Ronald Takaki’s “The Tempest in the Wilderness” Essay
The problem of racial identity remains vital in some parts of the world, even though people claim to live in the civilized racism free society. Thereby, if modern civilized people are unable to cope with racial prejudices, what we can say about England of Shakespeare times. Ronald Takaki tried to consider the problem of racial discrimination of Indians in one of his essays.
He used Shakespeare’s play The Tempest where the examples of treating Indians by English people are observed. Moreover, Ronald Takaki raises the problem that New England was formed in the conditions of constant discrimination supported with unreasonable stereotypes that gave raise to “the racialization of Indian savagery” (Takaki 907). Having read an essay by Takaki, the following words caught attention:
This process of dehumanizing the Indians developed a peculiarly New England dimension as the colonists associated Indians with the devil. Indian identity became then a matter of ‘descent’: their racial markers indicated ineradicable qualities of savagery. This social construction of race occurred within the economic context of competition over land (Takaki 907).
The information provided in the essay perfectly states that this was exactly as it was stated. Using The Tempest and other plays by Shakespeare, Ronald Takaki tried to show the examples of the attitude of the citizens of New England to Indians. The seizure of Indian property by English is seen.
To begin with, it should be mentioned that Ronald Takaki uses The Tempest by Shakespeare not by chance. This play was the first where Indian character was presented. Furthermore, the time when the play was written coincides with the important period in the history of America.
According to Takaki, the time he considers in the essay as the reference to Indian expansion was as follows, “it came after the English invasion if Ireland but before the colonization on New England, after John Smith’s arrival in Virginia but before the beginning of the tobacco economy, and after the first contacts with Indians but before full-scale warfare against them” (Takaki 893).
It is really important to consider the time period to understand why the author of the essay dwells upon racialization of savagery. This was the period when English expansionism considered “not only as an imperialism but as a defining moment in the making of an English-American identity based on race” (Takaki 893).
The racialization of savagery was the consequence of mistaken understanding of the reality, wrong conclusions, and lack of desire to evaluate the situation correctly, as it is always easier to place the stereotype on other peoples than to consider their culture, search for specific information and create new opinion.
Ireland was a colony, and English people treated them accordingly. Even the law was cruel, marriages between Irish and English were not allowed, and English apparel and weapon were also forbidden for Irish. The social structure of the society became two-levelled. Irish people were considered as savages, as cultural awareness was one of the main features which made English different from Irish.
Irish people deserved the definition ‘savages’ as in most cases they behaved accordingly. When the frontier stretched to America, Englishmen began to treat Indians the same as Irish. The parallel which was drawn was one of the main reasons to consider Indians savages, in spite of the fact that the actions of Indians differed from Irish ones.
Takaki refers to the example when the English wrongly considered Irish as only hunters (drawing a direct parallel between hunters and savages), in spite of the fact that they were good farmers (Takaki 906). Such examples are numerous and on their basis it is possible to build a theory that English colonizers did not care much about the real state of things. They have created a specific stereotype which was convenient for them that is why they did not want to ruin it.
Savagery and civilization are two notions which are constantly contrasted in the essay. Having created a wrong opinion that Indians were savages and hunters, the ability to work on the land was not considered as their common occupation, in spite of the fact that they used to be good farmers.
Having passed the law that only those people who use land can possess it, the problem of giving land to Indians has fallen down as “Indians are not able to make use of the one fourth part of the Land”(Takaki 907) according to the opinion of the English. If to consider the problem of land possession as the central one, it may be easily concluded that the authorities tried to limit the number of those who could pretend for land possession.
The economic value of land that time was really high, and the division was considered to be extremely important for many people. The more land one possessed, the more power he/she had. It was obvious that uncivilized Indians which were uneducated could be easily treated. It was necessary to set all Americans against Indians to get the necessary effect. The declaration of all Indians’ religion as “diabolical and so uncouth” (Takaki 908) was a profitable step for colonizers.
The cases of epidemic death of Indians may be considered at the actions provoked by the authorities to use the land which belonged to Indians. Still, this fact is difficult to imagine as according to the possessed information European diseases were new for Indians and the absence of immunological defences. This idea was used to make Indians more evil, to relate the case of epidemic case to God’s actions and make all people believe that Indians were as bad as were thought to be.
The problem with land and the desire of the authorities to use it in their own purposes led to the situation that many Englishmen became to consider Indians as devil tribes, always savage and violent. Now, this problem is considered to be racialization of savagery as thinking about the Indians, the native population of America, many Englishmen still consider those as savages and unable to become civilized, no matter how long they can live in the modern society.
The main problem considered in the article is the problem of stereotyping attitude to Indians and creation of wrong image with the purpose to benefit from this. Being Indians, the tribes were considered to be savages as there were no other variants, and as a result, Indians could not be civilized.
One of the main reasons for Indians to be savages was the parallel made between them and Irish. Irish deserved such definition by their actions, rude and violent, while Indians just appeared in the wrong place and the relation to Irish automatically transferred to Indians.
Takaki, Ronald. “The tempest in the wilderness: The racialization of savagery.” The Journal of American History, 79.3: 892-912.
The Tempest and the Rape of the Rock Essay
Written by William Shakespeare, Tempest is a poem that exhibits the intriguing features of humankind. The poem is set on an island and it explores the characters by giving them a chance to experiment the human nature. Through the island, Shakespeare is able to describe the themes of power while Prospero explores his leadership skills. On the other hand, the poem the rape of the lock by Alexander Pope ridicules the habits of the upper-class people.
Shakespeare uses the island to experiment human qualities of different characters in his poetry. For instance, when Prospero’s brother is forcefully evicted from kingship, he moves to the island, which is like a testing ground for him and Shakespeare uses the island to promote the theme of power.
While on the island, Prospero eventually dominates all the other people on the ship yet his brother had taken his kingship away during his reign in Milan. Shakespeare seems to nurture both the negative and positive qualities of human nature. Intellectually, Shakespeare uses the events at the island to explore betrayal that exists among kingdoms and rulers on earth.
Through the poem/island, Shakespeare highlights the observations he has made in most kingdoms. Shakespeare uses the island to provide the failures of human leadership whereby, throughout his life he has seen betrayal/fights among the royal classes. Furthermore, Shakespeare describes the sexuality and abuse of humanity that goes on in many kingdoms; for instance, Caliban has not only attempted to seduce Miranda, a young girl, but also tried to rape her.
Through the author’s voice, the reader is able to condemn the evil or betrayal of human beings in the society. Additionally, using the island to symbolize the kingdom, the author provides conspiracy that occurs in most kingdoms because Antonio and Sebastian plot to kill Prospero yet he is the ruler/owner of the island. Therefore, Shakespeare not only uses the island as a kingdom to explore his themes, but also to nurture and reveal the characters of different people, which exists in the world.
Prospero is Shakespeare’s principal character who runs for his life after his brother attempts to eliminate him and take over the kingdom (Langbaum 20). Finally, he settles in the island and calls all people to board a ship. He invites people of all classes to live with him in the island ranging from servants/maids to royal class.
Therefore, the island is a testing ground, which gives him an opportunity to learn, nurture, and provide his leadership skills that his brother overlooked. While in the island, he uses his magical power to rock a ship, which has boarded many people.
