The Tempest Exposes The Issue Of Colonialism English Literature Essay
Postcolonial critics ‘develop a position [ aˆ¦ ] whereby provinces of marginality, plurality and perceived ‘Otherness ‘ are seen as beginnings of energy and possible alteration. ‘ William Shakespeare ‘s The Tempest exposes the issue of colonialism. ‘Colonialism is the edifice and maintaining of settlements in one district by people from another district. ‘ Postcolonial unfavorable judgment ‘is a specifically post-modern rational discourse that consists of reactions to, and analysis of, the cultural bequest of colonialism. ‘ This essay will discourse a post-colonial attack to colonialism in The Tempest in relation to the position that the character Caliban represents American Indians or the ‘Other ‘ .
Caliban is dehumanised in the drama as he is invariably referred to as a ‘monster ‘ in different ways: ”servant-monster, ‘ ‘brave monster, ‘ ‘man-monster ‘ or merely ‘monster ‘ unqualified. ”[ 2 ]The word ‘servant ‘ refers to the impression that Caliban is a slave for Prospero. A slave is seen to be dehumanised as they do non possess the same free will as other worlds: ‘And the point is to place him with a sort of subhuman monster imagined in Europe even before the find of ruddy work forces in America [ aˆ¦ ] ‘[ 3 ]The position that Caliban does non possess free will stress his ‘Otherness ‘ in comparing to other powerful characters in the drama such as Prospero.
Caliban ‘s dehumanization is farther highlighted when he is called a ‘savage adult male ‘ .[ 4 ]The word ‘savage ‘ implies Caliban ‘s low position. His dehumanization is farther shown through his excess sexual powers: ‘ [ aˆ¦ ] in the incubuss of Mediterranean humanists, had been endowed with sexual powers immensely in surplus of their ain. ‘[ 5 ]His low position and excess sexual powers further emphasize his ‘Otherness ‘ in contrast to other characters with a high position and ordinary powers of a human such as Miranda.
In effect to being treated as an ‘Other ‘ , Caliban retaliates by trying to ravish Miranda. Prospero says:
I have used thee,
Filth as thou art, with human attention, and lodged thee
In mine ain cell boulder clay thou didst seek to go against
The award of my kid.
Prospero asserts he treated Caliban with ‘human attention ‘ by accepting him into his ‘own cell ‘ although he was inferior ‘filth ‘ to him. However he attempted to ‘violate ‘ Miranda ‘s ‘honor ‘ by trying to ravish her. A girl ‘s honor to a male parent is cherished so Caliban utilizations it as a tool of retaliation:
He becomes therefore the first nonwhite raper in white adult male ‘s literature, ascendant of countless Indian warriors and lurking niggas who have threatened of all time since in print, every bit good as on phase and screen, the delicate award of their oppressors ‘ girls. ‘[ 6 ]
Caliban ‘s ‘marginality ‘ is a ‘source of energy ‘ for retaliation of the subjugation of slaves which empowers Caliban. Although Caliban seeks retaliation on Prospero, his dehumanization continues as he is described as a ‘devil, a born Satan, on whose nature/Nurture ne’er can lodge. ‘ The noun ‘devil ‘ implies he is an evil animal which must be punished by force as he will ne’er larn to be good. ‘And it is his irreclaimable prurience which, as both Prospero and Miranda insist, condemns him to eternal bondage, since, incapable of being educated by virtuousness, he must be controlled by force. ‘[ 7 ]The audience is made cognizant how powerless the ‘Other ‘ is to their oppressors.
Racism is apparent in the drama as Miranda says to Caliban: ‘But thy vile race, /Though 1000 didst learn, had that i n’t which good natures/Could non stay to be with. ‘ The adjectival ‘vile ‘ suggests an immorality, unpleasant race. She asserts that even though he could larn, it is because of his race that he can ne’er be good. Caliban responds in a moving manner:
And showed thee all the qualities o ‘ Thursday ‘ isleaˆ¦ .
Cursed be I that did so! …
The usage of the eclipsiss and exclaiming grade highlight Caliban ‘s choler as the eclipsiss provide a interruption in the beat of the address and so erupts the powerful statement ‘Cursed be I that did so! ‘ to emphasize his choler with himself of of all time swearing his to-be oppressors. ‘There is, furthermore, a sort of music in Caliban ‘s address, one is tempted to state ‘natural beat, [ aˆ¦ ] ‘[ 8 ]The interruption in beat is an illustration of the interruption in repose in Caliban ‘s character due to his oppressors intervention of him.
