Critical Position/LensAmelia Pinkess, Alice Cox and Daisy Young
Theory• A single, definitive definition of postcolonial theory is controversial. As a concept it is embedded in identity politics. It includes the matters of identity, gender, race and ethnicity. • It is primarily concerned with politics, in particular prejudice and injustice.
Transformed literature• Postcolonial theory has transformed literary studies in the past three decades.• By turning to topics such as decolonization, migration, language, knowledge production, and representation, postcolonial studies approaches the study of literature in ways that intersect with other fields such as critical race theory and diaspora, feminist, indigenous, transnational, and transoceanic studies.
Definitions • Colonization (or colonisation) occurs whenever any one or more species populate an area. The term, which is derived from the Latin colere, "toinhabit, cultivate, frequent, practice, tend, gua rd, respect”, originally referred to humans.
Key Points• Influenced by the dismantling of empires and the continuing development of post colonial theory many new artists use elements of their own cultures and societies to be represented in theatre.
Aimé Césaire • Martinican poet, playwright, and politician, one of the most influential authors from the French-speaking Caribbean.• Césaire adapted Shakespeares (1611) The Tempest "for a Black theatre" as A Tempest.• Prospero is a white master, while Ariel is a mulatto and Caliban is a black slave.
Colonialism • co·lo·ni·al·ism • The policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically• i.e. when a nation extend their control pasttheir own borders in order to gain more power and often wealth.
Colonialism in The Tempest• In the Tempest colonialism features repeatedly with the characters all keen to take control of the island as its leader.• Groups or ‘colonies’ form:1) Miranda, Prospero, Ariel, Caliban2) Trinculo, Stephano, Antonio, Alonso, Ferdinand, Sebastian, Gonzalo..and then change as characters walk into the other colonies territoryand change allegiances1) Miranda, Prospero, Ferdinand, Ariel, Gonzalo, Alonso2) Trinculo, Stephano, Caliban3) Antonio, Sebastian• The colonies are in competition with each other and conspire against one another in order to eliminate competition and take control.
Aims of Postcolonial theory • the ultimate goal is accounting for and contesting the lasting effects that colonialism has on civilizations; not just recovering past worlds but looking at how the worlds as a whole can move past the state of colonialism together and work towards creating a better future where there is a greater sense of mutual respect among nations• To do this post-colonialists look at the cultural identity of societies that have been colonized, what troubles they face creating a national identity after a colonial rule, the ways in which the colonizer has utilised the knowledge and other things the the colonized peoples have to offer to further their own interests; and the way in which the colonizer has justified their colonization of the society by constantly advertising them as a inferior people.
Edward Said • For instance, Edward Said, a famous theorist, took the word orientalism, which is the neutrally created term given by the ‘West’ to the artistic depiction of the Orient, i.e. the ‘East’ and challenged it to be the binary division of the Orient, the east, and the Occident, the west.• Notably, the concept of the ‘East’ (i.e. the Orient), was created by the ‘West’, suppressing the ability of the ‘Orient’ to express themselves. Western depictions of the ‘Orient’ construct an inferior world, a place of backwardness, irrationality, and wildness. This allowed the ‘West’ to identify themselves as the opposite of these characteristics; as a superior world that was
We see this in The Tempest…• In The Tempest we see this in Prospero’s relationship with the other islanders. He was exiled to the island and so he himself is a discarded and unwanted member of a civilisation. He is in no position of superiority, in some ways he is inferior to the other inhabitants of the island as they are native to the island and know it better than he does and have been there longer, yet he dominates the island, colonizing it’s people. • He enslaves Ariel and Caliban, constantly belittling them into feeling inferior to him, in order to gain their services as slaves and uses them to further establish himself as leader and get his wishes carried out. His whole mission which he carries out during the play would not happen were it not for Ariel as much of the ‘dirty work’ is done by her.
Education in Colonies• Westerns started educating natives when they took control of their land. They educated them so they could passively brainwash the natives into thinking their way is the only and true way to re insert their status in their hierarchy.• As sailors and labourers from the western countries came over in the ships they were now no longer the lower class as the natives were deemed as stupid and unknowledgeable because of not being able to speak western languages and by having different cultures as well as skin colours.• If they were educated in a western way they would know their place in society with no need for arguments.
Racism in Colonies• Racism was a massive issue when the lands were colonized allowing the superior (westerners) to make names and comments about the natives which in all dumbed them down.• Throughout literature natives were given names that created them into beasts and monsters to keep them in their place.• This devaluing of the natives existence as a human, gives the colonizer a superior, almost God-like presence and power. "The advantage of power," writes Lewes, "is that it enables one to define the reality of the powerless."
We see this in The Tempest…• When Caliban is first described the language of beastly and monstrously ugly are used.• However looking at the words as we know them today he is believed to be a man of colour.• He is still sometimes perceived during adaptations of the tempest of a mystical beast of a creature, literally.• Ariel is an interesting character however, as he is enslaved at the beginning but has a chance to be freed by the end. Even though he was enslaved by Calibans mother in the first place. Mutual respect on Prosperos side allows him to become morally hirer then Caliban