The Orientalized Orients and the Utilitarian Colonialization in Aime Cesaire's Play “A Tempest”

Sepideh Abbasi, Mohammad Mahdi Kashani Lotf-abadi


Postcolonialism, as the harbinger of twenty-first century’s critical outlooks, encompasses and gives far more meaning to the classical work of literature, as Shakespeare, to even the most recent ones as Cesaire. It is one of the broad schools of thought and philosophy that deeply indebted to the ideas and studies of a colonized scholar and thinker called Edward Said. “The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe”, Said states in his Orientalism, “it is also the place of Europe’s greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of civilizations and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the Other” (Said, 12). So, the postcolonial studies consider a “continuing process of resistance and reconstruction” (Reader, 22). Regarding the school of postcolonialism and Cesaire’s work called “A Tempest”; this study concentrates on Orientalism, the hegemony, orientalization, and utilitarianism in the colonized nations, as viewed in this play and as applied from the school. Said’s postcolonial elements, such as Orientalized Orient and Civilizing mission, to choose as the two basic issues of postcolonialism, are applicable and seen through this play. Cesaire’s ‘A Tempest’ is the postcolonial revision of William Shakespeare’s’ The Tempest’; in which he tries to show the reactions of the colonizer and the colonized. The major character of the play, Prospero makes his mind up to carry out his civilizing mission and through this decision, he gave meaning to his life and brings the colonizeds to be orientalized. This paper is to fulfill a contemplation over the ways one can colonize a land and its people based on Edward Said’s ideas represented in his masterpiece Orientalism (1978), regarding the events in ‘A Tempest’. Finally the study comes to the conclusion that the colonizer tries to exploit land and people of other land by simply defining a discourse in which a binary opposition makes it easy to define one as superior and another as inferior. Therefore, through the colonization the colonizer takes control of the land and people, while their worth is only based of the utilitarian views.
Key words: Orientalized Orient; Orientalism; Civilizing Mission; Hegemony; Utilitarianism


Orientalized Orient; Orientalism; Civilizing Mission; Hegemony; Utilitarianism



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