Thus, through the island he manipulates the psychology of other people to emerge as the leader (king). While on the island, he cultures his genuine qualities as a leader. Moreover, his godly like character while on the island leaves the reader to categorize his behavior as a human leader because although he and powers to stop his brother’s hostility, he leaves him to take over, and decides to move to unknown island.
In addition, while in the island, Prospero cultivates the character of his daughter by giving her reasons why the island is the apparent home for them. Therefore, the island acts as a rescue home where he experiments his leadership powers testing the people and eventually emerging as a true leader.
On the other hand, the rape of the lock is a comical poem that ridicules the elite community especially the leaders/upper class. Though holding high position in the society, the high and might let petty issues to sweep their emotions; something that connects the upper social class with the lower social class. The first people that Pope ridicules are women who are self-centered; they care so much their physical appearance rather than their morality.
For instance, though beautiful, Belinda has a wide collection of beauty accessories meant to attract men, which not only makes her outstanding, but also leads her to seek fame through competition. Pope uses trivial events like playing cards to highlight the extent that people in the society can go to seek fame. Due to envy, women are unable to protect each other; for instance, Clarissa conspires to bring down Belinda’s beauty.
Therefore, the competition for trivial things like husbands makes paints women as evil people in the society. Pope also ridicules high men in the society who take pleasure in devouring the innocent young women by sexually assaulting them. In the first stanza, section I, Pope mocks the great or upper class in the society when he says, “what mighty contest rise from trivial things” (line II par.1).
Moreover, by using the element of juxtaposition, Pope belittles the hero nature of Belinda especially when he says, “nymph shall break Diana’s law or soma frail china’s jar” (section II, stanza VII, lines 106-107). Thus, with the use of funny object or non-important things, Pope undermines the mighty in the society achieving his goal of pointing out the loss of virtues among the leaders.
In summary, both Shakespeare and Pope communicate effectively to their societies through poetry. While Shakespeare uses the island to explore his themes, Pope uses comic and juxtaposition to ridicule the elite in the society.
Langbaum, Robert. Shakespeare’s The Tempest. New York: Signet Classic, 1998.
Pope, Alexander. The rape of the rock, 2009. Web.
Comparison of Shakespeare The Tempest, T.S. Eliot The Wasteland, and Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart Essay (Critical Writing)
The Tempest is a play that involves a sea tempest that strikes a crew of men who were headed to Italy in a ship. They get scared and decide to neglect the ship since they see a potential of it being wrecked.
Prospero is a great scholar and therefore, becomes a powerful magician where Ariel is put under his service because he rescued him when he was ensnared in a tree by Sycorax, a witch. Ariel continues to be loyal to Prospero since he is promised of being freed from the airy spirit (Shakespeare 3).
Sycorax had been exiled in the island where she had lost her life before Prospero arrived there. She had a son, Caliban who is monster-like and the sole nonspiritual individual in the island prior to Prospero arrival.
Caliban guided Prospero on the survival in the island as he leant religion and foreign language from Miranda and Prospero. However, Caliban tried to rape Miranda and therefore was demanded to become Prospero’s slave causing him to grow resentment against the two, who observed him with contempt and dislike (Bloom 47).
In the opening of the play Prospero is the one who, had conjured the storm in a desire to entice his, brother Antonio and the king of Naples, Alonso. He had divined their presence in the ship nearing the island and triggers a tempest to wreck the ship (Shakespeare 25).
This divinity is manifested by a woman in The Waste Land who could read tarot cards and accurately predict the future. The crew are from Alonso’s daughter‘s wedding Claribel, who is married to King of Tunis a North African country.
The play features a North African country on a positive light just as Chinua Achebe’s Umofia village in Nigeria, which depicts cultural richness and plenty of food and peace. Chinua Achebe also incorporates use of magical or spiritual powers for divinity.
Caliban encounters Trinculo and Stephano who are drunkards supposed to have come from the moon and the three rebel against Prospero but don’t succeed. In a different setting, Prospero develops the romantic relationship between Ferdinand and Miranda who wins her love.
This worries Prospero who makes him his servant as a spy. On the other hand, Sebastian and Antonio pursue to murder Alonso as well as Gonzales for Sebastian to get the kingship. Following this, Ariel impedes them when Prospero demands so.
He becomes a harpy and reprimand then for betraying Prospero, who draws the enemies near him. Sebastian Alonso and Antonio who are the enemies appear before Prospero, who forgives them but give a warning against another act of disloyalty.
Ariel directs the entire crew through a fine weather, cruising to the Naples where Ferdinand and Miranda wed. Ariel is freed while Caliban is pardoned and the Alonso’s crew is invited to the departure party from the island. Prospero plans to keep them entertained with his encounters in the island and finally neglect his magic.
This act shows that Prospero realizes that magic cannot help him but he instead want to be freed from it. The tempest is a story line about romance and depicts Prospero as a rational being but uses magic to meet his selfish ends (Bloom 64).
Role of Women
The tempest has a sole, woman character as Miranda but it only slightly mentions Caliban’s and the daughter to Alonso named Claribel. The play does not highlight on the role of women and it depicts Miranda as a woman who has no freedom and her father requires her to hold on chastity. Therefore, she is under the submission of her father.
Even the other women mentioned in the play are under subjugation since the reader becomes aware of their existence through the eyes of men. For instance, it is through Prospero that the reader is informed of Syncorax who is Caliban’s mother through the two never met (Bloom 83). Therefore the woman is overlooked just as in Things Fall Apart.
The tempest depicts on the genre of romance, a fiction whose setting is distant from the real life. A remote island is inhabited by Prospero and Miranda, his daughter whom he desires to enhance her welfare through unjust tactics.
They have been stranded in the island for about twelve years due to the jealousness of his brother, Antonio being assisted by Alonso when they let him adrift together with Miranda who was three years at that time (Shakespeare 5).
All the same, the king’s counselor, Gonzalo had in secret stocked the boat with much food and water as well as clothing and reading materials from the library of Prospero. This is a utopian world such as that depicted by Chinua Achebe’s Things fall apart where the Igbo are segregated in their own world.
Romance genre revolves around supernatural, wander, adventure as well as invention. Their settings are in the coast and are erotic fantasy and incorporate the theme of redemption or transgression. Besides, there is losing and retrieving as wells being in exile and reuniting.
It is under the influence of tragicomedy, which is arranged in a neoclassical style. Most importantly, the play portrays a post-colonial era and involves a utopian world where there is discovery of cannibals and might be discussing on the ethical issues relating to colonialism.
This is indicated through Utopia of Gonzalo, the enslaving of Caliban and his later anger. Caliban is a natural person who cannot be detached from the natural world and this way, there might be a reflection of being under the insulation of the European influences.
Prospero is depicted as the colonizer while Ariel and Caliban are the colonized fellows. Ariel symbolizes struggle against impacts of colonization on their cultural norms (Bloom 84).
The Waste Land
The Waste Land is a poem, which portray a religious sentiment due to the rising limitless human sexuality. Sexual revolution was evident during the twentieth century yet, the poem is satirical yet prophetic on the issue.
