Essay on The Tempest By William Shakespeare

982 Words Oct 27th, 2015 4 Pages
The Tempest was written by William Shakespeare in 1611, during a time period in which we now call the Age of Discovery. Along with the discovery of new lands, it gave rise to racism and imperialist desires. William Shakespeare was able to use these themes and incorporate them into his plays through the use of various poetic devices. One might ask, how is Shakespeare able to use these themes in The Tempest? Shakespeare was able to take elements of the island that the characters were stranded on and use them as a basis to allude to these themes of racism and imperialist desires. To prove how Shakespeare incorporated the themes of racism and imperialist desires into his play, I will use the characterizations of Caliban, Trinculo, and Prospero and Antonio to make my case as well as some examples from Montaigne’s Of the Cannibals and De las Casas’ “Letter to Philp, Great Prince of Spain” which were used as source material for Shakespeare’s play. Throughout the play, Caliban is depicted as a savage beast and is mainly treated as a servant or slave to the others on the island. This is shown when he says “You taught me language, and my profit on’t Is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you For learning me your language!” (I.ii.366–368) This statement serves to reinforce the fact the relationship between him, Prospero, and Prospero’s daughter Miranda is one that would exist between a servant and his master, or rather of the colonized and the colonizers. Due to the fact that…

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