Essay On Marxism In The Tempest

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Karl Marx once said, “Political Economy regards the proletarian ... like a horse, he must receive enough to enable him to work. It does not consider him, during the time when he is not working, as a human being. It leaves this to criminal law, doctors, religion, statistical tables, politics, and the beadle.” Marxism is a theory, which explores the political and economic ideologies that are prevalent in divided social classes. “Capitalism thrives on exploiting its labourer” () Karl Marx created this theory because he was a firm believer that the history of humanity is essentially the history of a struggle between social classes. This is to say that once the upper class becomes rich, they continue to stay rich because the labourers that work for the rich get less than their work is actually worth. They think they are working really hard towards a concrete goal, when in reality they deserve much better. Marxism as a literary theory focuses on Marx’s beliefs, and how they are integrated within a literary text. Concepts of Marxism can be found in Shakespeare’s well-known play, The Tempest. The play mainly focuses on a magician (Prospero) and his daughter Miranda, who have been living on an isolated island for the past twelve years along side Caliban, Prospero’s servant. Minor characters appear in the text as well, to serve as foils for the main characters by accentuating their character traits, as well as play a crucial role to the play’s plot. The Tempest focuses on the relationship between Caliban and Prospero, the supremacy that Prospero holds over Caliban, and explores why relationships like this often exist. Early on in the play, the text strongly indicates that the relationship between Prospero and Caliban is far from loving o... ... middle of paper ... ...s a reason inequality is dynamic in Shakespeare’s play and in society. That is the sole reason that inequality is inevitable. Several aspects of Marxism can be seen over the course of the play The Tempest. There is a social and economic divide between characters, which creates tension between them throughout the play. Readers can see what is means to have power and how this power can be abused in order to mistreat others. In particular, Marxism ideologies can be applied specifically to the characters Prospero and Caliban. Prospero, a magician uses his power, to treat Caliban in an inhumane way. No matter what Caliban does, he will always be placed on the lower end of the economic ladder. Shakespeare’s powerful play, gives readers a new way to look at and appreciate reading and analyzing this piece, by looking at it through the perspective of a Marxist theorist.

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