It discusses death with statements such as “April is the cruelest month.” (Eliot & Bloom 3)In the wasteland, there is a depiction of a woman enthroned splendidly in a drawing room, which is well decorated. During the Victorian society, the immorality heightened and the poem challenges this sexual revolution.
The initial part involves a man complaining of desolation “the dead tree gives no shelter.” in the game of chess a neurotic wealthy woman is depicted and is under male subjugation, frustrated by aspects of sexuality, such as abortion and infidelity.
The fire sermon depicts meaningless sexual encounter of a typist and a contrast of Queen Elizabeth and her lover sailing in Thames River.
Death by Water is a part that depicts a fulfillment of predictions of the fortune teller while the final part depicts an impotent thunder since it is not followed by rain. A cock crow depicts rebirth but the rain, which comes on the ground as flood causes death by water which is an aspect depicted in the tempest (Miller 24).
The poem criticizes various European aspects maintaining that sexual immorality is an insult to the society. It marked various cultural and gender references though a conservative Christian point of view.
It is timely on the period following the First World War and instead of seeing the peace that was presumed in the society, the poet felt a sense of disunity and pessimism. This is similar to Achebe’s view on colonialism where European influence is negatively highlighted on the Igbo community.
The poet is disillusioned with the contemporary society’s sexual misuse. He is passionate and hateful of the moral degradation in the society and through the poem, frustration is evident and caused his ultimate nervous breakdown (Miller 43).
The feminine aristocratic figure in the burnished throne incorporates seasons and her infertility. There is a prophetic tone where there are childhood memories regarding a woman and negativistic epiphany that follows the meeting.
April should be a good breeding period after winter. This is painful since it triggers memories of the happier and fertility in the past. Winter is often regarded as time where most of activities are numb and silent preferred by many.
The childhood memories of Marie are painful since the luxurious life of pleasure has been subdued by ugly marks left after the war. Memories especially regarding the dead play an important part in the waste land. These past memories confront the present, which juxtapositions and reflect the moral degradation in the society.
Marie for instance, stays all night reading while detested politically and cannot engage in anything else. Reading is an act of the past to give way to an intelligible literary culture. Similar, memories of the past haunt Okonkwo who tries much to oppose effects of western imperialist on the village.
Following this is the unstable and satirical religious proposition where the waste land is termed as stony rubbish with ‘broken images’ (Eliot & Bloom 5). However, salvation is at hand, which gives light to new experiences. This is a prophetic stance, which scares since it is empty.
The speaker in the play is haunted by the past memories of a woman whom they had a romantic encounter. This confronts the present as the memories are luxurious with plenty of blooming flowers but a revelation that follows that depicts emptiness and gives a difference of the present and the past.
Most importantly, coherence in both situations is brought up as the emptiness of sexual degradation, where impotence is manifest. Irrespective of the pleasures experienced, there is nothing to show for it and this result to the desert waste land at hand.
The desert consideration shifts to the sea, reflecting nothingness as depicted by Tristan, who waits for Isolde for healing. However, she does not arrive since he had travelled by ship. Therefore, the ocean can offer nothing since it lacks potential to facilitate curative ability or a revelation (Miller 26).
From the third scene, transformation is evident where Madame Sosostris, a tarot reader identifies vague signs and interprets them as a prediction to be fulfilled. This use of spiritual powers is used in the Tempest by Prospero and also by the Igbo in Things fall Apart.
A drowned sailor takes a transformation of the tarot pack to meet his ends. Like The Tempest magic becomes the ultimate potency of man to fulfill his desires and injustices. This is linked to an inexpensive mysticism that is carried out by Madame Sosostris, who appears correct in her predictions.
This depicts a degraded religious mysticism where man has neglected spirituality into the modern European culture. Conversely, the Igbo have embraced Christianity to modify their living standards. Sexuality has turned sterile and meaningless. Regeneration is the only solution to the potency of the land (Miller 54).
Things fall apart
Role of women
In Chinua Achebe Things fall apart, the role of women and men are depicted as different. Women are subjugated in the Igbo village during the pre-colonial period. Males dominate the society where they degrade women through violence and they are enslaved as properties.
Besides, women engage in bearing and raising children.Using Okonkwo as the male protagonist, Things Fall Apart shows the influence of western colonization and struggle against it by Okonkwo. Okonkwo is in a dire need to fight feminine weaknesses manifested by his late father afraid to “become like a shivering old woman” (Achebe 72).
Okonkwo is also a polygamist and he violates women though beating even if they help to build his social status as a clansman in the village. Like the tempest and the wasteland, magical powers are applied in the Igbo community since Oracle of Agbala is controlled by a priestess (Achebe 56).
The pre-colonial conservative Igbo community dawns into western civilization. The Europeans introduce Christianity in the village but face resistance from natives like Okonkwo. He desires to depict his masculinity to fight the foreigners.
Instead, the white missionaries have come to the village on a good course of enlightening them through education and Christian values. In the course of manifesting his masculinity, Okonkwo kills his adopted son Ikemefuna and a boy during a funeral ceremony.
He has a stubborn male pride that resists change in Umofia. He would rather commit suicide than see himself detained under the leadership of the white man. Okonkwo’s egoistic nature and his irritability justify his foolish moves and this impetuous individualism triggers his downfall (Bloom 37).
Things Fall Apart reflects the socio-cultural situation for the Igbo in the nineteenth century as western imperialism seemed to threaten these values. Okonkwo prevents them as a village elder renowned for his successful wrestling, which gained him a lot of respect.
However, he uses his position as a clansman and his status to induce his own down fall. The native land is jealously guarded by Igbo just like in the tempest where Prospero and his crew moves from exile into the native land.
Similarly Okonkwo had been sent into exile after killing the son of a fellow kinsman but later had to return to his home in Umofia. Things start to fall apart when Okonkwo refuted the guidelines from Ezendu who demanded that the oracle requires that Okonkwo should not kill Ikemefuna by himself.
He declines and during Ezendu’s death he strikes his sixteen year old son and kills him (Achebe 67). This makes him to be sent to exile for him to be atoned. The role of women is further stresses when Uchendu, Okonkwo uncle states that;
It is true that a child belongs to his father. But when the father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother’s hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness, he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is there to protect you. She is buried there. And that is why we say that mother is supreme (Achebe 134).
Effects of Colonization
When missionaries arrive in Mbanta, a new language is introduced. With the help of the interpreter Kiaga, the village can understand the missionaries massage.
The Umofia is a North African village in a country Nigeria and the pre-colonial people are depicted as naïve and conservative. Western imperialist obstructed the way of life of these villagers, interfering with even their political setups.
The Igbo have a well-founded social setup for instance wrestling, family and religious rituals dominated by the males while a woman is confined at home
Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Oxford: Heinemann Educational Publishers, 1958. Print.
Bloom, Harold. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2010. Print.
Bloom, Harold. The Tempest. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2008. Print.
Eliot, T. S & Bloom, Harold. The Waste Land. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2007. Print.
Miller, James. T.S. Eliot’s Personal Wasteland: Exorcism of the Demons. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State Press, 1977. Print.
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Philadelphia: Classic Books Company, 2001. Print.
Narrative Techniques Used in Shakespeare’s The Tempest Essay
There is rigid difference between mimic techniques in theatrical performance and literary representation of the play. In particular, the former allows to demonstrate certain actions and convey feelings with the help of gestures, eye contact, silence, and other nonverbal patterns of behavior.