Caliban remembers the alternate universe of freedom in which he dreams of and wants non to be woken from:
Be non afeared. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet poses that give delectation and injury non.
Sometimes a 1000 twangling instruments
Will hum about my ears, and sometimes voices,
That, if I so had waked after long slumber,
Will do me kip once more. And so, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and demo wealths
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,
I cried to woolgather once more
The usage of senses illustrates Caliban ‘s imaginativeness to the audience as he describes what he hears: ‘a thousand twangling instruments ‘ , what he feels: ‘sweet poses ‘ and what he sees: ‘The clouds methought would open and demo wealths ‘ . The word ‘cried ‘ in the last line of the transition is a powerful reactive human emotion in which he humanised one time once more. ‘Once awakened from the long dream of crude life, fallen out of the female parent into the universe of the male parent, there is no falling back into that ultra-uterine slumber, merely the hope for another sort of felicity, a new freedom on the farther side of bondage. ‘[ 9 ]This dream of an alternate universe is a human reaction to get away the rough effect of being ‘marginal ‘ .
The yearning for freedom is besides seen when Caliban sings while he is intoxicated:
No more dikes I ‘ll do for fish.
Nor fetch in firing
Nor scraping trencher, nor wash dish.
‘Ban, ‘Ban, Caliban
Has a new master-Get a new adult male.
Freedom, flower! Heyday, freedom! Freedom,
The repeat of ‘nor ‘ , ‘freedom ‘ and ‘heyday ‘ , the initial rhyme of ‘fish ‘ , ‘fetch ‘ and ‘firing ‘ and rimes at the terminal of each line are all poetic devices used in the vocal which is something new as the first colored American verse form: ‘Particularly in its Whitmanian long last lines-howled, we are told by the two mocking European buffoons who listen-he has created something new under the Sun: the first American verse form. ‘[ 10 ]Caliban ‘s dream of alteration flickers ‘potential alteration ‘ in what is considered to be ‘American ‘ .
Caliban ‘s inebriation adds temper to the drama when Stephano and Trinculo come to deliver Caliban. They exit ‘reeling ripe ‘ and vaticinating that they will stay ‘pickled everlastingly. ‘[ 11 ]At the terminal of the drama, Caliban says: ‘What a thrice-double ass/Was I, to take this rummy for a God. ‘ Before in the drama, he said: ‘That ‘s a brave God, and bears heavenly spirits, ‘ His realization of how he acted while rummy is humorous for the audience as he becomes ‘the first drunken Indian in Western literature. ‘[ 12 ]The characters ‘ ‘Otherness ‘ is a beginning of energy for the audience as they are amusing.
As in the instance of colza explained before in the essay, Caliban ‘s marginality has caused force. Caliban wishes to assail his oppressor ‘with a log/ Batter his skull, or paunch him with a interest, / Or cut his weasand with thy knife. ‘ The violent verbs ‘batter ‘ . ‘paunch ‘ and ‘cut ‘ daze the audience with the rough imagination used. At this point in the drama, Caliban ‘s unagitated nature is non seen but merely a violent animal is shown. Again, the effect of his marginality has propelled his energy for force.
However, Caliban believes his strongest arms are his books as it is referred to many times in his addresss: ‘Having foremost seized his booksaˆ¦Remember/First to possess his books, for without them/He ‘s but a sotaˆ¦Burn but his books. ‘ The importance of literature is prioritised in the repeat of the word ‘first ‘ and their holiness is emphasised as he refuses to fire any books. He believes this arm will make an ideal universe which will eliminate ‘all authorization and all civilization, a universe everlastingly without slaves and buffoons ‘ .[ 13 ]Caliban emphasises the power of literature to potentially alter the universe.
The feeling of disaffection due to being the ‘Other ‘ is revealed in the repeat of the adjectival ‘strange ‘ throughout the drama: ‘strange sleepiness, ‘ ‘strange animal, ‘ ‘strange music, ‘ ‘strange Shapes, ‘ ‘strange stare, ‘ ‘strange story’- all climaxing in Alonso ‘s description of Caliban: ‘This is a unusual thing as e’er I looked on. ‘ Here, we can see that about every facet of the drama is ‘strange ‘ in some manner. There is no sense of belonging felt by any of the characters.
