1.1 The only woman on stage is
Miranda however Jessica Slights
see's Miranda as "a prototype...who
is chaste, silent and obedient".
1.1.1 Shakespeare oppresses
Miranda - even putting her in a
trance during A1S2.
184.108.40.206 She is only 'freed' from once she
marries Ferdinand. However, Mike Brett
argues that "Miranda's apparent
Freedom is entirely illusory". Prospero
makes Ferdinand fall in love with
Miranda to increase his status.
220.127.116.11.1 She is treated like a possession - "then as
my gift, and thine own
acquisition/Worthily purchas'd, take my
1.2 Sycorax, although mentioned
in the play is physically absent.
Although, as noted by
Thompson, she has been "long
dead by the time the play's
events take place".
1.2.1 However her absence is an extreme
example of women lacking agency and
representation. Helene Cixous claims
that the dichotomy (division) between
man and woman creates "the
proliferation of representations"
meaning that Prospero sees Sycorax as
a representation of women.
18.104.22.168 Her abscence gives Prospero the
opportunity to construct her into a
symbol of an evil woman, the opposite
to himself; however, this construction
makes her an antagonist to Prospero
and the patriarchy he represents.
22.214.171.124.1 Prospero constructs Sycorax as
evil by using Loomba's
"language of misogyny" by
refferingt to her as a "foul
witch", "damned witch" and
1.2.2 HOWEVER: Mary Beth Rose argues that
the reason behind the absence of
women in the play has other reasons
than just pervasive patriarchy such as
theatre etiquette and a shortage of
young male actors able to play women.
1.3 HOWEVER: Gonzalo makes a very equality
fuelled speech where he preaches to keep
women "pure and innocent". Prospero also
tries to protect Miranda's honour by
threatening to kill Ferdinand if he breaks
her "virgin knot".
2.1 Marxism states that capitalism 'thrives
on exploiting its labourers'.
2.1.1 Caliban is described using very derogatory terms. Prospero
insults him: "Thou poisonous slave". He shows no respect
for Caliban despite Caliban showing intelligence.
126.96.36.199 Shakespeare shows Caliban more respect by letting
him speak in blank verse compared to the foolish
characters Stephano and Trinculo lesser characters.
He also gives Caliban some of the most beautiful
dialogue of the play.
188.8.131.52 Caliban is given a lower status as
demonstrated by the stage directions 'Enter
Caliban, with a burthen of wood'.
Shakespeare shows that Caliban is made to
work for Prospero in horrific conditions yet
Prospero is the only who gains from this -
Caliban is not even paid a wage and is treated
3.1 The Tempest has become the
terminus a quo for post-colonial
3.1.1 Caliban is an ugly, libidinous, uncivilised creature. He is
both subservient to the colonizer and resistant.
184.108.40.206 This embodies the contradictory views - and maybe Shakespeare's
contradictory feelings - of society towards colonization.
3.1.2 Brian Vickers says "the play is
now unfortunately reduced to an
allegory about colonialism"
3.2 The Native Americans were
treated awfully and were also
referred to as savages. However
Samuel Taylor Colebridge says
"Caliban is in some respects a
3.2.1 The fact he speaks in blank
verse - just like Prospero,
Alonso, Sebastian and
Antonio - suggests he is
intelligent and just as equal
3.2.2 In John Locke's philosophy tabula rasa was
the theory that at human birth the mind is
a 'blank state'.
220.127.116.11 Caliban had the potential to be kind and
compassionate. Upon Prospero's arrival,
Caliban shows him around the island. It is not
until Caliban is enslaved that he begins to act
18.104.22.168.1 Prospero realises this -
"this thing of darkness
I/ Acknowledge mine"