch Sycorax. ...read more.


Manus, however sees language in political terms, as the language of the colonisers. Maire sees language in economic terms. She ends up looking at language in aesthetic terms "nice sounds" 78. So the changes in the characters aren't static. On the one hand, Hugh teaches Manus well. He comes to realisation. Act 3, purveyors' poles political significance and intransigent attitude. Manus as a product of his father, he's a bad father because he treats Manus like a "skivvy" a "slave" "a dog's body" he's not just a victim. He's a victim of not just the British but his father like Caliban. Classical analogy. Manus' lameness because father drops him when he was drunk. He weeps when Owen returns. His treatment of the two sons is unfair. To juxtapose Prospero with the 'primitive' Caliban who is analogous to Rousseau's 'noble savage' myth exposes. Lancey views the Irish as stupid and stigmatises them. On the other hand characters such as Yolland romanticise and idealise the Irish. Gonzalo idealises them as "better than that". This is similar to Edward Said's view of the West's perception of other cultures is "Orientalism", the west, the noble savage. Either stigmatise or sentimentalise. Prospero gave Miranda the best teaching possible, whereas he failed Caliban. Miranda is an echo chamber for her father. Whereas Prospero failed Caliban. ...read more.

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