Savagery In The Tempest And The Life Of Gustavus Vassa



The representation of savagery in a novel or play directly mirrors how the author views the differences between “civilized” and “non-civilized” peoples. In The Tempest , Shakespeare presents the indigenous, “dark” character of the play in a negative light. In contrast, in The Life of Gustavus Vassa , Olaudah Equiana presents the African natives of the text as being more civilized than the Europeans who consider themselves most cultured and advanced. When one compares how savagery is depicted in both pieces, it can be concluded that savagery is a relative term.
In the Tempest, Caliban, Prospero’s slave, is the “dark” character of the play. “Dark”, here, refers to two things. One, the dark ...

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cattle can contract. These statements and comparisons seek to reemphasize Caliban’s bestiality. Stephano even refers to Caliban as a monster who could make a man a fortune if taken to star in the freak shows of England.
Caliban can be interpreted as the representation for the colored, “uncivilized” people of the world. Civilization, here, refers to technological, cultural, and knowledge advancement of a society. As the indigenous people of Africa, Asia, and the Americas were looked upon for their skin color, phenotypic characteristics, and cultural practices, so is Caliban looked upon. The references to Caliban as untamed is analogous to the historical views of colonizers of the colonized. The manner in which Prospero and others treat Caliban is how indigenous people were and are still often treated.
In The Tempest , it seems that Shakespeare is making a clear definition of what savagery was defined as in early European society. To them, savagery was a lack of European ways. Without ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/27/2008 08:39:04 PM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1008
Pages: 4

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