“Ariel: (1900) An essay by Jose Enrique Rod, which had a tremendous impact on Hispanic American Intellectuals. Rodo appealed to the youth of Spanish American to aspire to be the spirituality, idealism, and rationality symbolized by Shakespeare’s Ariel and to reject the brutishness and sensuality represented by Caliban. Because Rodo censured U.S. materialism and utilitarianism in the essay, many readers erroneously assumed that he was pitting Anglo-Saxon crassness against Latin idealism. A later essay by Fernandes Retamar made a quite different interpretation of Caliban, as the native and victim of imperialism.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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