Which Production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest Is Most Clearly an Interpretation?

Among the different productions of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, there are some that can be clearly considered an interpretation. For example, the audience would know that the one in which Prospero shows sympathy to Caliban is far from the original. The magician doesn’t actually act as fair and kind towards his servant.

Everyone has the right to interpret literature as they wish. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that different productions would have rather distinct approaches. However, in some cases, it goes as far as changing the characters’ personalities. One such example would be when Prospero is shown as merciful and sympathetic towards Caliban. It should clearly be considered as an interpretation since, in the original play, Prospero treats his servant rather harshly. He is not going easy on him and makes him fulfill all the orders. 

In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, when Prospero gets on the island, he automatically assumes that he is the rightful ruler now, as it usually happens during colonization. Caliban, as the only local there, doesn’t agree with such terms. He believes that the island belongs to him since he has inherited this right from his witch mother. However, Prospero doesn’t consider Caliban as worthy of anything more than being a servant. He treats the islander as an inferior and uneducated savage, almost a non-human, who needs to be under control. Indeed, any other depiction of the relationship between would be off the course of the original idea as Shakespeare’s goal was to highlight an important message via Prospero and Caliban’s unfair misunderstanding. Moreover, such an interpretation would miss out on one of the central themes of the play, which concerns colonization. 

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