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Colonization and The Tempest

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Dominic Avelluto

on 26 September 2014

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Transcript of Colonization and The Tempest

Background and Summary
Language and Culture Invasion
(or basically how Prospero screwed over Caliban)
History That We Know (or at least should)
The historical background that is essential:
Columbus' discovery of the new world preceded The Tempest by over 100 years
Knowledge of natives in the "New World" was existent in Shakespeare's time
Situations as presented in The Tempest such as enslavement and trouble at sea were consistent with the knowledge collected and shared by Columbus after his "discovery"
Ecology and Resourcing the Island of Caliban and Sycorax
The Enslavement of Others (prime to the idea of calling land one's own!)
Mapping Colonization In
The Tempest
By Dominic Avelluto and Bridgette Befort

The basic idea behind colonization in the play,
The Tempes
t, is the wonder and power that can be experienced through finding "new" land and calling it one's own. Shakespeare explains colonization in
The Tempest
by introducing the ideas of language, culture, ecology, and enslavement. Meanwhile,we also learn that much of history may have influenced Shakespeare's play by drawing from common sense about major historical events and their impact on natives of the "New World".
In the Act I, Scene ii we see that Prospero and Miranda had taken a great hold over Caliban, a native islander that simply had no choice be to learn their language and thus be "enlightened" by their civilized thought:
"You taught me language, and my profit on’t
Is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!" (I.ii.366–368) Caliban
Prospero and Miranda took Caliban under their wing when they first arrived on the island and tried to civilize him, but it simply backfired
In Conclusion...
Thank You!
The best example in which enslavement is discovered in
The Tempest
is seen through Prospero's treatment of Caliban and Ariel:
Caliban-"the native"
He is subjugated by Prospero and Miranda, and then by Stephano and Trinculo
He is forced into menial labor because he believes the foreigners have power over him
He remains Prospero's slave at the end of the play
He is first locked away by Sycorax, Caliban's mother
He is freed by Prospero, but the subjugated by Prospero
Prospero enslaves using manipulation and obligation
Ariel is freed at the end of the play-
The difference between Caliban and Ariel is that Caliban is an actual enslaved by Prospero while Ariel is more of an indentured servant
The characters in the play only see and use the island for its resources
Prospero and Miranda use the island for what it is worth and do not think of it in any other ways
In the play, using "wood" is talked about all of the time
But Caliban and his mother Sycorax did the same thing
When Caliban meets up with Stephano and Trinculo he promises to take them where all of the island's resources are
When colonies are started, nature begins to be seen as and used as a means of profit
The Tempest
focuses a lot on the effects of colonization on both the colonized and the colonizing
Colonies function on the power of the colonizing
Colonies are frequently detrimental on the colonized as shown in the characters of Caliban and Ariel
Colonies not only affect people, but also nature and resources
The Tempest
by William Shakespeare
Images from google image have source attached to url*
Full transcript