Caliban And Ariel In Shakespeare's The Tempest

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In the late 19th century and into the early 20th century, the continent of Africa struggled through imperialism and colonialism from most European Countries. Shakespeare’s last individual play titled The Tempest, can be translated into a metaphor for European colonialism on Africa during the 1800’s. In this interpretation of the play, the main character Prospero represents the European conquerors, and Caliban and Ariel represent the native African people. This suggests that Prospero controls them in cruel and unfair ways. I believe that this is translation of the play is inaccurate, because although in some sense Prospero does control Caliban and Ariel, he has a valid reason to, unlike the Europeans. In Act One, Scene Two of The Tempest,…show more content…
The natives were being forced into working without pay, they were being controlled, and even killed for not meeting deadlines. The Europeans took their land for resources, markets, power, and money, without considering the Africans needs at all. These conditions are not comparable to those of Caliban and Ariel in The Tempest. Prospero did not want power or money, or even to be on the island on the first place. He treated Caliban fairly, until he tried to rape Miranda. He made Caliban his servant because he could not trust him, he had lost respect, and had no other choice. Even when Caliban was serving Prospero, he was still treated fairly. Prospero freed Ariel from being eternally stuck in a tree, and in return he asked that for a year, Ariel would serve him and help him get off of the island, and then he would be freed. Prospero did not take partial control of Caliban and Ariel without a reasonable purpose, where the Europeans had no real reason at all. Prospero’s valid reasoning, his open mindedness towards Caliban, and his willingness to set Ariel free are why I believe that the translation of the play that compares it to European colonialism is

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