The Tempest by Shakespeare

1356 Words6 Pages
William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, is a magnificent piece of literature that explores various aspects of nature and man, illusion versus real, and deception. The Tempest was written between the years 1610 and 1611. Many believe Shakespeare based the majority of this play from the colonization that was taking place in the Americas during this time, and Montaigne’s essay Of the Cannibals. Shakespeare was able to incorporate and write, a poetic magical play showing what was going on during this time, and also how the human existence was changing due to new discoveries of other humans. Shakespeare created a utopian society in his play, The Tempest. Utopian societies are meant to give an alternative way of living through social, political, and cultural methods. The word utopia was coined first by Thomas More is his publication of Utopia. Mores publication was from his imagination, but Shakespeare saw what was occurring around him in his world that he lived in. The Tempest takes place during a time when ones are pinned against uncontrollable situations such as, banishment, enslavement, and a weather storm. In many of the great plays written by William Shakespeare setting is key to the development of the actions that occur. The setting sets the social environment in which we judge the characters morals, behaviors, and actions. By Shakespeare using an utopian setting in The Tempest, he was able to write a play that created a message in regards to colonization of others with comparison of the two enslaved characters of Ariel and Caliban. The Tempest features two characters, Ariel and Caliban, that serve as the enslaved on the island, but an argument can also be made that Miranda is enslaved of the island. Prospero was Duke of M... ... middle of paper ... ...kill Prospero. Calibans act of vengeance back fires as his is ultimately humiliating along with Stephano and Trinculo by being banished away, and to prepare Prospero’s cell for dinner that night. William Shakespeare created an utopian setting filled with magic to show an underlying theme of colonization in The Tempest. The Tempest explored many themes, but the theme of colonization being portrayed through Ariel and Caliban were characterized amazing. They both represented different aspects of oppression. Ariel was the colonized subject that did whatever the master wanted, and never objected to one act suggested. While Caliban was the colonized that got trapped into the mind set of being oppressed due to his own lack of respect for himself. Works Cited Shakespeare, William, Burton Raffel, and Harold Bloom. The Tempest. New Haven: Yale UP, 2006. Print.
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