In contrast, literary presentation is narrowed to language resources, imagination, and cultural propriety, which are the only tools for understanding the boundaries between supernatural and human actions.
In this regard, Shakespeare makes use of specific narrative techniques while depicting certain actions and events in his play the Tempest. The playwright resorts to tricky narrative elements that make the play be reminiscent of palimpsest, a world of illusions and fictitious perception.
The protagonists of the play refer to different genres and stylistics decides within one discourse to underscore social subordination and concept of freedom.
A density of narrative elements used in the play creates dynamics between the character and the plot, motif and problem by including techniques implied by the sources. Those attractive variations ignite explanation and expansion.
Due to the fact that The Tempest is more typical of a “science fiction” genre, a reader expects to see a male protagonist of great intellectual gifts who appears to be isolated and who should exert all his intelligence and power to solve the problem of survival. His solitary existence, hence, is revealed in deficiency in intercourse and cooperation with other characters in the play.
Prospero is unlikely to be engage in dialogues with other characters; so, all his solutions seem to be mechanical and even robotic. While analyzing these aspects in general, it is possible to understand whether a character is a human or not, associative or reserved. More importantly, a reader can also understand the extra factors influencing characters’ actions, decisions, making contextual means a powerful literary device as well.
Protagonists of the play resort to different stylistic genres of communication revealing their social and class affiliation. This can be explicitly viewed in case of Calliban’s speaking in iambic pentameter comparing to Trinculo’s narrative in blank verse. While referring to more advanced and sophisticated verse forms, one can notice Caliban’s superiority and higher social position, which is seen in this poetical expression.
In contrast, Trinculo’s narrative is presented in mundane prose, which is typical of working class. Additionally, Caliban’s beauty of the language empowers him with greater advantage over Trinculo.
His narrative, therefore, provokes more sympathy and compassion as fight for freedom seems much more persuasive when conveyed by poetical means. In general, narrative means that both characters make use of define their social status and affiliation to a particular estate regardless of Calibain’s being enslaved by Prospero.
In conclusion, narrative techniques used in Shakespeare’s The Tempest are mostly directed at depicting character’s social affiliation, their intelligence level, and salient features.
In particular, through literary representation, it is possible to identify Prospero’s unsociability and reluctance to cooperate with other characters, Caliban’s desperate fight for freedom and rights, and Trinculo’s veritable origin and position in society.
Furthermore, using specific stylistic devices, such as allegory and metaphors, Shakespeare strives to endow the play with a shade of uncertainty, supernatural controlled by the reason. Using language resources and various densities of dialogues and discourses, the author also succeeds in providing fictitious perception of the play.
The Tempest by William Shakespeare Essay
The relationships between fathers and daughters are usually particular. This connection is greater when a father have to bring up a daughter himself. It is obvious that no matter how old a daughter is a father always considers her as a small girl who needs care and protection.
The appearance of one more man near a lovely daughter is usually considered as the attempt to still the dearest person in the world, that is why many fathers are usually against their daughters’ relationships with other men no matter how good these men are. The denial is the first reaction fathers usually experience and their desire to check a man is understood.
One of the main conditions according to which a daughter is going to be protected in the future is the strong assuredness that a daughter is in good and loving hands, protected like under the father’s care. Reading the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare, it becomes obvious that the same situation is happening among Prospero, Miranda and Ferdinand.
Starting the discussion with Prospero and Miranda it should be mentioned that living on the island, Prospero understands how cruel the surrounding world may be. However, Miranda is really naïve and cannot distract the simple problem from the real disaster.
Taking care for a daughter, Prospero is ready to create the fake problems and put the intentions of loving Ferdinand under question just to make sure that the man is ready to fight for his daughter and to win in this battle.
At the very beginning of the play Prospero says the following to Miranda,
I have done nothing but I care of thee,
Of thee, my dear one, thee, my daughter, who
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing
Of whence I am: nor that I am more better
Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell,
And thy no greater father (Shakespeare 7).
This phrase directs the further relations between Prospero, Miranda and the men who surround her. Everything Miranda knows is the merit of her farther. Being educated, polite and well bread, Miranda is a great example of an ideal daughter and a wife. It seems that father is going to be glad when she meets a person with whom they are going to live together, however, everything is absolutely different.
Trying to make sure that Miranda is going to be safe and protected, Prospero in interested in pleasing her at the island. Still, he could not predict the appearance of Ferdinand who spoiled all the dreams of the father. Each father wants their daughters to be happy, however, at the same time, many fathers are sure that their children are going to be near them all the time.
The appearance of Ferdinand on the island and the first scene where Miranda and Ferdinand meet each other seems too dangerous for Prospero. Prospero cannot trust Ferdinand and tries to check his intentions.
Prospero understands that Miranda is going to fall in love with Ferdinand as there is no another way out. A girl has been at the island for the last 12 years (since she was 15) and the natural desire of a young woman to love and to be loved is essential. However, Prospero does not want Ferdinand to get such a great woman as his daughter for free, without battles.
Prospero understands that being restricted from the whole world, Miranda is not going to reject Ferdinand’s courtship. At the same time considering his daughter as a great prize, too expensive and unique, Prospero uses his magic to force Ferdinand to suffer. Even though Miranda has never been fallen in love, she understands that she is ready to do anything for her lover,
[I weep] at mine unworthiness, that dare not offer
What I desire to give, and much less take
What I shall die to want. But this is trifling,
And all the more it seeks to hide itself
The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning,
And prompt me, plain and holy innocence.
I am your wife, if you will marry me.
If not, I’ll die your maid. To be your fellow
You may deny me, but I’ll be your servant
Whether you will or no (Shakespeare 60)
The further dialogue is the expression of the feelings where two young people exchange the desire to be together “a thousand thousand” hours (Shakespeare 60). Even though this scene presupposes that two lovers are not going to meet any difficulties, that these people are not going to suffer, Miranda’s father thinks differently.
The story of love discussed in the play is like any other love-story has to suffer greatly to have a happy end. Being able to control everything and everyone on the island, it is difficult to imagine that Prospero is not going to use an opportunity to create difficulties for the fiancé if the bride is not ready (or is not taught) to create those.
It is impossible to say whether it is the desire to make sure that all the rules are followed as when people love each other they are to be together. It seems that the author of the pay intentionally creates the sarcastic situation. Lovers can be together without any difficulties, however, the usual estate of affairs is different and there is a person who can create the complications.
Still, the lovers are predicted to be together. The author shows the reader that it is Prospero who unites two lovers to underline the fact that everything on the island is under his control.
Therefore, it may be concluded that the romantic relationships between Miranda and Ferdinand are possible only because Miranda’s father allows them. At the same time, looking at the situation from the perspective of the acknowledgeable audience, it becomes obvious that Prospero is exactly the person who has created additional circumstances on the way for lovers’ union.
Why is it necessary? Whether the desire to create the situation which usually appears is that great? Reading the final words Prospero expresses to the audience, it becomes obvious that Prospero believes himself the director of the destinies of people who surround him.
Miranda and Ferdinand’s love is neither predicted nor directed by Prospero, that is why he wants to make sure that all the occasions which happen on the island (like it was before Ferdinand and his family arrived) are caused or controlled by him.
