Prospero uses him to make dams for fish, to fetch firewood, scrape trenches, wash dishes and keep his cell clean. But Shakespeare describes this creature as an innocent — perhaps half man and half fish. Caliban represents the black magic of his mother and initially appears bad, especially when judged by conventional civilized standards. If Prospero represents the colonizer from the civilized world, Caliban is seen as a savage beast thus in need of being civilized. In the play The Tempest, which is written by Shakespeare, Caliban is one of those characters who have been used tremendously outside the play. From the very first howling tempest that wrecks a ship peopled by kings and nobles, to the last wringing of applause from the audience that protects his last release, Prospero is the author … This is made evident through the character of Caliban: the disfigured fish-like creature that inhabits the island upon which the play takes place. In “The Tempest”, William Shakespeare draws the character of Caliban with dubious shades. He quickly discovers his error of judgment, however: Such a character trait clearly shows Caliban’s inherent innocence and lack of shrewd understanding of complex civil society. It seems, therefore, that he has a physical deformity but is spiritual inferiority is also suggested by Prospero’s claim that his birth resulted from a union between his mother, a witch, and the devil. The Tempest, being a play about colonialism, deals with the relation between the colonizer and the colonized. Caliban’s portrayal is therefore based not so much on direct delineation as on derived understanding based on his “otherness” or difference.The Interaction between Caliban and Prosperous affords interesting material for examination. He tells of the beautiful dreams in which heaven rains treasures upon him and which upon waking he yearns to renew. Pursuing a Ph.D. in English. In “The Tempest”, William Shakespeare draws the character of Caliban in dubious shades. The The Tempest quotes below are all either spoken by Caliban or refer to Caliban. However, Trinculo and Stefano’s descriptions are untrustworthy, since the first is frightened by the storm, and the second is drunk. Throughout most of the play, Caliban is insolent and rebellious and is only controlled through the use of magic. Ad. The first time when Prospero speaks of Caliban to Miranda in the play, he says that Caliban is someone who never “ yields us kind answer ” and Miranda replies … He listens to the music with rapture. Caliban has a better set of values than Stephano and Trinculo. “He is a poetical being in his own way; he always speaks in verse.”His language, as Morton Luce says, is ‘half-picture and half-music.’Indeed one of the most poetical passages in the whole play is the description of the island has come from him: “Do not afeared; this isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.”. Flashcards in Critical Interpretation - The TempestDeck (21) Loading flashcards... 1. However, some were beginning to question this assumption and there is evidence in the play that Shakespeare believed that the corruption in a civilized man was more abhorrent than any natural, albeit uncivilized behaviour. perception either reaffirming or challenging presumptions. The Tempest can be seen as a colonial text, containing New World ideas. There is obviously an opposition, between Caliban’s instinctive knowledge of the natural and Prospero’s studied knowledge of the supernatural. He is insultingly referred to as a ‘tortoise’, a ‘fish’ and a ‘beast’ and in the final act Prospero described as ‘This misshapen knave’ and as one who is, “………….as disproportioned in his manners As in his shape.”. He is an extremely complex figure, and he mirrors or parodies several other characters in the play. Miranda: Shakespeare's Portrayal of Pure Innocence in "The Tempest". Caliban is entirely a creature of the earth: gross, brutal and savage. He regards himself as the rightful ‘possessor of the island and Prospero as a usurper. Many stage productions of The Tempest have depicted Caliban in varied ways — from the noble North American Indian, to African, to South American Indian or Mexican. A profound hatred for Prospero has taken hold of Caliban and filled all his nature. Prosperos dark, earthy slave, frequently referred to as a monster by the other characters, Caliban is the son of a witch-hag and the only real native of the island to appear in the play. Caliban merely wants revenge and the return of ‘his’ island. Caliban has suffered at the hands of Prospero and he has learnt to curse by listening to Prospero’s abuse. While some have downright dismissed him as a lowly savage, others (especially the post colonial critics) have focused on Caliban as the subjugated victim of colonial domination. Prospero has made Caliban his servant or, more accurately, his slave. Through Prospero’s ownership, Shakespeare views Caliban as a lesser being. Ingham, M. (2010) 'Critical Evaluation: The Tempest' Salem Press This essay provides an overall view, critiquing and discussing The Tempest, its themes, characters and context. Nonetheless, the portrayal of Caliban has interesting shades which have baffled and interested Shakespearean critics and audience. He is well aware of the futility of arguing with one who has more power than he has: He realises the importance of Prospero’s books: First to possess his books; for without them. The monster, the slave, the aboriginal Indian – these are the three parts played by this triple character, who thus with a doubtful consistency fulfills the poet’s three-fold purpose and serves as embodiment of the supernatural, the social and political topics of the day”. Prospero “could only unfold his understanding, without,in the slightest degree, taming his rooted malignity; it is as if the use of reason and human speech were communicated to an awkward ape” (Schligel). However, the ambitious strive for necessitating power and self-fulfillment is only ascertained in one’s ability to defy and transcend contextual limitations. He is contrasted with Ariel who is a spirit and thus ethereal, swift and uninterested in physical activities;he is contrasted also with Prospero who is the all powerful master of the island and of the destiny of all those on the island; and finally he is contrasted with civilized man, showing himself to be less evil than Antonio and Sebastian, and less materialistic than Stephano and Trinculo if less knowledgeable than Prospero. The growing critical interest in the character portrayal of Caliban is a sign of alternative perspectives in Shakespearean criticism, founded on deconstruction and post-colonial ideologies. Caliban, therefore, represents the oppressed and the downtrodden class of slaves in an unequal world. Thus, Caliban is a monster of evil and brute nature; ugly, deformed and stinking. In “The Tempest”, William Shakespeare draws the character of Caliban in dubious shades. Character Analysis: Caliban The character of Caliban is generally thought to be one of the author's master-pieces. The Tempest Critical Analysis 1029 Words | 5 Pages. Only Caliban realizes that such finery is unimportant: “Leave it alone, thou fool, it is but trash.”. On the other hand, Calib… In The Tempest, William Shakespeare portrays the character Caliban as a savage, horrid beast and as the slave of the Westerner, Prospero. In showing Caliban as incapable of decent articulation, Shakespeare further degrades Caliban to the level of bestiality. It reveals the soul of a poet in Caliban. While some have downright dismissed him as a lowly savage, others (especially the post colonial critics) have focused on Caliban as the subjugated victim of colonial domination.