Colonial Language, Behavior and Identity Formation in Two Tempests

Topics: The Tempest, Colonialism, Caliban Pages: 3 (1187 words) Published: March 20, 2013
Colonial language, behavior and identity formation in Two Tempests
Shakespeare in his last work, The Tempest tells the story of Proespero, the duke of Milan who is exiled to an island. The conflicts throughout the play arise from the desire of power over nature and people. Prospero overtakes the power from the native people on the land and is fighting for his title; that has been stolen by his brother. The influence of colonization is present in The Tempest, and is demonstrated in the characters Caliban and Ariel; who become Prospero’s servers in order to get free. Cesaire writes A Tempest, based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, to help the reader understand its message better. The theme remains the same, but Cesaire emphasizes more deeply on the characters Caliban and Ariel. Cesaire presents them as people of the new world, who are under the influence of a foreign power, Prospero. Cesaire presents Caliban and Ariel with slightly different characteristics as Shakespeare, showing the important role of their language, behavior and actions.

The very first change that Cesaire made in A Tempest we can see at the beginning of the play where the author mentions Ariel as a mulatto slave and Caliban as a black slave. Their change in color is significant because Cesaire expresses the post-colonial influence on the characters. The example of colonization is presented by a white conqueror, Prospero, who takes over the native people on the island, Caliban and Ariel.

The two Characters, Caliban and Ariel are described differently in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Cesaire’s A Tempest. A Tempest is a post-colonial writing, and Cesaire forms his characters with stronger and more significant characteristics. Caliban’s personality becomes more important than in Shakespeare’s play. In The Tempest, Caliban is an insolent, uneducated slave who is controlled through magic by Prospero, while in A Tempest; he becomes an aggressive and defined black man. In The Tempest, we can see...
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