tempcolon Confronting Colonialism and Imperialism in Aime Cesaire's A Tempest

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Confronting Colonialism in A Tempest

A Tempest by Aime Cesaire is an attempt to confront and rewrite the idea of colonialism as presented in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. He is successful at this attempt by changing the point of view of the story. Cesaire transforms the characters and transposes the scenes to reveal Shakespeare’s Prospero as the exploitative European power and Caliban and Ariel as the exploited natives. Cesaire’s A Tempest is an effective response to Shakespeare’s The Tempest because he interprets it from the perspective of the colonized and raises a conflict with Shakespeare as an icon of the literary canon.

In The Tempest by William Shakespeare one might argue that colonialism is a reoccurring
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Prospero, Trinculo and Stephano seek power assuming that no one will be able to triumph over them. Prospero later supports the theme of colonialism when he introduces the idea for Miranda and Ferdinand to go back to Europe and rule. This relates to the external influence that Europe had on the colonized areas although some leaders withdrew from the island. This adds to the controversy of colonization in The Tempest.

The primary reason that colonization in The Tempest has become controversial is because Shakespeare directly relates it to reforming the “savage” natives of a land that is undiscovered by Europeans. It has also been suggested that Shakespeare’s The Tempest was directly influenced by a publication and three pamphlets that were widely known and were circulating during the time that The Tempest was written that give a detailed account on a storm that prevented the arrival of colonists to Virginia in 1609 (Hawkes). The “Sea Adventure” was a fleet that carried the admiral Sir John Somers and the future governor of Virginia Sir George Somers and was separated from the other eight ships by a fierce storm off the coast of Bermuda. This relates to Shakespeare’s The Tempest in that the ship had Alonso, king of Naples and Ferdinand the prince of Naples along with other noblemen. The Tempest also relates to the story of the “Sea Adventure” by the description of the island that the shipwrecked men land in. William Strachey, who writes the letter about the

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