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Prologue to Elizabethan Exploration – 1266—Marco Polo & trade routes with Asia – 1492—Christopher Columbus & the discovery of the New World – 1570’s—Spanish.

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Presentation on theme: "Prologue to Elizabethan Exploration – 1266—Marco Polo & trade routes with Asia – 1492—Christopher Columbus & the discovery of the New World – 1570’s—Spanish."— Presentation transcript:


2 Prologue to Elizabethan Exploration – 1266—Marco Polo & trade routes with Asia – 1492—Christopher Columbus & the discovery of the New World – 1570’s—Spanish monopoly of the New World Elizabeth’s encouragement England’s Late Start

3 Gold, Praise, and Glory: Motives for English Exploration John Dee’s imperial vision – General and Rare Memorials Pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation (1577) Richard Hakluyt — “Discourse on Western Planting” (1584) work for idlers missionary work increase trade "To seek new worlds for gold, for praise, for glory” –Walter Raleigh

4 “Sea Dogs” & Privateers Sir Walter Raleigh’s search for El Dorado Sir Frances Drake’s circumnavigation Sir Martin Frobisher & The Northwest Passage John Hawkins & the slave trade – Elizabeth’s ambiguous relationship to the slave trade Sir Walter Raleigh

5 Friend or Foe: European Representations of the New World Accounts of the New World: – promote colonization – encourage missionary work – depict native cultures – define “Englishness” Richard Hakluyt The Principal Navigations, Traffics, Voyages, and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589)

6 Representations of the “Other” The Noble Savage & Utopia: “We found the people most gentle, loving, and faithful, void of guile and treason, and such as live after the manner of the golden age.” – Arthur Barlowe, The First Voyage Made to Virginia (1584) “There is nothing in this nation that is either barbarous or savage unless men call that barbarism which is not common to them....It is a nation that has no kind of traffic, no knowledge of letters, no intelligence of numbers, no name of magistrate, nor of politic superiority, no use of service, of riches or of poverty …” – Michel de Montaigne “Of Cannibals” (1580) Gonzalo’s utopia: I' the commonwealth I would by contraries Execute all things; for no kind of traffic Would I admit; no name of magistrate; Letters should not be known; riches, poverty, And use of service, none; contract, succession, Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none; No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil; No occupation; all men idle, all; And women too, but innocent and pure; No sovereignty— (2.1.143-152)

7 …Representations Continued The Violent Savage: “It appeareth... that the savages…for the most part are at continual wars with their next adjoining neighbors, and especially the cannibals, being a cruel kind of people, whose food is man's flesh, and have teeth like dogs, and do pursue them with ravenous minds, to eat their flesh, and devour them.” -- George Peckham, A True Report of the Late Discoveries (1584) Character List - Caliban is a “savage and deformed slave” Caliban is a “monster” (2.2.184) who is “not honored with human shape” (1.2.282-3). To Trinculo he is a “fish” (2.2.24) and a “mooncalf” (2.2.106). Peter Hulme notes that Caliban is an anagram for “cannibal.”

8 …Representations Continued Ideological and Religious Conversion: “I described the contents of the Bible as often as I could. I told the natives that there was set forth the only true God and His mighty works, with the true doctrine of salvation through Christ. I related the miracles and the chief points of religion to them, as many as I thought fit and could recount at the time. And although I told them that the book itself had no great virtue, but only the doctrine it contained, still they wished to touch, embrace, and kiss it, and to bold it to their breasts and heads and stroke their whole bodies with it. Thus did they show their hungry desire for its knowledge.” Thomas Harriot, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (1590) Miranda’s ideological “ conversion ” of Caliban: I pitied thee, Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour One thing or other: when thou didst not, savage, Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy purposes With words that made them known. (1.2.352-7)

9 …Representations Continued The Spectacle of the “Other” : “I broke off all the parts of the bodies …. and brought home… heads, hands, arms, and feet for a show. We brought also 600 pounds for the Turkey Company in pieces; and brought into England in the Hercules, together with a whole body. They are lapped in above a hundred double of cloth, which rotting and peeling off, you may see the skin, flesh, fingers, and nails firm, only altered black. One little hand I brought into England, to show, and presented it to my brother, who gave the same to a doctor in Oxford.” -- John Sanderson, A Merchant among the Mummies (1586) Trinculo’s exploitation of Caliban: "they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian" (2.2.32–3)

10 The Tempest’s Depiction of Expansion Does the text endorse or question British expansion? Recent Criticism: Dialectic of Tyranny vs. Benevolent Rule Prospero as ultimately benevolent » Nathan Schlueter’s reading (2002) of The Tempest emphasizes Prospero’s goodwill and wisdom. » Prospero sets both Caliban and Ariel free (5.1.254-5) Post-colonial Readings and Questions of the British Claim to Sovereignty » Paul Brown: the play “foreground[s] precisely those problems [of colonization] which it works to efface or overcome” by confirming the colonizer’s superiority (Brown 48). » A sympathetic Caliban recounts his overthrow (1.2.334-47) » Prospero plea for forgiveness (Epilogue 16-20)

11 Bibliography

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