Analysis Of Aimé Césaire’s Rewriting Of Shakespeare’s The Tempest In A Tempest

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Language, power, and politics have thrived for many years as closely linked aspects of the human civilization, tortuously interlaced through the expatriate and decolonization grandiloquence and literary compositions. Famous authors and composers of literary works such as Shakespeare have embraced language as a tool important in incarceration and liberation, depending on whether or not an author sides with the colonialist or the colonized. It is through such a blend of political and power aspects that Aime Césaire attempts to scrutinize and develop rewriting of Shakespeare’s The Tempest is a Tempest, to aid the audience to have a more advanced understanding of its scope. Aime Césaire redraws Shakespeare’s The Tempest in a Tempest with more ground on defined spheres revolving around political and aesthetic potentials and use of language and identity in decolonizing Shakespeare’s work with a focus on shedding light on the liberation from ruinous and despotic colonial dogmas.

Shakespeare is one of the famous and recognized authors of all time, whose work has attracted many other authors, including critiques. It is through such works that attracted Aime Césaire to develop a rewrite of The Tempest in a Tempest, one of the tremendous compositions by Shakespeare. In Césaire’s rewrite, there is a profound power and political dichotomy of the colonialist and the colonized, which is unveiled to be dynamic and rickety (Césaire 32). In the drawing of his work, Césaire outlines the need for linguistic power assertion in the primary discourse between Prospero and Caliban (Césaire 32). In the rooting of the literature composition, Caliban tends to greet the colonialist master- Prospero- using a Swahili language “Uhuru,” which brings a display that Prospero does not like such language as it is a sign of disrespect (Césaire 35). In the dimension in which Césaire attempts to root such outline, it is evident that the colonizer considers himself as a kind of a “savior” trying to enforce his language to the people under his colonialism.

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As Césaire draws more focus on Shakespeare’s composition, it is evident that Prospero works progressively to control the political as well as geophysical sphere by making avowals averring religious rhetoric implications, racial, and political supremacy. In one of the instances, the colonialist terms the Caliban as “a savage,” “ugly ape,” and “dumb animal” who he has educated on European background to hoist him above his perceivably minor intellectual conduct (Césaire and Pinkham 11). To react to this, Césaire outlines Caliban as a dominant speaking character, a depiction of fluctuation in the colonial power tides (Césaire and Pinkham 11). Primarily, Césaire attempts to rewrite Shakespeare’s composition to make the audience grasp a vital scenario when Caliban verbally and visually examines his contrast as a colonized individual attempting to have the employment of insolence aspect towards the colonizer.

Perchance, one of the startling aspects of decolonization response to deleterious colonizer dialect is a reality that as Césaire puts it, some colonized people espoused terminology in the colonizer’s language as defiance terms. In relation to this, Césaire highlights the brawl against estrangement that resulted in Negritude, an association that thrived in the chemistry of politics and language (Césaire and Pinkham 21). In his composition, Césaire takes defiance terms as development markers towards freedom model (Césaire and Pinkham 21). The use of language brought along by the Caliban is a blend of colonialist and colonized words. For instance, the word “Uhuru” is a Swahili term subject to translation as “freedom” (Goldberg, 92). In the composition, Césaire indicates that “Uhuru” is a term that Prospero hates as it undermines his power as a colonial-speaking principal.

The core purpose behind the drawing of the Tempest by Césaire is a crucial, creative, and a politically rooted one. In the advancement of his composition, Césaire rewrites Shakespeare’s work as he has an identification with the Caliban as a colonized character. Despite being a colonized figure, the Caliban attempts disentangling from and changing the embrace of the colonizer’s language wholly with an attempt to curse the colonizer and establish a fierce conquest of Prospero (Goldberg, 92). Such scrutiny is an indication that Césaire uses a counter-rambling meta-theatre in restructuring and resituating Shakespeare’s work. Additionally, from a post-colonial magnitude, Césaire outlines and examines the colonizer’s connotations in Shakespeare’s work, and comes up with a Caliban notion as reliant on Prospero (Goldberg, 92). Césaire grounds the restructure aspects more so its denouncement, in such a way that it depicts a decolonization apparition.

