Critical Conversation

Right out of the gate, we were warned that this type of essay would be the hardest and take the longest out of all other essays we have completed thus far. I had trouble at the beginning, I couldn’t brainstorm any topic in The Tempest that disagreed with a major postcolonial critic’s point of view. My answer came to me when reading Paul Brown’s essay, I happened to follow along and agree with much of what he said. I then thought that my essay could use Paul Brown and his ideas to dig deeper into the characters of The Tempest.

While going about this draft, I depended much on what we learned about Close Reading from our essay before and tried to follow that process. I was exposed to examples of historical contextualization and this also helped me visualize what my essay was going to be like. I analyzed Paul’s ideas and then implemented my own views of Prospero’s power dependence on the characters in the play, especially on Ariel.

This led me to a rough first draft which I showed to Drew for some guidance. As it turns out, I was just skimming the surface of what I was trying to actually say. I was told to add more close reading to support the quotes I chose and to elaborate on how Ariel was the true catalyst of everything in the play as well as how Caliban was aiding Prospero’s power. I then used this same Draft 1 to have a peer edit and get more feedback. They also agreed that I needed to specify and add more close reading to strengthen my claim that Prospero put his slaves down to make himself feel stronger.

I did find it challenging to not stray from my claim because so much can be said about Prospero and his power relationships. I added more about how the foundation of Ariel’s relationship with Prospero was a large power leverage for him. I also dug deeper into the Tempest to find examples of where Prospero was without power so I could show the contrast. Ultimately, I concluded with his Epilogue with showed the point I was trying to prove all along, that he was powerless without the help from others. Finally I came up with a  Draft 2  to submit which I thought was a great development on the poorer drafts I composed earlier. All the hard work came together to strengthen my final draft.