The Tempest has been a favourite text of Post-Colonial critics, who take it as an opportunity to research British colonial operations from Ireland to outpost Third World countries. But The Tempest can also be rewritten as penetrating social satire, as Aldous Huxley did in his vision of a future dystopia, Brave New World.
“O BRAVE NEW WORLD / THAT HAS SUCH PEOPLE IN’T”, SAYS MIRANDA IN THE LAST SCENE OF THE PLAY — WHICH LOOKS FORWARD TO A WORLD OF GENETIC CLONES.
The text is pregnant with possibility, especially in the figures of Caliban and Sycorax. Some writers have taken these figures and woven new stories about them.
MUCH AS JEAN RHYS DID WHEN SHE WROTE THE UNTOLD STORY OF BERTHA MASON IN WIDE SARGASSO SEA, WHO APPEARS AS THE MAD WOMAN IN MY JANE EYRE (1847).
Shakespeare can be vilified, or co-opted, or his writing can provide the grounds for a rethinking of Jacobean imperialism. On the other hand, The Tempest can also be read as an experimental comedy and a final riposte to the long-dead Marlowe’s satanic Doctor Faustus.