Monday, April 26, 2010
Oppression in The Tempest
In my initial reading of the play in the infamous C&T course I only looked at Caliban’s character as being oppressed, but witnessing the characters come to life in the play made me look at the play’s use of oppressor and oppressed differently. Not only did Prospero have Caliban as a prisoner, he also had the fairy Ariel as a slave laborer who, throughout the play, was in service to Propsero to pay off a debt of gratitude which arose from Ariel's rescue. Prospero’s reign of oppression did not stop at these two characters; he also controlled the actions of Miranda and Ferdinand, through the use of magic,as well as all of the other victims of the storm. Seeing the play acted out forced me to see that Shakespeare’s story of magic is actually a story of oppression and power.