Situating Race in Shakespeare’s The Tempest: A Colonial Perspective


  • Upasona Kath Borah


Race identifies a large group of people distinguished from others on the basis of common physical characteristics. The Tempest is one of the celebrated masterpieces of English drama written by William Shakespeare. The play is kind of representation of colonialism along with its other aspects like race, class and colour. In the play, the colonizers oppress and subjugate the natives, the colonized people are hegemonized due to the racial differences. The play presents the character Caliban, who is the original inhabitant of the island, as a savage and uncivilized. The main male protagonist of the play, Prospero is the outsider but he is the colonial master who dominates the other characters of the play. Shakespeare also showcases the dehumanization of colonial rule throughout the play. The Tempest depicts the power relation between master-slave, colonizer-colonized, white-black, civilized -uncivilized.  The present paper aims to show the colonial practices of the play The Tempest. It will also represent the master-slave relationship with the help of the characters of Prospero and Caliban. The paper will also be a representation of the conflicts between ‘black’ and ‘white’, ‘self’ and ‘other’, ‘civilized’ and ‘uncivilized’ within the play. The paper is also going to focus on the plight of the subaltern character, Caliban due to the hegemonic structure.


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How to Cite

Upasona Kath Borah. (2020). Situating Race in Shakespeare’s The Tempest: A Colonial Perspective. PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt / Egyptology, 17(9), 7675 - 7680. Retrieved from