A post-colonial interpretation of The Tempest is an interpretation which has gained popularity in the latter half of the twentieth century. This particular reading of the play implies that Shakespeare was consciously making a point about colonialism in the New World in the guise of the magician, Prospero's, usurpation of Caliban, the 'slave'. It can be argued that Caliban represents the native American, whilst Prospero can be seen as the European imperialist. This interpretation calls into question values and opinions of the past. It renders Caliban in a sympathetic light and it shows increased understanding for his plight while also raising questions about Prospero's rule over the island. However, this reading is not universally accepted in modern times. One critic comments that it is "simply absurd to impose our twentieth century concern with the imperialist rape of the third world" onto The Tempest.1 In contrast to this, Stephen Greenblatt responds that it is "very difficult to argue that The Tempest is not about imperialism."2 This essay aims to show that colonialism is a major issue in the play, and although Shakespeare may not come down in outright condemnation of it, he certainly...
Colonialism was a subject easily related to by Shakespeare's contemporary audience; with James on the throne the British Empire was beginning to thrive and would soon become the largest in not only the 17th Century world, but one of the largest in history.
Colonialism in the tempest essay
For over a century, a number of critics have tried to interpret the various elements of post colonialism present .Description and explanation of the major themes of The Tempest.