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Date

4-29-2020

Description

While there have been several postulations concerning the precise location of The Tempest, one thing is certain: there is never a direct reference to the exact geographical space of Shakespeare's fictitious island. Rather, Shakespeare employs a sense of spatial ambiguity, which allows him to navigate a hypothetical arena that is concerned with the critiquing of an already known entity; the Old World, Europe. The Tempest is a play that is not concerned with the exploration and cultivation of unknown lands, instead, it is focused on the critical investigation of Western attitudes, which were beginning to depart on a colonial conquest of foreign spaces. This paper examines the development and criticism of colonial ideologies within early-seventeenth century England, as presented by Shakespeare in The Tempest. The paper positions The Tempest as a work of literature, which should not be solely associated with Shakespeare's fascination with the New World, but, rather, as a piece that extensively examines how colonial ideologies of exoticism and otherness began to permeate the psych of the colonial West.

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Apr 29th, 12:00 AM

The Tempest and the Western Gaze: Shakespeare's Critique of Colonial Ideology

While there have been several postulations concerning the precise location of The Tempest, one thing is certain: there is never a direct reference to the exact geographical space of Shakespeare's fictitious island. Rather, Shakespeare employs a sense of spatial ambiguity, which allows him to navigate a hypothetical arena that is concerned with the critiquing of an already known entity; the Old World, Europe. The Tempest is a play that is not concerned with the exploration and cultivation of unknown lands, instead, it is focused on the critical investigation of Western attitudes, which were beginning to depart on a colonial conquest of foreign spaces. This paper examines the development and criticism of colonial ideologies within early-seventeenth century England, as presented by Shakespeare in The Tempest. The paper positions The Tempest as a work of literature, which should not be solely associated with Shakespeare's fascination with the New World, but, rather, as a piece that extensively examines how colonial ideologies of exoticism and otherness began to permeate the psych of the colonial West.