The theme post colonialism is greatly established throughout the play The Tempest particularly in Act I Scene II. Post colonialism is explicitly portrayed between the relationships of Prospero and Ariel and, Prospero and Calliban. Both Ariel and Calliban are inferior to Prospero with his character revealing a colonial occupier figure subjecting both Ariel and Calliban to a strict control. Prospero’s superior culture and moral virtues contrasts significantly with the independence portrayed in that of the other characters. Ariel and Calliban’s relationship with Prospero can be seen similar as they have benefited from his influence and authority on the island. These relationships are an allegorical representation of the colonial experience.
Ariel represents the colonised population apparent in his unwilling attitude to endure in tasks as a subjugated person. Having once been under the control of Sycorax, Callibans mother a witch who is said to have mated with the devil, Ariel is seen as having benefited under Prospero’s rule. Sycorax imprisoned and confined Ariel in a clothen pine where Prospero freed him from torment. Ariel who has reached the want for independence demands liberty speaks out “I have done thee worthy service … serv’d without grudge or grumblings. Thou did promise to bate me a full year” (I.ii.247-250).
Prospero intimidates Ariel with his power demonstrating a coloniser and colonized relationship between the two. Threatening to put him back into the clothen pine due to his ungratefulness. He issues an illusion to Ariel “This blue-eyed hag was hither brought with child, … thou, my slave…was then her servant” (I.ii.269-271). “She did confine thee… into a cloven pine, within which right imprison’d thou didst painfully remain“ (I.ii.278-279). Immediately Prospero’s intimidation works and Ariel regains cooperation.
Calliban is seen to also have benefited from Prospero’s arrival on the island. Although now dissatisfied with his relationship with...