A reflection on Césaire political focus sharpens the audience’s notion in Césaire purpose behind the rewriting of Shakespeare’s composition. Césaire notes with the Caliban as a colonized character who has turned out as disillusioned with the alliance notion with the colonizer to obligingly shape the society structure (Césaire 22). In this outlay, Prospero forces his affiliation with Caliban through diverse approaches, including land control, material condition manipulation, property relation control, and class structure enforcement (Césaire 22). Nonetheless, the Caliban holds his ground that the island possession is his, meaning he has an authentic right of the island via matrilineal lineage. These scenes are some of the realities that Césaire attempts to bring forth in his rewrite composition to make the audience to have more understanding of Shakespeare’s drawings.

The rewrite of the Tempest by Césaire is a unique literary composition that has scrutinized a colonized character fighting for freedom from a tyrannical colonist. Such pursuance by this character is one of its own, taking into consideration that he focuses on addressing obstacles linked to decolonization as well as black deliverance within both the French and British Empires (Césaire and Pinkham 27). Césaire drawing of the rewrite was a creative, extensive, and political course. Césaire chose to rewrite Shakespeare’s work as he holds mutual ground with him based on the Caliban as a colonized character, hence making him place some alterations to the use of colonizer’s language by the Caliban in an enormous scope to curse the colonialist and stage a violent revolution of Prospero thrive.

Césaire has tremendously rewritten the affiliations that Shakespeare develops among the Caliban, Ariel, and Prospero. In this case, Ariel carries along a definition as mullato slave, and there is a rendering of the Caliban as a slave of the black origin (Césaire and Pinkham 27). Taking a close look at Ariel as a mullato, Césaire draws him as a hesitant intercessor thriving between the black and the white as well as between the colonized and the colonizer. Caliban takes the ground as a black nationalist, whereby he takes the stage with cries for freedom (Césaire 35). In such conduct, Césaire establishes a depiction of the affiliation between the Caliban and Prospero as an analogous to that existing between the colonizer and the colonialist. This is an indication that the skirmish prevailing between the Caliban and Prospero is a battle between liberationist gripe and racist despotism.

The humanistic approach by Ariel has permeated Caliban’s initial belligerent repossession of power based on politics and language. The Caliban is no longer interested in using any initial tactic taking into consideration that later on, there is crumbling of Prospero’s colonial paradigms under the deconstructive language scope (Césaire and Pinkham 27). In such a case, it might be arguable that Césaire deduces that humanism might be a probable resolution. In his rewrite, Césaire attempts to outline a colonial racism legacy rooted in social and psychic aspects that integrates overcoming the past and embracing the future with solid constructs (Césaire and Pinkham 27). The establishment of such a future is an implication that an individual should hope for the best, as there could be the humane overcoming of colonialism legacy.

In conclusion, decolonization is not just political and geophysical, but as Césaire draws in his rewrite of Shakespeare’s composition, decolonization is a composition of a conscious awakening of the colonized characters. Such awakening brings such figures to the realization that their minds need liberation from ruinous and despotic colonial dogmas that for a long period have intercalated them. Throughout the rewrite, Césaire highlights the decolonization process that the Caliban undergoes in his mind, whereby he used defiance in counteracting Prospero’s deleterious foreign language that turns out as less steady as Caliban’s grandiloquence finds its drive. In his authoring, Césaire indicates that the decolonization aspect employed by the Caliban is an initial point from political, power, and language dimensions to reclaim what the greedy Prospero snatched over time. Shakespeare’s most seminal composition under the rewrite by Césaire has an outline of the most exceptional aspects based on demarcated facets of decolonization of the latter on diverse fields. Thus, Aime Césaire rewrites Shakespeare’s The Tempest in a Tempest with more ground on defined spheres revolving around political and aesthetic potentials and use of language and identity in decolonizing Shakespeare’s work with a focus on shedding light on the liberation from ruinous and despotic colonial dogmas.

Works Cited

  1. Césaire, Aimé. A Tempest: Based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Adaptation for a Black Theatre. TCG Translations, 2002.
  2. Césaire, Aimé; Pinkham, Joan. Discourse on Colonialism. BookRags, Inc., 2017.
  3. Goldberg, Jonathan. Tempest in the Caribbean. U of Minnesota Press, 2004.  


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