tempcolon The Theme of Colonization in The Tempest Essay

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The Theme of Colonization in The Tempest

Colony-A member or inhabitant of a colony. A body of emigrants who settle in a remote region but remain under the control of a parent country. --Webster's Dictionary

Can Prospero be defined as a type of colonist? He does, after all, impose his presence onto an island already inhabited by somebody else, take over control and enslave his predecessor, while at the same time still remaining under the control of his native land. If Prospero represents the colonist, or the white man, then Caliban serves as his counterpart in this discussion. Critics have argued in the past that The Tempest's representation of Caliban relates Caliban to the black man, because Caliban, like
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Caliban argues against Porpsero's story about Prospero's arrival on the island and Caliban's right as heir to the island, but Caliban does not deny his attempt to rape Miranda. The only thing, oddly enough, the two men do not fight about is the encounter with Miranda, because Caliban accepts the charge. Paul Brown states: "The issue here is not whether Caliban is actually a rapist or not, since Caliban accepts the charge" (p. 221). Caliban's acceptance of the charge is important to understand when interpreting the play. A particular article Griffiths calls "a standard deviance of Caliban" speaks of the rape as "an offence, an unpardonable offence, but one that he was fated to commit" (166) and also states that Calibanis unlucky, subjugated, and mistreated and "like all these lower peoples, easily misled." This suggests that sexual aggression is linked with a type of low inherent quality, a view that supports racist knowledge. Depending on the context in which this play is analyzed, it appears that different critics feel differently about Caliban and his "inferior" nature as the savage, uncivilized beast. However, what is apparent is the fact that he, like many colonized individuals, does not completely agree with his colonizer and often questions Propsero's stories and ideals. Nevertheless, Caliban still performs his duties for Prospero, because he has no choice. These actions and ideas relate Caliban again to

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