“Our revels now are ended. These our actors…” (Shakespeare 82) are the final words in the play which support the idea of Prospero’s desire to control the whole island with people there. Therefore, the love of two people sometimes depends not on the circumstances which appear, but on people who surround them as sometimes the desire to be the main person in the lives of others may put under question the positive intentions.
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. New York: Cricket House Books LLC, 2010. Print.
Perception of Satire in Gulliver’s Travels, The Tempest, and Diderot’s Explicatory Essay
Nowadays, it became a commonplace practice among many people to refer to the play The Tempest (by William Shakespeare), the essay Supplement to the Voyage of Bougainville (by Denis Didrot) and the novel Gulliver’s Travels (by Jonathan Swift), as such that represent a particularly high literary value.
The main reason for this is that, in the discursive sense of this word, the mentioned literary masterpieces were much ahead of their time – something that can be illustrated, in regards to the fact that all three literary pieces promote the idea of intellectual enlightenment/progress, as something that has the value of a ‘thing in itself’.
What is also similar between the literary works in question, is that they do it in the thoroughly entertaining manner – namely, by the mean exposing readers to the humorous twists of the affiliated plots.
In this respect, it can also be noted that in their works, Shakespeare, Diderot and Swift did succeed in revealing the sheer erroneousness of the assumption that White people had the ‘natural right’ to exploit indigenous populations in different parts of the world, while justifying this practice by the references to the presumed ‘inferiority’ of the latter.
Thus, it will be thoroughly appropriate to suggest that the mentioned authors did contribute rather substantially towards undermining the conceptual legitimacy of the discourse of colonialism, as we know it.
This simply could not be otherwise. While utilizing humor and satire, as the instruments of making a point, Shakespeare, Diderot and Swift were able to expose the inconsistency of the euro-centric idea of the so-called ‘White man’s burden’, concerned with the assumption that the world’s indigenous peoples are essentially sub-human, and that there is nothing wrong about subjecting them to exploitation.
In my paper, I will explore the validity of this suggestion at length, while expounding on the specifics of how the authors’ humorous/satirical treatment of the euro-centric stereotype of ‘naive savage’ helps readers to broaden their intellectual horizons.
I will also expound on what can be considered the indications that, while ensuring the satirical sounding of their masterpieces, all three authors nevertheless remained well within the ideological framework of the discourse of euro-centricity.
One of the most effective methods to ensure the satirical sounding of a particular episode in the work of literature, is to overplay the idea that people are actually quite capable of not even noticing the dichotomy between how they act, on one hand, and what happened to be the set of their beliefs, as to what accounts for one’s proper behavior, on the other.
In its turn, this creates the objective preconditions for the emergence of many humorous situations, because it does entertain people a great deal to see others being utterly arrogant of their own arrogance.
Evidently enough, while working on his play The Tempest, Shakespeare remained thoroughly aware of this – something that can be illustrated, in regards to the author’s treatment of the idea of ‘naive savage’, embodied by the character of Caliban (Prospero’s ‘native’ slave).
This character is first mentioned in the scene, where Prospero admits that, despite being a powerful magician, he nevertheless is utterly depended upon physical labor of his slave:
We cannot miss him (Caliban): he does make our fire,
Fetch in our wood and serves in offices
That profit us. What, ho! slave! Caliban!
Thou earth, thou! Speak (Shakespeare 15).
The satirical overtones of this Prospero’s statement are quite clear. It is not only that the character’s presumed omnipotence does not prevent him from being exposed to the elements – due to being perceptually arrogant; Prospero does not quite understand what accounts for the relationship between causes and effects.
This is exactly the reason why it never even occurred to him that referring to someone in terms of a lowly slave, while simultaneously admitting its own inability to survive without this person’s services, is rather comical.
It is understood, of course, that the mentioned scene is highly allegorical, because it reveals what used to be the de facto state of affairs between European explorers/settles and native ‘barbarians’, during the so-called Era of Exploration.
After all, it does not represent any secret that the self-proclaimed ‘agents of progress’ from the West tended to regard ‘savages’ as being not fully human. This is the reason why, while calling Caliban derogatory names, it never even occurred to Prospero that there was anything wrong with how he proceeded to treat his ‘slave’.
This creates a strong satirical effect and consequently – prompts viewers to reassess the soundness of the assumption that there was much benefit to indigenous peoples from being exploited by Europeans.
Another notable aspect of Swift’s satire, concerned with ridiculing the euro-centric outlook on ‘naive savages’, as people who could not possibly succeed in striving to liberate themselves from the colonial oppression, is that it prompts (European) viewers to realize that the dominance of the West in its colonies is temporary.
To exemplify the validity of this suggestion, we can refer to the episode, in which Prospero accuses Caliban of indecency:
Thou most lying slave,
Whom stripes may move, not kindness!
I have used thee,
Filth as thou art, with human care, and lodged thee
In mine own cell, till thou didst seek to violate
The honour of my child (Shakespeare 17).
This accusation is quite illustrative of how Westerners used to justify their colonial practices, throughout the history – in their view, the representatives of indigenous populations were simply not capable of addressing their own ‘moral wickedness’, without being helped by Whites.
Caliban’s reply, however, implies that his current submission to Prospero is essentially incidental:
O ho, O ho! would’t had been done!
Thou didst prevent me;
I had peopled else
This isle with Calibans (Shakespeare 17).
This humorous remark, on the part of Caliban, cannot be interpreted as anything else, but as the indication of Shakespeare’s awareness that, despite not being quite as technologically advanced as Europeans, ‘naive savages’ were fertile enough to be capable of putting up an effective resistance against their oppressors.
By being exposed to The Tempest, people are also able to gain an insight into what was the main reason for indigenous peoples (represented by the character of Caliban) to end up being colonized by Whites with ease.
In order for us to prove that this indeed happened to be the case, we will need to refer to the play’s scene, in which, after having had some alcohol, Caliban proclaims Stephano his God:
That’s a brave god and bears celestial liquor.
I will kneel to him…
I’ll swear upon that bottle to be thy (Stephano’s) true subject;
For the liquor is not earthly (Shakespeare 42).
The satirical effect, triggered by this Caliban’s statement, has to do with the fact that, as we are well aware of, alcohol-influenced people do tend to act rather foolishly. There is, however, even more to it – Shakespeare strived to present Caliban as an utterly gullible individual, who could be easily manipulated.
It is understood, of course, that the playwright’s intention, in this respect, is best defined as somewhat stereotypical.
Moreover, it subtly implies that there is indeed a certain rationale for ‘savages’ to be patronized by the ‘agents of civilization’ from the West. At the same time, however, it is being suggestive of the sheer malevolence of the latter.
Nevertheless, it specifically the episode, in which drunken Caliban expresses his joy for having attained ‘freedom’ from Prospero, which contributes more than any other towards establishing him as a clearly satirical character:
No more dams I’ll make for fish
Nor fetch in firing
Nor scrape trencher, nor wash dish
‘Ban, ‘Ban, Cacaliban
Has a new master: get a new man.
Freedom, hey-day! hey-day, freedom! freedom,
hey-day, freedom! (Shakespeare 45).
