The Tempest

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A Tempest was written by Aimé Césaire in 1969. This play is based on The Tempest by William Shakespeare. The play revolves around the theme of European colonization; however, other controversial issues such as racism can be found throughout it. Racism can be defined as “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others” (dictionary.com). According to The Ball Curve: Calculated Racism and the Stereotype of African American Men, “In America, the most zealous proponents of racism profess that those of European descent are superior to African-Americans. They postulate that those of European descent alone have been endowed with the capacities necessary to bring about civilization” (104). America has had a long history of racism. It was and continues to be a part of the American society. For many years it has been Whites versus African-Americans, or a them against us kind of idea. Racism has caused African-Americans: to fight, to be killed, to be treated unjust and to feel less than, amongst other things. Prospero is the main character in the play. He was once the duke of Naples, but he was dethroned by his brother. He ended up on an island occupied by Caliban, a Black man. He taught Prospero the land and then became Prospero’s slave. In his play A Tempest, Césaire addressed African-American stereotypes of racism through his characters Prospero and Caliban. In Act I, Scene 2, Césaire first introduced the readers to racism. Caliban and Prospero were arguing with one another. Caliban accused Prospero of being a thief and Prospero charged Caliban of being ungrateful. Prospero: “….I educated, trained, dragged up from bestiality that still clings to you. Caliban: “You didn’t teach me a thing!....And as for your learning, did you ever impart any of that to me? No, you took care not to....
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