Discussion Questions 4/8

“I imagine he has done for the Caribbean what Synge did for Ireland, found a language woven out of dialect and literature…” (Heaney 5). Is it fair to compare Walcott to Synge? Did Walcott “find” this language or was he a part of it because he actually grew up on the island speaking the language?

“From the beginning he has never simplified or sold short.
Africa and England are in him” (Heaney 6). Is this a fair statement? Is Heaney claiming that Walcott has never misstepped in his depiction of his hybridized identity? Would Heaney even know if Walcott was selling his identity short? Do you think that Walcott is selling Heaney’s hybridized identity short by claiming that only Africa and England are in him?

How does Caliban compare to Ariel? What do we get out of their relationship in this version that we do not in the original? Ariel has a non-violent approach to gaining her freedom, but Caliban seems to be centered on violent revenge. Does the play champion one over the other because of this?

What is Eshu’s purpose? What does he bring to the play? The Master of Ceremonies remarks that Eshu, a black devil-god, will “fit like a glove” (Cesaire 1). What does this say about the other gods, that they fit into the same category as this “devil-god?”