Joseph Conrad’s an Outpost of Progress and William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

In Joseph Conrad’s short story An Outpost of Progress and William Shakespeare’s story The Tempest have a different plot and characters but share a theme. Both stories tell about two totally different plots but have a theme of civilization and colonization. An Outpost of Progress plot is about two men and their quest to civilize and colonize Africa, and The Tempest is plot is about a man who started a tempest to claim and earn his position back. Both stories are extremely dramatic and intense because of the common theme but the different plots and characters.

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

Joseph Conrad’s An Outpost of Progress is a story of two Caucasian men that were sent to do a particular job of trading. In colonial times, England and many European countries had control of Africa. Kayerts and Carlier are assigned to a trading post in Africa that mainly deals with ivory. As time passes on the trading post, they have no specific tasks or things to be done so they become isolated and hopeless. The men have self-worth and believe they are the masters of the domain and constantly rely on their employee Makola, their bookkeeper who is responsible for most of the duties on the trading post. Gobila, another native of Africa, comes from a nearby village and in his opinion, he believes that Kayerts and Carlier are immortal. He is responsible for sending women from his village to be slaves for the white men. A group of natives come to the camp armed and make Kayerts and Carlier feel powerless. The armed natives load their guns and shoot making the village scream in terror. They state how they have more ivory then they are able to handle and Makola offers to get some ivory and the natives accept. During the night, the two men hear gunshots and find one of Gobila men dead. Makola informs the whole that he traded the men for ivory. They were appalled by Makola’s actions and were angry at him for doing so, but eventually accepted this concept of trading slaves for ivory because it comes with a large profit. It was when Makola made this trade deal that they were interested in the profits and benefits that comes with the trade.

Soon after this trade, the men become extremely ill and grew weak from their illness. They’ve become overwhelmed with the feeling of loneliness and a sense of uselessness. The men can tell that they’ve changed and are unsure of the feelings that they feel. The men begin to argue that is provoked over sugar, and Carlier loses control of himself and calls Kayerts a “slave-dealer.” Kayerts is left to face the truth that he is unable to handle and respond with violence. The two men begin to tussle and chase each other around the house until Kayerts shoots Carlier and kills him. Makola appears and finds Kayerts with Carlier’s body. Makola believes that Kayerts has lost his mind and had to make Kayerts aware that he just killed a man without a weapon. Kayerts explains how Carlier was a toxic beast and starts to call out to God for help. At the end of the story, the steamboat comes a couple of months later than it should pick up Kayerts and Carlier but Kayerts already hung himself because he felt as his soul was heavy of guiltiness. Conrad adds that Kayerts tongue was sticking out at the end of the book.

This story takes place in the colonized area of Africa. The area has a small population with its trading post store and the residences. The major theme in this book is civilization and colonization. The book shows Kayerts and Carlier as round characters to show his opinion of society. An Outpost of Progress shows how the two men lose their civilization and overtime began to act out of character. Joseph Conrad tells how the two men got into an argument over something as small as sugar. The book explains how civilization can easily become lost and people can demote their character. The story is a simple story that becomes dramatic because of the two European men. They lacked any real skills and abilities with an inability to live and colonize Africa. They were hired to search for profits within the trading post and eventually get Natives to work. The two men were replacements and they’ve faced their fears and doubts. The book shows how the two men were faced with the brutalities of colonialism.

William Shakespeare starts The Tempest out in the middle of a rainstorm on a ship that was carrying the King of Naples, Alonso, his son Ferdinand, and his brother Sebastian. Prospero and his daughter, Miranda, is on an island watching the ship struggle in the storm. Prospero created the storm to take after his enemies that are on the ship. Prospero tells Miranda the story of how they came to the island and why he has an issue with the passengers on the ship. He opens up and tells her about how he started the storm and then begins to tell her about his past but was cut off. The story was about how Prospero was the Duke of Milan until his brother Antonio took the position. Prospero was kidnapped and was left on a raft on the sea. Gonzalo left supplies and Prospero’s books which is how he has his power and magic. Prospero and his daughter live on an island and where they have been for the last twelve years. Prospero was finally getting revenge on his proclaimed enemies and started a tempest to catch the attention of them. He has learned how to manipulate his magic and he uses his magic to control everyone on this island.

