Shakespeare's The Tempest: An Ecocritical Interpretation

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It is a cosmically accepted fact that whatever is being contrived in the fields of science, technology, economics, history, literature, sociology and various other branches of knowledge, environment and ecology play a paramount role. In our enterprise of anatomizing diverse literary compositions one is able to perceive that man’s function and placement in relation to eco-environ has always been that of a preserver, conserver, exploiter, destroyer and the scourged. The proposed endeavour concentrates upon reading Shakespeare’s dramatic romance, The Tempest (1610) in the prodigious ecological matrix, which integrally comprises of the relationship between the organism and the environment. It makes an attempt to assess the identity, position and function of the characters in both positive and negative dimensions with respect to their interconnectedness with ecological phenomena. The Tempest, as the name reveals, is very close to Nature, hence both Man-Nature confrontation and cooperation are experienced. This exploration highlights not only the globally prevalent domination, exploitation, commodification, impoverishment and nullification of women, rustics and Nature but also their physically and symbolically intertwined characteristics. Man’s role, which has been predominantly of a predator of Nature, women and others close to earth is also underlined. It simultaneously projects a mosaic of the following factors: exploitation and conservation of ecosystem by civilization; practical and symbolic significance of ecosystem in human lives; embracement and overthrow of humans by Nature; interrelatedness and interdependence among the humans and their environment; ultimate submission of human beings in front of the omnipotent Nature; the dominating, and usurping tendency of civilization under an illusion of being the supreme authority/power, Nature’s mockery of the same, and metamorphosis of ecocidal entities into ecofriendly agents brought about by the enigmatic forces of Nature. The dissertation also attempts to project how The Tempest has catered the rhythms of the dynamic Nature in the context of an ever-changing society and how it reflects both elevated and distorted symbolic association of humans and Nature/the non-human world.


Keywords: The Tempest, Man-Nature, Eco-friendly, Ecocidal
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Shakespeare's The Tempest: An Ecocritical Interpretation


Sumana Biswas

Research Scholar, Department of English, Rani Durgavati University
Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (MP), India

Sumana Biswas is born on 04.07.1975. She has done her M.A. in English Literature from Rani Durgavati Vishwavidalaya. Her subject of specialization during her Masters has been British Literature and Shakespeare. She has completed her M.Phil degree in English Literature from the same University. Her topic of M.Phil dissertation is "IMAGES OF WOMEN IN SHAKESPEARE'S TWELFTH NIGHT AND MEASURE FOR MEASURE: A FEMINIST APPRAISAL". At present she is pursuing Ph.D in the same University and the topic is "Ecocritical Evaluation of Shakespeare’s Comedies and Tragedies". At present she has two publications : 1. “Myriad Hues of Protest and Tumultuous Aftermath in V.S. Naipaul’s Guerrillas” in an Anthology titled 'Protest in Indian Fiction in English'; 2. "An Adventure into Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and The Winter’s Tale : An Ecocritical Reading" in 'The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences', Vol 1, Issue 3. Her fields of interest are Shakespearean Literature, Contemporary Literature, Indian Literature, Feminism, Eco-feminism, Ecocriticism, Colonialism, Post colonialism, and other Socio-critical theories.

Prof. Madhumalati Adhikari

Emeritus Fellow, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IITDM, Jabalpur, India
Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India

Prof. Madhumalati Adhikari had been the Professor and Head in the Department of PG Studies and Research in English, Rani Durgavati University, Jabalpur. She has retired in December 2003 and worked as guest professor in the same institute for sometime. At present she is an Emeritus Fellow at IIITDM, Jabalpur. She holds 23 years of research experience. Simultaneously, she has 25 national and international seminar/ conference papers to her credit besides 2 workshops. She holds the credit of having written and edited 6 books. Besides, she has 38 National published research papers and 3 international published research papers, to add to her credit. She is Co-editor of literary journals: Points of View and Vishleshana She has worked on British, American, African-American, Canadian and Indian English authors. Her analytical approach is dynamic and multidimensional. Her works and papers concentrate upon various socio-political, historical, philosophical, feminist, socio-economic, cultural, colonial, postcolonial, ecocritical and other modern and post modern theories

Ref: H08P0480