Which Opinion about Colonialism Is Best Supported by Events from The Tempest?

Shakespeare seems to have a very definite view on colonization which is reflected in The Tempest. All the issues that Prospero has with Caliban, the native to the island, prove the main idea of the play. Unfortunately, Caliban is treated like a handicapped monster by almost every character. There are many misunderstandings as well, so it would be better just to leave him be.

As soon as Prospero and his daughter arrived on the island, they met Caliban, who was a native inhabitant there. However, the former duke did not recognize a person worthy of ruling the whole island in him. Caliban seemed to be an uneducated savage, so Prospero decided to show mercy. Their literacy lessons started, but the price was too high – freedom. It is only natural that Caliban doesn’t wish to be anyone’s slave, especially since the colonizers took away his land. Moreover, whenever the members of the royal party come across the servant, their first thoughts are only about how to use him for their own benefit back home. 

It is not surprising that one of the main goals of colonization was to get more recourses and land. Very few would make any efforts to understand the culture of the native people. It just seemed easier to take over the land for exploitation by force instead of making peace with locals and initiate trade. The same situation happened in The Tempest. Prospero did not realize that Caliban was not a monster who could only be a slave. It led to conflicts and even plotting against him. The best option would have been to try and behave like a guest on the island. Therefore, some of the play’s events can support the idea that colonizers should leave the native inhabitants alone.

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