Opposing Native Interest in Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Tagore’s Tasher Desh and Achalayatan: A Comparative Study

  • Muhammad Safiur Rahman International Islamic University Chittagong
  • Mohd Muzhafar Idrus Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia
Keywords: Ambivalence theory, Colonization, Hybridity theory, Native culture, Shared culture


In the field of literature, the study of colonization and its aftermath is a significant phenomenon. Shakespeare’s The Tempest presents the story of colonial exploitation, and the tragic and inevitable disintegration of native culture as the result of European invasion and colonization. Instead of justifying the idea of colonization, The Tempest presents a criticism of it.  On the other hand, in Tagore’s Tasher Desh (The Country of Cards) and Achalayatan (The Land of Immobility), we see the different attitudes towards European invasion and colonization. Instead of presenting the negative aspects of colonization, as expected from a writer who spent whole of his life under the British colonial rule, Tagore rather shows ambivalent attitudes towards colonization. In this paper we discuss different attitudes towards colonization as expressed in Shakespeare’s The Tempest in the one hand, and Tagore’s Tasher Desh and Achalayatan on the other hand. This paper draws on a close analysis of the texts using some postcolonial insights, theory of hybridity, and theory of ambivalence. Hybridity theory is credited to Homi K Bhabha. It claims that in creating a shared culture the colonizer and the colonized are mutually interdependent. Again, ambivalence theory, adopted by Bhabha into colonial discourse, examines the ambivalent feeling of repulsion and attraction that typifies the relationship between the colonized and the colonizer. The insights developed from the research will contribute to academic understanding of the shared culture constructed by the interactions between the colonized and the colonizer.

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