Post Colonial Theory

Topics: Colonialism, Postcolonialism, The Tempest Pages: 6 (1670 words) Published: August 31, 2014

Post Colonialism Theory
To understand the post colonialism theory, I believe that we must first take a brief look at how we got here. In order to reach the post era, we first must walk through the challenges and lessons of those before us. How else would the history that we have to teach us today be there, how else would we have the literature to educate us? Colonialism was all about the newer, bigger, better lands and though these lands had natives already, they were just another obstacle. They would befriend the natives and get them to teach them the ways of the land in order to live and survive off the land. Once they were self-sufficient, they would begin to try to conform the natives to their way of life as the proper way of life. They would teach them that they were living wrong and evil lives and would eventually turn against the natives when they did not conform to their way of life. Therefore switching roles from the colonized to the colonizers. In switching the roles of power and showing their true colors and purpose for being there, they showed their true nature for possession and power, for fear and hate. Throughout the texts that we have been studying, we see this over and over again in the way that these characters move in and take over.

As we look at the way Gilgamesh was possessive of his people and his land, we see the way he did as he pleased. He was known to be two thirds god and "a tyrant." (Manson 15) As in those who are the colonizers, he was feared and not necessarily respected. He imposed his wishes and commands on his people and rather than living for them he forced them into submission, such as claiming his birthright, "the privilege of sleeping with their brides before the husbands were permitted." (Manson 15) as you see even now throughout the history books. It is a constant hunger for the power and desire of what is not ours that drives some. He lived this way for some time thinking that he is content until the farmer's son brings him news of Enkidu who is living in the forest with the animals as one. This is something new and undiscovered to him, but still not enough to get him totally worked up. Something untouched, something that he does not control or possess, so he sends the prostitute to see if he can disrupt it. It is in the continued thirst for power and possession that drives him to colonize in a way even Enkidu's life in the forest. Gilgamesh is so bored, cold or immune to what he is doing that he forgot (Mason 17) that he has even done this and continues on with his life as he has done every day before that with no regard as to what impact he may have had on this man's life or history.

The Tempest we see Prospero exiled on an island and living as the kingpin so to speak, but as we read on, it was not always that way. He was yet another example of the colonized becoming the colonizer. He came to the island as a humble exile, fleeing with his daughter Miranda after his brother Antonio had beaten him and removed his titles, lands and wealth to teach him a lesson. He befriended an island imp named Caliban who teaches them how to live on the island and in turn Miranda teaches him to speak. Prospero magically binds Caliban as a slave after he turns on him and holds his release over his head as a continual show of power. Where once he was liked well enough, he is now referred to as "a villain" by Miranda (Shakespeare act 1, scene 2), it is funny how the role are reversed when your usefulness has worn off and you no long hold the upper hand. The same ways Prospero holds Ariel, but he does not mind since he freed him from a much more evil master. Colonized and colonizers are switching roles and taking on roles of the others in this story. Everyone wants the power, yet no one knows how to share it because each feels that the other is less superior.

As we look at the idea that both of these men just wanted the possession of what they were after in the story, was that...

Cited: Baldwin, Dean R., and Patrick J. Quinn. An Anthology of Colonial and Postcolonial Short Fiction. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007. Print.
Mason, Herbert. Gilgamesh: A Verse Narrative. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. Print.
Shakespeare, William, Barbara A.. Mowat, and Paul Werstine. The Tempest. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2009. Print.
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