As it can be seen above, the humorous sounding of this joyful remark, on the part of Caliban, derives out of the sheer incompatibility between the notions of ‘freedom’ and ‘servitude’ – something of which the concerned character appears to have been utterly unaware.
This again exposes Caliban, as someone who fits perfectly well into the classical stereotype of ‘naive savage’ – a person who, despite possessing a plenty of existential vigor, is not very bright.
Yet, the same remark implies that, rather than having always remained the integral trait of his individuality, Caliban’s naivety has been induced in him externally. Specifically, this development took place in the aftermath of the character’s encounter with the ‘celestial liquor’.
Whereas, Shakespeare’s ‘naive savage’-related satire is primarily concerned with encouraging people to think of indigenous peoples as somewhat brutish, but thoroughly resourceful individuals, the one of Denis Diderot has a different quality.
Essentially, it is about encouraging readers to contemplate the possibility for the existential mode of ‘savages’ to be superior to that of Europeans. In this respect, the Chapter 3 (The Conversation between the Chaplain and Orou) in Diderot’s essay is particularly illustrative.
In it, the Chaplain (representing Westerners) and Orou (representing Tahitian ‘savages’) indulge in the discussion about what should be considered the best way for the society to function.
The conversation between the two starts when, while wishing to express his gratitude to the Chaplain, Orou offers him to have sex with either his wife or one of his daughters.
Being appalled by such a proposition, the Chaplain tries to explain to Orou that he could not possibly accept his offer, because it was inconsistent with the conventions of Christianity (‘holy orders’).
To this, Orou replies: “I don’t know what you mean by ‘holy orders’, but your first duty is to be a man and to show gratitude” (Didrot 47).
The satirical effect, in this respect, is being achieved by the mean of exposing readers to the situation when, while referring to the same subject matter, the Chaplain and Orou have in mind something different.
Whereas, for the Champlain to have sex means to commit adultery and to be consequently punished for it by God, for Orou sex is nothing but the most natural activity that people can think of. As Orou referred to it: “An innocent pleasure to which Nature, that sovereign mistress, invites every person” (Didrot 47).
In the formal sense of this word, it does establish Orou as a ‘child of nature’ – someone, whose existence has the animalistic quality to it.
Nevertheless, it also presents Orou, as a person who does not only have its own unique perspective on things, but whose perception of the surrounding reality happened to be much more scientifically and ethically sound, as compared to that of the Chaplain.
To show that this indeed happen to be the case, we can refer to the numerous instances of Orou proving himself capable of revealing the sheer fallaciousness of many of the Chaplain’s religion-based assumptions.
For example, while trying to convince Orou that the Christian God is indeed omnipotent, the Chaplain mentions to this ‘savage’ that the creator (craftsman) of the universe is everywhere, and that due to being essentially metaphysical, God does not have any material body.
In return, Orou aptly points out to the contradictory sounding of many of the Chaplain’s insinuations about the nature of divinity, which in turn contributes rather substantially towards increasing the satirical value of Diderot’s essay.
According to Orou, the Christian God is: “The old craftsman who, without a head, hand or tools has made everything; and who is everywhere but nowhere to be seen… who commands and is not obeyed; who does not prevent occurrences which it is in his power to stop” (Diderot 50).
Thus, Diderot implies that ‘naive savage’ is not quite as naïve, as it is being commonly assumed.
Quite on the contrary – unlike what it appears to be the case with the Chaplain, Orou is being represented as a practically minded individual, thoroughly capable of understanding the dialectical nature of the relationship between causes and effects.
The quoted remark, of the part of Orou, suggests yet another aspect of how the author proceeded to endow his essay with the clearly defined satirical sounding.
Apparently, Diderot wanted to emphasize that this character was naturally inclined to assess things from the strictly utilitarian perspective – something that did not quite correlate with the Chaplain’s tendency to refer to the utterly abstract notions, while defending his argumentative stance on the issues of importance.
Along with being highly humorous, as a ‘thing in itself’, this discrepancy provides an additional dimension to the popular image of ‘naive savage’, as someone solely concerned with the down-to-earth affairs.
After all, Orou’s sarcastic suggestion implies that he was tempted to perceive things in terms of what appeared to be the measure of their practical usefulness, with very little regard being given to whether the application of this approach was fully justified or not.
In this respect, we can draw a certain parallel between Orou, on one hand, and the character of Sancho Panza from Cervantes’s Don Quixote, on the other. The logic behind this suggestion is that, just as it used to be the case with the latter; Orou appears to have been well aware of the fact that metaphysical notions, associated with the Western way of living, have a counterproductive effect on the affiliated individuals’ personal well-being.
This is exactly the reason why, despite being ‘primitive’, Orou is shown as someone fully capable of enjoying its life to the fullest – something that the Chaplain was clearly unable to do. The satirical value of the discrepancy in question is quite apparent.
Thus, it will be fully appropriate to suggest that Diderot’s satire, concerned with the notion of ‘naive savage’, is strongly humanistic.
By introducing readers to Orou’s philosophy of life, the author aimed to reveal the religion of Christianity (and the influence that it exerts upon the society), as a major obstacle on the way of humanity’s continual betterment.
As Orou noted: “I’ve no understanding of your great craftsman (God), but I rejoice in his never having addressed our forefathers, and I hope he will never speak to our children; for he might by chance tell them the same nonsense, and they might commit the folly of believing him” (Diderot 51).
In the aftermath of having realized the actual significance of Orou’s intellectually honest and yet humorously sounding remarks, readers will be more likely to reconsider the legitimacy of the religion-based outlook on life, and on what can be deemed the most effective way of addressing its challenges.
There are many humanistic overtones to how Jonathan Swift went about utilizing the theme of ‘naive savage’ (as the instrument of satire) in his novel, as well.
One of the most illustrative examples of this statement’s validity, is undeniably the scene, in which Gulliver reacts to the Lilliputians’ request to punish those six of them, who continued to shoot arrows at him, despite being ordered to stop: “I took them all in my right hand, put five of them into my coat-pocket; and as to the sixth, I made a countenance as if I would eat him alive.
The poor man squalled terribly, and the colonel and his officers were in much pain” (Swift 22). As it is being revealed later, Gulliver never intended to eat any of his offenders. However, he could not help pretending that he was about to do it.
The reason for this is that, while understanding perfectly well that in the eyes of Lilliputians, he was nothing but a hugely sized ‘savage’, Gulliver felt obligated to act in the manner that everybody expected him to.
Apparently, it did not take this character too long to realize that, in terms of how they used to position themselves within the surrounding reality, the Lilliputians were the miniature copies of his own fellow citizens.
That is, they were just as tempted to assume that the naivety of a particular ‘savage’ goes hand in hand with his innate predisposition towards violence/cruelty.
After all, during the 18th century, this assumption did serve as a discursive premise for the British to form their attitudes towards indigenous peoples in the country’s newly acquired colonies.
This helps to explain the actual significance of the mentioned satirical scene – Swift wanted to expose the counterproductive essence of the practice of ‘naive savages’ being treated by Europeans in the highly prejudiced manner.
In its turn, this is being accomplished by the mean of using satire to prompt readers to contemplate the idea that cannibalism may not be quite as natural for ‘savages’, as it used to be assumed at the time of the novel’s creation.
