Discrimination In The Tempest Essay

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Illumination is the evoking of previously unknown idea or the providing of insight to a situation. The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, offers multiple instances of illumination, one of which is the exposure of the difference in race. This difference in race mainly portrayed in the treatment of the island native Caliban. The author’s use of imagery, specifically by way of the stranded outsiders depictions, portray Caliban as a monster. This portrayal illuminates the readers to the treatment and exploitation of individuals based on their race during Shakespearean time, primarily through the context evoked by racial injustices in that era.
The outsiders’ depictions of Caliban, specifically through imagery, portray him as a monster. Numerous
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The treatment of Caliban by the outsiders on the island mirrors the treatment of the conquered inhabitants during the time of Shakespeare. For example, Stephano’s statement about removing Caliban from the island for exploitation by an “emperor” or the highest bidder in exchange for a “soundly” amount of money because he is of different race offers parallels to the mistreatment suffered by other natives (II.ii. 72-75). One of these mistreatments can be found in the critical essay, “Conquering Islands: Contextualizing The Tempest” by Barbara Fuchs, when she describes the “for-profit display” of “‘dead Indians’ in London Fairs” (268). The exploitation of Indians by Europeans offers context for Stephano’s idea of selling Caliban as a novelty for a large sum of money. Furthermore, the exposure to some sort of instances similar to the display of Indians made the act of selling Caliban for money justifiable as Stephano had most likely seen it before in his homeland. The use of Caliban as a slave, by Prospero, is also justifiable as it was common in Europe during the Shakespearean era. For instance, Prospero has Caliban constantly performing mundane chores against his will, specifically “gathering sticks” (I.ii. 316). This act of preforming something against an individual is slavery and was seen in Europe during the time of “The Tempest.” According to “A Monster, A Child, A Slave” by George Lamming, it is suggested that it was commonplace for nobles, which the former “Duke” Prospero was, to posses “slaves” (152). For this reason, Prospero found it “right,” in his mind, to treat Caliban as a lesser because he viewed him as a subhuman species. This view of different races as a lower species was common during the Shakespearean era and it was the author’s intentions to portray these racial

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