Wednesday, February 13, 2019

European Colonialism and Imperialism in Shakespeares The Tempest Essay

European Colonialism and Imperialism in Shakespeares The tempestWilliam Shakespeares play The Tempest reveals how ideologies of racial otherness served to legitimize European remote hegemony in Elizabethan England. In the Elizabethan/ Jacobean dates of England there were many pertinent ideologies relevant to this play. In examining the values and ideologies this text endorses and challenges, the society of the time (Elizabethan England), and a knowledge of how it operated serves a great purpose in analyzing these relationships. As in many texts of this time, Shakespeare is endorsing many ideologies of his time, and, although many have labelled him ahead of his time in many respects in his piece of music, he is, essentially writing from the Elizabethan or Jacobean point of view and time. The Tempest endorses the inequitable relationships between races based upon the belief of European superiority. The representation of race and ethnicity in The Tempest reveals a text that is awash with imperialistic European ideologies. In a play which usurpation is a dominant theme, Shakespeare endorses Prosperos annexation of the island and its aboriginal population. The representation of Caliban and his brother Sycorax reveals the extent to which racist and sexist ideologies function to maintain the balance of former in the hands of a small, ruling, elite. Indeed, it should be noted that The Tempest is more than a simple play. Rather, it is a complex and multi-layered literary construction. As it cannot be reduced to the single get it on of race to investigate the imbalance of power in the play. Attention must be given to the way paternal notions of gender inform racial representations in order to understand the imbalances of power i... .... An investigation into the imbalance of power in the play reveals the ideologies of race and gender that drive the power kinetics of the play. The construction of the inferior nature of non-European characters is firmly grounded in imperialist, European and patriarchal values. The Tempest presents the appropriation of the island and its inhabitants by Prosperos imperial patriarchal regime as entirely natural and inevitable, based upon the inherent lower rank of the original population. In doing so, the play is a precise repetition of imperialist rhetoric, which legitimizes European annexation of other lands and peoples over which they have no allow claim. Bibliography/ Works Cited Shakespeare, W. The Tempest. Ed. Sutherland, J.R. (1990) G. Wilson Knight, (1932) The Shakespearean Tempest, Oxford B. Thompson, (1995) Notes on The Tempest

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