Just as it is being the case in Shakespeare’s play, many of this novel’s satirical references to the motif of ‘naive savage’ appear subliminal of the author’s unconscious awareness of the sheer strength of the native people’s existential vigor.
For example, the Article 1 of the Agreement that Gulliver was forced to sign with the Lilliputians, stated: “The man-mountain shall not depart from our dominions, without our license under our great seal” (Swift 34).
What is particularly amusing about it, is that the mentioned Article implies that, while fearing Gulliver (because of his size and his potential ability to wipe the kingdom of Lilliput off the face of the Earth, if he wished so), this kingdom’s dwarfed citizens nevertheless believed that they had what it takes to keep him in submission.
Therefore, it will not be much of an exaggeration, on our part, to suggest that one of the reasons why Gulliver’s Travels was able to become instantly popular with the reading audiences, is that the novel’s satirical subtleties resonate well with what used to the set of unconscious anxieties, experienced by Westerners in the presence of ‘naive savages’.
One of these anxieties had to do with the Westerners’ deep-seated fear of the unknown. It is understood, of course, that this adds even further to the overall spirit of progressiveness, emanated by Swift’s approach to using satire as the instrument of endowing his novel with the political sounding.
Essentially the same line of argumentation can be applied, when it comes to discussing the significance of yet another famous satirical scene in Gulliver’s Travels – namely, the one in which Gulliver extinguishes fire by urinating on it: “I… applied (urine) so well to the proper places, that in three minutes the fire was wholly extinguished, and the rest of that noble pile, which had cost so many ages in erecting, preserved from destruction” (Swift 46).
The reason for this is apparent – even though this Gulliver’s deed was thoroughly justified and presented the Lilliputians with the additional proof of the character’s childlike perceptual innocence (naivety), they nevertheless could not help taking it as a threat.
Hence, the sheer hilariousness of the Emperor’s attempts to hide its fear of Gulliver from himself, by the mean of giving orders to the ‘man-mountain’.
In light of the earlier deployed line of argumentation, regarding the subject matter at stake, it can be indeed confirmed that, just as it was suggested in the Introduction, the satirical sounding of the motif of ‘naive savage’ in the analyzed play, essay and novel, does imply the intellectual progressiveness of the affiliated authors.
While utilizing this motif, as one of the main prerequisites of keeping the audiences thoroughly entertained, they simultaneously strived to enlighten people about the fact that there can be no excuse for dehumanizing native populations (the representatives of which used to be considered ‘savages’) in remote parts of the world.
Therefore, there is nothing surprising about the fact that Shakespeare, Diderot and Swift are now being commonly referred to as ‘literary geniuses’ – all three of them did possess a rare talent for being able to turn satire into the tool for making this world a better place to live.
This is the main reason why their literary legacy continues to be much appreciated – quite despite its presumed ‘out-datedness’. As it can be seen, this concluding statement is fully consistent with the paper’s initial thesis.
Diderot. Denis. “Supplement to the Voyage of Bougainville.” In Political Writings. Trans. John Hope Mason and Robert Wokler. Cambridge. UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992. 31-75. Print.
Shakespeare, William 1611. The Tempest. PDF file. Web.
Swift, Jonathan 1726. Gulliver’s Travels. PDF file. Web.
Post-Colonial Theory in “The Epic of Gilgamesh” and “The Tempest” Essay
One of the themes of Post-colonial theory deals with identity in a personal and social context. The way an individual thinks of their own character and how they interact with the surrounding environment and society, has a major impact on the whole population.
The theoretical perspective or “lens” is described as a set of attributes and assumptions that are made about the reality of the world and how it functions.
It is closely tied to the culture, social structure, people’s roles within a nation, but most importantly, the unique characteristics that each person brings into the common collective. “The Epic of Gilgamesh” and “The Tempest” clearly illustrate the internal battle of a person with own “demons”, as well as with the surrounding world.
In “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, the main character is shown to be sure of his own strength and righteousness of feelings and thoughts. Gilgamesh takes what he wants without considering the personal feelings of women, who he forcefully abuses. His character is made up of human and God characteristics, which can be said about the modern people also, as everyone is a part of nature and divinity of the universe.
Often, people struggle between what a person wants for themselves, in a selfish and careless way, in relation to the greater truth and help that can be devoted towards other people. Gilgamesh goes through several epic changes within himself and the world he lives in.
When Enkidu is sent to control Gilgamesh’s temper, they battle, but later, become friends and this is a clear indication of the change that takes place in Gilgamesh’s character. He realizes that there are more important things in the world than own wants and needs.
Eventually, he loses his friend to an illness and learns the true value of friendship, pain and loss. This is very much true in the modern world, as even though the times have been modernized, people still learn through pain and suffering.
This is one of the reasons the story of Gilgamesh is applicable in the current days. Another connection to the present is the search for immortality. People want to become immortal without really appreciating the moments that must be valued every day and each instant.
“The Tempest” also describes a person’s character and the struggles one goes through in life. In the play, Antonio is Prospero’s brother but acts as a person who does not care about family and all he thinks about is greed and power. He will step over any obstacle to follow his own goals without paying attention to others. The first instance the audience experiences his character is when he hides his fear by blaming others.
He focuses all his attention on the faults and mistakes that other people make without giving much consideration to his own actions. This shows that a person has no want or need to think about own character and instead, thinks about other people and ways of finding wrongdoings in their behavior.
This sort of attitude is often exhibited by foolish and angry people who are unable to better themselves and so, they try lowering others to make their own individuality seem higher. These qualities can be observed in all human nations, as the interconnection between individuals and societies is still based on greed, power, class and insecurities.
“The Epic of Gilgamesh” and “The Tempest” Analysis Report (Assessment)
The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Tempest are two masterpieces, which reflect the life of people who lived in the times when the works were created. The two works pertain to different cultures.
Thus, the former is an Ancient Babylonian story, while the latter is one of the most famous Shakespearean works created in postcolonial Europe. The epochs, when the works were written, are very different. Nonetheless, there are certain themes that overlap, which can be explained by archetypal nature of the thematic elements.
One of such archetypal themes is supernatural. Thus, Gilgamesh interacts with gods and spirits. He has to fight against horrible giants and is punished by gods for some wrongdoings. Likewise, The Tempest is full of spirits who interact with people. One of the main characters of the play is a magician who knows some secrets of the universe.
This overlap can be explained by humans’ desire to see mysterious things in something they do not understand. Admittedly, people have tried to explain natural disasters or some universal laws by acts of supernatural entities that rule the world.
Therefore, the theme of unknown and supernatural can be regarded as archetypal. Even people, living in the twenty-first century where science has explained lots of the secrets of the universe, tend to practice some religions which also adhere to the area of spiritual and supernatural.
Another thematic element that overlaps in the two works is the confrontation of civilization and human nature. Thus, Enkidu and Caliban are symbols of the human nature, i.e. creatures that have not been civilized. The two characters are closer to the nature and they know some secrets civilized people do not understand.
At the same time, Gilgamesh and Prospero try to civilize the creatures and make them share their (i.e. civilized) values. This conflict has lots of dimensions and it is, by all means, archetypal as people have always experienced the necessity to suppress their desires to fit in the society.
