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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32946

Title: Genesis of a Discourse: The Tempest and the Emergence of Postcoloniality
Authors: Pocock, Judith Anne
Advisor: Kanaganayakam, Chelva
Department: English
Keywords: Shakespeare
George Lamming
Aimé Césaire
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Michelle Cliff
Margaret Laurence
Sarah Murphry
Marina Warner
Issue Date: 5-Sep-2012
Abstract: This dissertation contends that The Tempest by William Shakespeare plays a seminal role in the development of postcolonial literature and criticism because it was created in a moment when the colonial system that was now falling apart was just beginning to come into being. Creative writers and critics from the Third World, particularly Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, and the First found that the moment reflected in The Tempest had something very specific to say to a generation coming of age in the postcolonial world of the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. I establish that a significant discourse that begins in the Nineteenth Century and intensifies in the Twentieth depends on The Tempest to explore the nature of colonialism and to develop an understanding of the postcolonial world. I then examine the role theories of adaptation play in understanding why The Tempest assumes such a crucial role and determine that the most useful model of adaptation resembles the method developed by biblical typologists which “sets two successive historical events [or periods] into a reciprocal relation of anticipation and fulfillment” (Brumm 27). I ague that postcolonial writers and critics found in The Tempest evidence of a history of colonial oppression and resistance often obscured by established historical narratives and a venue to explore their relationship to their past, present, and future. Because my argument rests on the contention that The Tempest was created in a world where colonialism was coming into being, I explore the historical context surrounding the moment of the play’s creation and determine, in spite of the contention of many historians and some literary critics to the contrary, the forces bringing colonialism into being were already at play and were having a profound effect. After briefly illustrating the historical roots of several popular themes in The Tempest that postcolonial writers have embraced, I turn to the work of writers and critics from the Third World and the First to show how The Tempest plays a significant role in postcolonial studies.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32946
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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