Soon the ship washes up on shore, the people on the ship is arriving in three separate groups. Ferdinand is brought to Prospero where he sees Miranda and instantly falls in love. Alonso and the rest of the crew have moved to another part of the island. The king fears that his son is dead and grieves in the loss of his son. Antonio persuades Sebastian that he should murder his brother and take the royalty and throw it for himself. Antonio is using the same plan that he used against his brother, Prospero, twelve years before. Trinculo and Stefano, the court jester and the butler, have a run-in with Caliban, a person that Prospero has enslaved with promises. Stefano has wine and they begin sipping until they were drunk. When drinking the wine, Caliban begins to think about killing Prospero and have Trinculo and Stefano to assist. Ariel, another person whose been imprisoned on promises, is overhearing and reports the plan to Prospero.

In the meantime, Prospero has imprisoned Ferdinand and has forbidden his daughter to have any contact with him. The couple still finds some time to meet and conversate something Prospero was plotting the entire time. Prospero host a masque to help the couple celebrate their love for each other, and the couple was blind to the fact that they were being plotted against. The couple is continuing to celebrate their love for each other while Alonzo is searching for Ferdinand. Prospero makes the Alonzo and the rest of the party hallucinate to see a fancy banquet. Godly voices begin to indict Alonso, Antonio, and Sebastian while the banquet disappears, making the crew run away. Prospero and Ariel plot against Caliban, Trinculo, and Stefano by hanging clothes up and when they were reaching for them, they were chased by spirit dogs.

Finally, Prospero becomes face to face with the royal party and instead of seeking revenge, he forgives them. Prospero is renounced the Duke of Milan and the spell is removed. Alonso apologizes to Prospero and Alonzo is reunited with his son. Alonzo is made aware of Ferdinand and Miranda love for each other and is pleased to know that he is going to marry her. Prospero faces Antonio who is not regretful or apologetic about the situation. Even though Antonio is treating his brother like this, Prospero is not looking to punish him. Caliban comes in and he informs Prospero that he is regretful and that he has learned his lesson. Even though Caliban has apologized, the two accessories, Trinculo and Stefano will still get punished but by the king. Ariel was granted her freedom and released with wishes that she makes a safe trip back. The rest of the party goes to Prospero’s to celebrate and wait to go home.

William Shakespeare’s The Tempest is a play that occurs on an isolated island. The story is about a tempest that was created to carry out Prospero’s plot to receive his spot back in the royal party and to use his daughter as manipulation for the king’s son to lure the royal party to him. He creates a tempest that makes the shipwreck at sea and for them to land on the island to take his spot back from his brother. Caliban, imprisoned by Prospero, lacks gratitude because civilization was given to him but is ungrateful. Prospero took over the island twelve years ago and used his special and magical abilities to run the entire island. Caliban was jealous of Prospero and wanted him off the island so he can take over the island again. Caliban was labeled as lazy, filthy, a slight alcoholic, and etc. He was unable and wasn’t the right person to run an island. The Tempest is a different story for William Shakespeare because usually, his works are tragedies, but this play had a happy ending.

In Joseph Conrad’s short story An Outpost of Progress and William Shakespeare’s story The Tempest theme is colonization and civilization. Kayerts and Carlier were sent to Africa to colonize and civilize the natives but lose their sense of civilization. Their whole purpose was lost on their journey because they were lazy and ill-prepared. From the beginning of the story, it is clear that the two men are unable to do the job that is requested for them. Despite the shortcomings they bring, the men completed absolutely nothing during their time there. The Tempest tells about the relationships between the European colonizer and the native people that he has imprisoned, Prospero and Caliban, to help him with his tempest plan. Prospero took advantage of them because of the situation they were in and he helped them out of it. Prospero views them less than himself and believes that they should be grateful. He was not made aware that he has taken Caliban’s rulership role from him when he came to the island because he simply couldn’t picture him in any leadership role. Shakespeare uses the relationship between the two to explain the misunderstanding between the colonizer and the one being colonized can lead to hatred and conflict on the island or a certain place.

Get quality help now

Prof. Carstensen

Verified writer

Proficient in: Writers

4.8 (459 reviews)
“ Excellent! She is very professional, meet all the requirements, fast turn around time, communicates, and an overall 100/10. ”

+75 relevant experts are online

More The Tempest Related Essays

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.