Essay about Discrimination Exposed in The Tempest

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Discrimination Exposed in The Tempest

Within ‘The Tempest’ there are obvious social implications regarding the hierarchy, with the representations of characters such as Caliban, Prospero etc. During Shakespeare's time social classification was much more rigid than today and some members of society were considered superior to other members. Shakespeare attempts to provide an example of this rigid social structure. Shakespeare illustrates how superior men differentiated themselves from lesser beings on the basis of race, financial status, and gender. Through the characterization of Prospero, Shakespeare provides an example of one, who had reason to feel superior, yet treated others equally and with the respect due to them.
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In this culture, because someone is different, they are less of a human than you.

The notion of ones financial status also plays a major role in social classification. During the period in which ‘The Tempest’ is set, Dukes and Earls, or others known as the noble classes, were considered to be superior even to other members of their own race. This is perhaps reflected in the way in which nobles had servants and commoners who worked for them. Shakespeare shows us an example of this with the relationship between his characters of Sebastian and Antonio and of the Boatswain and the sailors. Sebastian yells at the sailors

"A pox o' your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!"

(Shakespeare I,i,40-41),

This perhaps implies that they are inferior and are there to serve him. Antonio also shows he believes himself superior by stating to the Boatswain

"Hang, cur! Hang, you whoresom, insolent, noise-maker. We are less afraid to be drowned than thou art."

(Shakespeare I,i,43-45)

These men were of the same skin color, hair texture, and eye color, but were treated inferior due to their financial status and therefore "inferior" blood line.

Women had also fallen victim to this hierarchical society. During this era women were considered to be objects and were treated as property. Shakespeare presents this in the
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