More so, people have also acknowledged that civilization is associated with alienation from the nature. Thus, barbarians have always been seen as people (or rather creatures) who manage to live in harmony with the environment, while civilized people tend to alter the nature.
Finally, the two works share another thematic element, i.e. the relationship between the man and the woman. This is also an archetypal topic as people have always wanted to understand the secrets of the difference between the genders. Thus, the savage loves the woman and cannot have her in the play. In the Babylonian story, a goddess wants to win the protagonist’s heart but loses.
In both stories, there is unshared love, which causes a lot of sorrow. Admittedly, people have fallen in love with those who love others for centuries and there is still no explanation for this peculiarity of human nature.
To sum up, it is possible to note that the two stories and the two masterpieces share certain thematic elements. Some of these elements are supernatural, the confrontation between the civilization and the nature, and the secret of love and relationships between the man and the woman.
These themes overlap as they are archetypal and recurrent in loads of literary works and cultures. People have always tried to find answers to certain questions. Nevertheless, the questions remain unanswered and this is unlikely to change in the future.
W. Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and Its Main Characters Report
According to the reference made to the play, ’’The Tempest’’ by Shakespeare, David Bevington is justified to claim that Prospero uses the knowledge he acquires from magical books to subdue his enemies by renewing their faith in goodness. He wittily uses Ariel to carry out divine tasks that could put him at par with a god.
For instance, he instructs Aerial to fly around the boat in which Antonio, Alonso and their acquaintances are, to cause a storm and consequent shipwreck, but finally manages to save all the occupants of the ship.
The latest revelation that he was responsible for all this is to make Antonio and Alonso perceive him as a good man. Prospero says to Miranda “I have with such provision in mine art.So safely ordered that there is no soul– No, not so much perdition as a hair.B etid to any creature in the vessel.W hich thou heard’st cry, which thou saw’ st sink” (Shakespeare 4).
Prospero’s magic is intended to create an impression that he is more powerful than both Antonio and Alonso. Ariel tells him when he inquires about the ship’s occupants,” Just as you left them: all prisoners, sir. In the line-grove which weather-fends your cell; they cannot budge till your release” (Shakespeare 7).
After the shipwreck, Antonio, Alonso and their subjects are desperate, have lost hope and prepared to sink to a watery grave. Antonio says “Let’s all sink wi’ the King”. But Prospero uses his magic and they do not sink (Shakespeare 9).
He saves Aerial from the tree, although he later exploits him. He saves Gonzalo and Alonso from a plot to kill them by Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo. He even forgives Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian and promises to free Aerial upon preparing proper sailing weather to guide them back to Royal fleet and finally to Naples. “And promise you calm seas, auspicious gales, And sail so expeditious that shall catch.Y our royal fleet far off” (Shakespeare 10).
The major beneficiaries of Prospero’s magic are himself and his daughter, Miranda. It is quite evident that his magic is intended to help him, and Miranda finds their way out of exile, he tells Miranda “I have done nothing but in care of thee,” (Shakespeare 11).
He employs his magic to execute his plan of returning to the royal land. Although Alonso and Antonio together with the other occupants are saved from the wreck, two things are quite evident; the whole storm was as a result of Prospero’s magic, and it was meant to make Alonso and Antonio guilty of plotting to move him out of the land as he later forgives them. Since he is the most powerful, he sends Aerial to prepare sailing weather.
Several characters have been developed through Prospero’s magic. Ariel is loyal and obedient as he obeys Prospero and exorcizes his magic as per instructions. He says “Remember I have done thee worthy service, Remember I have done thee worthy service”.
Caliban is brought out as rebellious since, after being compelled to servitude for attempting to rape Miranda, he perceives his master resentfully and usurper. He wishes “A south-west blow on ye, And blister you all o’er!” (Shakespeare 15).
Finally, Prospero’s magic helps bring out the cordial relationship between him and Ariel through how they cohesively co-operate to execute Prospero’s magic. Ariel says” I will be correspondent to command, and do my sprinting gently.”
Prospero is depicted as a loving and caring father who does all he can, including magic to secure his daughter. He says “I have done nothing but in care of thee, of thee, my dear one, thee, my daughter” (Shakespeare 14). The friendly coexistence between Alonso and Antonio is also brought out in the as they used to spend most of their time together.
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. New York: Pocke. 2004. Web.
The Theme of Servitude in “The Tempest” Report (Assessment)
William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” provides an in-depth description of the extent to which humans have subjected their fellow humans to injustices.
One of the most well described forms of injustice is slavery. Throughout the play, the theme of servitude is shown by the inability of various characters to obtain personal freedom. However, Acts III and IV move the theme of servitude into deeper and more complex levels, describing various forms of servitude.
In Act III, scene 1, different forms of servitude are evident. First, the reader is able to recognize that Ferdinand is committed to serve Prospero, a fact that he does not like. To make his duties to Prospero look pleasant, he assumes that he is working for Miranda, the woman he loves. In Ferdinand, the reader can perceive different forms of servitude. For instance, the love he has for different women clear indicates service to humanity.
Although he feels that his love for Miranda is real, he sees the love he has for other beautiful women as a form of slavery. For instance, in this act he is quoted saying, “…Full many women/ I have had best regards, and many times, the harmony of their tongues has taken me into bondage…”
In addition, Ferdinand is used to show the theme of ‘service to duty’. For instance, his loyalty to Prospero is for a reason- he wants to win Miranda’s heart. Although he does not like his status, Prospero agrees that Ferdinand has “loyalty” and endures the “wooden slavery” (carrying heavy logs).
In the conversation between Prospero and Ferdinand, it becomes clear that Prospero sees Ferdinand as a loyal servant rather than a slave. In this case, it is clear that the reference to Caliban is used to show the different forms of servitude. For instance, Caliban is a total slave, whose entire life revolves around his services to Prospero. On the other hand, Ferdinand’s service to Prospero is not forced but dedicated to win Miranda.
The fact that Ferdinand humbles himself, both literally and physically, when he talks about his dedication to Miranda, is a clear indication of another form of servitude. He has mentally been enslaved by his love for the girl. On the other hand, Miranda speaks of a similar form of servitude, but in her own accord.
For instance, she says that her father’s precepts are somewhat a form of bondage to her, but she disregards them. In fact, it is clear that Prospero’s presence in the scene is used to show his control Miranda.
In Act III scene II, the theme of servitude is elaborated further, but in the form of “service to man”. For instance, Caliban has become a servant to Stephano, who refers him as “servant monster”. In addition, Stephano, who is now “the lord of the Island”, controls Trinculo.
He threatens to kill him if he disobeys. Secondly, the Scene also reveals that a sorcerer in the island has held the invisible Ariel hostage. He is not able to leave the island, thus becoming the sorcerer’s slave.
In Act IV, it is clear that Prospero has been enslaved by his commitment to protect Miranda. In fact, he protects her virginity. He believes that it is his duty to ensure that she gets the right man at the right time, and is protected from lust displayed by love-hungry men.
In conclusion, the theme of servitude is portrayed in a deeper and more complex level. There is evidence of slavery versus duty. While such characters as Caliban are actual slaves, others like Ferdinand and Prospero are held hostage by their dedication for such issues as love and duty for Miranda respectively.