Close reading- Drama/ Character Study
Colonial Discourse in both The Tempest and A Tempest
In both The Tempest and A tempest, we see different aspects of colonial discourse presented to us through the characterization of Prospero. Through his attitudes, we view Prospero as the protagonist in both plays. Both plays do an exceptional job portraying colonial discourse. Colonial discourse has started as early as the discovery of America. Although colonial discourse hasn’t always been a fair movement. It’s rather the opposite because colonizers tend to exploit the lands and the inhabitant economically or to achieve power. And this is what we see in both plays, which Prospero the right Duke of Milan is overthrown by his brother and is forced to colonize and take refuge on an island. On the island, we see the different aspects of colonial discourse Prospero uses to manipulate the play, and the characters in order to achieve his own personal goals. In this essay, I hope to demonstrate the readers the text’s attitudes about colonial discourse through its presentation of our main character Prospero.
First, we start with The Tempest which is a play by William Shakespeare. In The Tempest, we first met Prospero in Act 1, scene 2, Be collected: no more amazement. Tell your piteous heart there’s no harm done (Prospero: The Tempest page 7). Here, we get a little taste of Prospero manipulation of him calming his daughter.The play starts off with a fierce storm that terrorizes to kill the characters before the play has even started. Throughout Act 1, scene 1 we saw frantic confusion as the characters rushed up and down the small ship. They were concerned about the storm. Just the beginning of the play itself was very puzzling. But later, as the play developed we soon learn that the storm was a magical spell asked by Prospero to happen. Which is devise to crash the ship on an island. We then met Ariel who is known as the spirit of air. Ariel was imprisoned in a tree by a witch called Sycorax after he refuses to serve her. Because Prospero rescued him, he subjected to becoming his slave. Using a magic spell, Prospero puts his daughter to sleep, Thou art inclined to sleep. ‘Tis a good dullness, And give it way: I know thou canst not choose (The Tempest Act 1, scene 2 lines 215- page 14) we fully now starting to see Prospero manipulation and power as he uses magic to put his daughter to sleep. Thus, we meet Ariel for the first time when called upon by Prospero come away, servant, come. I am ready now. Approach, my Ariel, come (The Tempest Act 1, scene 2 lines 218- page 14). After putting his daughter to sleep, Prospero calls Ariel. And we soon find out that the storm caused in Act 1 Scene 1 was created by Ariel. Seen in this quote, it says ” Hast thou, spirit, performed to point the tempest that I bade thee?” (The Tempest Prospero line 225) this quote in particular just shows the dominance of Prospero, he proceeds to c...