Home vs. The Exotic in Shakespeare's The Tempest Essay

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Home vs. The Exotic in Shakespeare's The Tempest

Home. Just the word conjures up feelings of familiarity and comfort, a place that is welcoming and memorable. Does home necessarily have to represent a place? Rather, can it encompass a multitude of feelings and objects that represent comfort and ease? The post-colonial novel often strives to strike a balance, whether it be uneven, between what is considered foreign and exotic and that which is homely and familiar. Post-colonial literature frequently is representative of the interplay between characters' experiences in an exotic environment versus those at home. With this interplay between home and the exotic comes a dynamic complexity that explores themes such as fears and desires,
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It is however, advantageous to explore the distinctions of these words in the eyes of the different characters and somehow link these ideas to the over-arching category that encompasses themes of the post-colonial novel.

Prospero's character is representative of one who has a distinct longing of home which he defines as lawful power. He relates a story to his daughter in which he describes how he was ousted from his dukedom. "This King of Naples…should presently extirpate me and mine, Out of the dukedom, and confer fair Milan, With all the honours, on my brother."(Act I, sc. 2) For Prospero, Milan not only represented his home, but also the center of his lawful power and honour. The law is an essential aspect of the post-colonial novel as it delineated the relationship between a home government that ruled and the colonized, seen as foreigners. In this play, Prospero re-defines the lawful power that he had in Milan in the form of magic in which he is able to control exotic species of the island, including Caliban and Ariel. In the penultimate soliloquy, Prospero completes a cycle by trading in his magic and re-affirming his dukedom of Milan. "Now my charms are all o'erthrown, And what strength I have's mine own…" (Epilogue) It is apparent that Prospero's strength lies in his ability to command law in the form of dukedom in his homeland of Milan.

Prospero's books had a special importance to him and if home is

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