In the most general sense, furthermore, both the Old World of Apollonius and the New World of Caliban are universes inhabited by terrorizing and hostile aliens, or conversely, 1s in which the outcast European feels himself a alien in a unusual land.[ 14 ]
In this sense, all the characters in the drama can be called as the ‘Other ‘ and no 1 belongs to the land the drama is set in.
However, in another sense, Prospero is shown to hold taken Caliban ‘s island. Prospero provinces: ‘Here in this island we arriv ‘d ‘ while Caliban claims: ‘This island ‘s mine, by Sycorax my mother/ Which thou tak’st from me ‘ The repeat of the noun ‘island ‘ emphasises the topic of the drama as Prospero ‘arrives ‘ at the island ‘taking ‘ it from Caliban. Prospero ‘s claim mirrors the ‘crucial yearss of the relationship between the Europeans and the island ‘s dwellers ‘ . ( Palmer, p.204 ) Prospero is seen as the ‘Other ‘ in which his energy is a beginning of alteration to the island by trying to govern it.
The thought of the ‘Other ‘ being perceived as a slave is further emphasised by Caliban ‘s statement that he agreed to hold Prospero as his ‘King ‘ but was deceived. ‘Which first was mine ain King ‘ , now protests that ‘here you sty me/ In this difficult stone, pieces you do maintain from me/ The remainder o’th’island ‘ . The contrast of the beginning and terminal of the narrative is shown in the contrast of these two statements. At first he saw Prospero as a King but is now against a ‘hard stone ‘ . Caliban ‘recalls the initial common trust which was broken by Prospero ‘s premise of the political control made possible by the power of his thaumaturgy. ‘ ( Palmer, p.205 ) Prospero ‘s premise that thaumaturgy has enabled his control over Caliban is the beginning of energy to enslave Caliban.
This captivity is further emphasised by the statement: ‘We can non lose him: he does do our fire, / Fetch in our wood, and serves in offices/ That profit us ‘ The words ‘fire ‘ and ‘word ‘ symbolise one of the bare necessities of life which is heat. This once more mirrors the European and dwellers ‘ relationship. ‘Through its very occlusion of Caliban ‘s version of proper beginnings, Prospero ‘s disavowel is itself performative of the discourse of colonialism, since this peculiar reticulation of denial of eviction with retrospective justification for it, is the characteristic figure of speech by which European colonial governments articulated their authorization over land to which they could hold no imaginable legitimate claim. ‘ ( Palmer, p.206 ) Caliban ‘s significance highlights the importance of the ‘Other ‘ as a beginning of energy.
The menace of the ‘Other ‘ to upset possible alteration is shown in Prospero ‘s disconnected halt that he ‘had forgot the disgusting confederacy Of the animal Caliban and his Confederates Against my life: the minute of their secret plan Is about come. ‘ His fright is farther shown in the conversation between Ferdinand and Miranda:
Ferdinand: ‘This is unusual ; your male parent ‘s in some passion That works him strongly.
Miranda: Never till this twenty-four hours Saw I him touch ‘d with choler, so distemper ‘d.
The noun ‘beast ‘ high spots Prospero ‘s fear of Caliban and Caliban ‘s consequence on Prospero is described through phrases such as ‘works him strongly ‘ or with ‘passion ‘ or ‘touch ‘d with choler ‘ or ‘distemper ‘d ‘ to underscore the size of his choler towards Caliban. ‘So while, on the face of it, Prospero has no trouble in covering with the assorted menaces to his domination, Caliban ‘s rebellion proves unambiguously upseting to the smooth flowering of Prospero ‘s secret plan. ‘ ( Palmer, p.207 )
The postcolonial attack that provinces of marginality, plurality and perceived ‘Otherness ‘ are seen as beginnings of energy and possible alteration can heighten my apprehension of The Tempest in different ways. The impression that the character Caliban is seen as the ‘Other ‘ channels his energy through force to avenge his oppressor. Shakespeare warns the audience of possible effects of subjugation. However, this beginning of energy due to the ‘Otherness ‘ of Caliban ‘s character can hold a positive consequence on the audience through temper. His failing compared to his oppressors prompt the audience to sympathize with his composure character which encourages possible alteration in colonialism today.