Caliban is one of the most interesting and complex characters in The Tempest. He is a native of the island on which the play is set, and initially appears to be little more than a brute. However, as the play progresses, it becomes clear that Caliban is much more than that. He is a victim of colonialism, has his own unique culture and language, and ultimately represents the ‘other’ in The Tempest.
While Caliban may initially appear to be little more than a brute, it quickly becomes clear that he is much more than that. He is a victim of colonialism, has his own unique culture and language, and ultimately represents the ‘other’ in The Tempest. This makes him a fascinating and multi-faceted character, and one that is central to the themes and ideas of the play.
To explore this further, we can look at Caliban’s role in The Tempest from two key perspectives: his relationship with Prospero, and his interactions with other characters on the island.
In terms of his relationship with Prospero, we can see that Caliban initially views him as a kind of father figure. He refers to him as “my grave master” and is willing to do whatever Prospero asks of him. However, over time it becomes clear that their relationship is not quite so simple. While Caliban remains loyal to Prospero for much of the play, he also resents being treated as a slave by him. This leads to a number of conflicts, both verbal and physical, which highlight Caliban’s intense feelings about his position in The Tempest.
When we turn to Caliban’s interactions with other characters on the island, we can see that he has a complex relationship with each of them. He is wary of Ariel at first, having been tricked by him before, but eventually comes to trust and rely on the sprite. Meanwhile, he is openly hostile towards Stephano and Trinculo, even trying to kill them at one point. Despite this hostility though, Caliban also demonstrates compassion and kindness towards others in The Tempest – particularly Ferdinand.
We must be able to tell what distinguishes the characters in a play in order to comprehend them. Caliban, the sub-human slave who is ruled by his senses, is depicted as an animal, while Prospero is portrayed as a human guided by sound mind. Caliban follows nature out of instinct. Prospero, on the other hand, knows how to apply justifiable authority.
The presence of The Other in The Tempest is an essential element in furthering the plot and developing character. The Other is a fundamental concept that can be found throughout The Tempest, as it plays an important role in shaping the motivations and actions of many of the characters.
Caliban, the sub-human slave who lives on the island at the center of The Tempest, is governed largely by his senses. He responds to nature instinctively, following his animalistic impulses rather than making rational decisions based on sound judgement. Contrastingly, Prospero adopts a more justifiable approach toward governance – he rules over Caliban with reason and logic rather than blindly following his instincts.
While The Other often comes across as threatening or antagonistic towards those who are seen as more human or civilized, it also serves an important purpose in the plot of The Tempest. The presence of The Other forces the other characters to reflect on their own actions, and to explore questions about what makes them truly human. Ultimately, The Other becomes a catalyst for change and growth in The Tempest, helping to reveal some of the true complexities and intricacies of this Shakespearean masterpiece.
Even though it’s simple to start looking at The Tempest through a colonialist perspective, I’ve chosen to concentrate on seeing Caliban as the monster he’s made out to be because of other characters that aren’t human but are treated in a more humane way than him. Before we meet Caliban, we encounter Ariel, Prospero’s trusting spirit. Even though Ariel isn’t human either, he is loved and cared for by his master, who refers to him as my charming Ariel.
The situation is very different with Caliban, who is frequently called The Other. The treatment he receives from Prospero is far from loving and sympathetic. The same can be said of the other characters in The Tempest: they all treat Caliban as The Other, even though he himself is not human either.
While it may seem easy to view The Tempest through a colonialist lens, I believe that there are bigger issues at play here than simply the subjugation of one race by another. By looking beyond the surface and taking into account the treatment of all non-human characters in this play, we can see that The Tempest’s true message lies not in colonialist oppression, but instead in the way that all “Others” – regardless of their species – are treated.
Whether by design or not, The Tempest offers us a powerful lesson in empathy and understanding, reminding us that we should never judge someone based solely on their appearance or identity. Ultimately, The Tempest teaches us to treat The Other with kindness and compassion, regardless of who they are or where they come from.
It is easy to believe that Caliban spoke with his mother for the twelve years preceding Prospero’s death. It appears that Prospero and Miranda assume Caliban will be grateful for the opportunity to learn their language, but he has only just learned how to curse, and he justifies his fury by claiming rights to the island.
The presence of The Other in The Tempest highlights the broken aspects of society, and these two opposing characters allow audiences to examine how The Other affects society and how society treats The Other.
The presence of The Other in The Tempest is a powerful representation of the complex relationship between individuals and society. On one hand, Caliban is depicted as a savage, deformed slave who deeply resents Prospero and his daughter Miranda for taking control of the island where he was born and raised. On the other hand, Prospero embodies many aspects of a powerful ruler or dictator, using his magical abilities to manipulate those around him and maintain his position as lord and master over Caliban.
Through this dynamic between The Other and society, we are able to examine the complex ways in which we are all shaped by our interactions with those who differ from us, and the ways in which society treats The Other. Ultimately, The Tempest reminds us that even when The Other appears to be a broken or malicious figure, they still have an important role to play in shaping the world around them.
Although we are not told the circumstances of Caliban’s birth, it appears that he was not created through a human mating. It has been claimed that, to quote Prospero, he was sired by the devil himself on thy foul dam from a congress between Sycorax and an incubus (an attractive male apparition with the aim of tempting). Caliban was thus a being born out of passion, the son of an unhallowed pleasure.
The fact that he is an ‘other’ to Prospero, both in terms of his appearance and in terms of his parentage, is significant. The tempestuous island on which they are shipwrecked is a microcosm of the world beyond, and Caliban represents all that is dark and foreign to Prospero.
Prospero’s treatment of Caliban is indicative of the way in which the Renaissance man viewed those who were different from him. In many ways, Prospero can be seen as a representation of the ideal Renaissance man: he is educated, well-spoken and civilised. He has a broad understanding of the world and a keen interest in art, literature and science. To him, Caliban represents everything that is base and savage, and he sees his task as civilising The Other In The Tempest.
Although he initially treats Caliban with disdain, Prospero gradually comes to respect him, eventually seeing him as an equal. He acknowledges that they are both products of their environment, and that he has made mistakes in the way in which he has treated The Other In The Tempest.
Through this realisation, Prospero shows that The Other is not inherently evil or inferior – rather than being a threat to the status quo, The Other can be embraced for its differences and used to challenge existing perceptions. Ultimately, The Other In The Tempest challenges us to rethink our assumptions and question how we treat those who are different from us.