The Tempest Essay
The Tempest by William Shakespeare was written in the 17th century, a time where exploration and colonialism were of high priority in Europe and the people were fascinated with the discovery of new lands. In the play, Propsero, once the Duke of Milan, resides on a remote island in the Caribbean with his daughter Miranda where he has spent many years ever since his brother Antonio dethroned him. Prospero possesses magical powers which allow him to control the entire island. Caliban, the only native to the island, exchanged his knowledge of the land for the knowledge of language. Prospero takes advantage of his inherit powers and makes Caliban his slave. The story begins when Prospero uses his magic to coordinate a storm called, The Tempest, which causes a shipwreck that leaves his brother Antonio and the rest of the crew abandoned on the same island. All members of the ship end up in different areas of the island. Assuming it is unsettled, the characters become power hungry and aim towards ruling the island themselves until they find out the daunting news that Prospero resides there. This play addresses colonization and prejudice towards the indigenous people, the dependance of the native people to the survival of the colonizer, and can relate to today's endeavors the West has in the Middle East.
In this play, Prospero's dominance over Caliban is evident. Although Caliban is an aggressive and defiant slave, Prospero's unquestionable power and magical capabilities leave Caliban helpless to defend himself or refuse an order that is mandated upon him. Caliban complains that despite introducing Prospero and Miranda to the island, Prospero has treated him terribly compared to when they first met.
This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother,
Which thou takest from me. When thou camest first,
Thou strokedst me and madest much of me, wouldst give me
Water with berries in't, and teach me how
To name the bigger light, and how...
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