In what ways can "The Tempest" be read as colonial literature? Compare real history with Shakespeare's text.

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In what ways can “The Tempest” be read as colonial literature? Compare real history with Shakespeare’s text

        The Tempest is Shakespeare’s last play written before his retirement from play writing.  The Tempest is considered to be a tragi-comedy play and it is the only play in which Shakespeare opens the story to the audiences own interpretations.  The Tempest is the story about Prospero the Duke of Milan who, together with his daughter Miranda, were cast out of his kingdom by his own brother Antonia who wanted to take over his dukedom.  Antonia, along with Alonso, King of Naples, wanted both Prospero and Miranda dead, but with the help of Prospero’s councilor Gonzalo, they managed to land safely on an island in Bermuda.  Prospero and Miranda lived on the island with a spirit helper called Ariel.  On the island there also lived a savage native called Caliban who would later become Prospero’s slave.  Prospero wanted to take revenge on his brother Antonio and Alonso King of Naples, so he used his magic to create a storm to shipwreck them on the same island as Prospero.

        Historical inspirations for The Tempest can be rooted to a book written by William Strachey in 1610 called A True Reportory of the Wrack.  In this book which was written many years before the play, was a story about a fleet of ships that were separated during a storm; the ships were sent by the Virginia Company on a voyage to Virginia.  The flagship got separated and landed in Bermuda.  People first thought Bermuda was a haunted place but the sailors that were stranded there found out is was anything but haunted and scary; it was a very beautiful and serene place.  A rebellion ensued when some of the sailors wanted to stay and live on the island when others were about to leave on their rebuilt ship.  As The Tempest has historical roots within this book, it then can be read as colonial literature with regards to the New World (the Americas) as the beginnings of British colonialism as being the best example in comparing real history to Shakespeare’s text.

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The Tempest reflects Shakespeare’s view on colonialism as well as on the settlers and the natives through the characters and the way there treat one another.  For example, Prospero can represent the European settlers who come to a new land and take what they want.  Caliban on the other hand represents the natives of that land who were exploited by the settlers.  Prospero uses Caliban as a slave and sometimes threatens Caliban into compliance; this represents how the settlers treated the natives.  It is also believed that Caliban is the first representation of native Indians in literature. 

        Prospero ...

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