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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
This 5 page paper looks at David Scott Kastan's piece entitled "'The Duke of Milan/ And his brave son': Old Histories and New in The Tempest" and opposes it. The importance of politics and colonialism in Shakespearean literature is discussed. No additional sources cited.
5 pages (~225 words per page)
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to neglect major premises and bashes significant assumptions to his own detriment. In other words, by opposing the accepted theories of Shakespeare--that he was political, that colonialism was important to
some of the works--Kastan does not make a good case for his own obsession with history. Of course, history is important, but that should not be to the neglect of
political history or political analysis. Kastan s belief that Postcolonial critics have gone astray by supposing that Shakespeare is primarily interested in Englands activities in the New World is rather
weak. While Kastan criticizes the use of history, he does not negate the need for a historical view. In fact, he takes one. What he seems to object to
is the way in which history is used. He blames the critics for being too general and taking events out of context and using them for their own purposes. Rather,
Kastan looks at Shakespeare historically and how the works were utilized, as well as other facts of the day that pertain to them. While Kastan criticizes others for being too
broad, one could criticize Kastan for being too narrow. He looks at Shakespeare historically, but one could also argue that he looks at Shakespeare in a vacuum. That is, Kastan
looks at Shakespeare in its own right but negates the political and social influences of the day, influences that are important. The idea that Shakespeare had been mostly interested in
Englands activities in the New World is not out of the realm of possibility. Certainly, Kastan neglects important points and while his own are not really disputed, his negation of
the validity of other views are really unnecessary. In fact, to some extent, a broader view could be shared and one could reap a great deal of insights from both