Slavery In The Tempest Research Paper

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Slavery. The word brings deep seeded meaning and a sullen connotation. Slavery has been a fault of human nature for centuries, and authors have spent hours hunched over their desks, pen in hand, thinking of a way to combat the immoral, unethical, and inhumane addiction. In The Tempest, William Shakespeare uses the characters of Ariel and Caliban to illustrate the savage obligations of slavery and to contrast the vast, cruel difference between the treatment of Ariel, often portrayed as a white character, and Caliban, a definite dark-skinned character.
Despite their racial differences, both Ariel and Caliban live a slave’s life. Their every move is the will of their master; because of this, readers throughout history have wrongly assumed Ariel
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ii. 352-353). Prospero hastily spit his line the minute Caliban begins to bring up his unjust treatment. Although it is possible that this could have been rape, readers must remember that Prospero is all powerful and semi-omniscient. Seeing as how Prospero is a loving father, readers can assume that Prospero surely would have protected his daughter from vile and violent sin of rape. Could this justify why Ariel is treated like a son and Caliban like an unwanted stray? Or does this represent a bigger issue? Literature sees a similar conflict arise in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Tom Robinson, a black man living in the racist south, is accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Evidence reveals that Mayella seduced Tom herself and was never raped by him. This story could have been inspired by the hint of a rape carried out by Caliban on Miranda, Prospero 's daughter. Plagued with new feelings and unfamiliar desires, it is plausible that Miranda acted -or began to act on-her feelings with Caliban and was caught by her father in the midst of kiss(much like Mayella and Tom). Scared senseless, she may have screamed rape to protect her white dignity. Had she been kissing a white Caliban, she would not have accused him of such a crime. Paralleling the lives of masters and slaves, Prospero punishes Caliban so harshly for a crime he did not commit solely because he is
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