Post-Colonial Theory in “The Epic of Gilgamesh” and “The Tempest” Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

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.

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