HUMAN 1B Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Persuasive Writing, Tyrant

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8 Feb 2017

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February 8, 2017
The Tempest: Lecture 3
What happened to Caliban?
What happened to Prospero?
Three islands (decolonizing), three answers as history changes the scene.
Rudyard Kipling, “The White Man’s Buren” (1899; Phillipines/English)
Roberto Retamar, “Caliban” (1971; Cuba/Spanish)
Aimé Césaire, A Tempest (1969; Martinique/French)
all pieces of persuasive writing
makes audience think of power and how it survives
addressing European and American audiences
In Shakespeare
language is partner to empire
but that same language can be used against empire
those who use language to promote with empire learn that it is vulnerable (Prospero)
those who use language to undermine empire learn that it can replicate the power
structure it seems to challenge (Caliban)
After Shakespeare
the language of Shakespeare became a partner to empire (Kipling)
but Shakespeare could be used (reinterpreted) to critique empire, allowing subjects of
empire to realize their power, control over own destiny (Césaire)
over time, using Shakespeare, “real” advocates of empire learned how vulnerable they
were (=Kipling)
over time, using Shakespeare, their colonial subjects learned the limits of their power as
well (Césaire, Retamar)
The White Man’s Burden
words shared with Shakespeare: “burden,” “profit,” “devil,” “child,” “peoples,” “tales”
verbal qualities in common with Prospero: incantatory language through repetition to
persuade, achieve power (“take”)
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