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Discuss the character of Caliban in Act 2 Scene 2

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Introduction

Discuss the character of Caliban in Act 2 Scene 2 The character of Caliban in the tempest is arguably one of the most interesting Shakespeare characters. Caliban, in the play, could be seen as symbolising the struggle for democracy. This is due to the fact that prospero sees Caliban as being beneath him, and himself and Miranda as higher. Colonialism is a major theme in the play as some critics may say it takes Prospero to be a European invader of the primitive and magical land he has taken over. Also by using his superior knowledge to enslave its original inhabitants, most importantly Caliban and Ariel. This is a symbol for European colonial power in which England was growing increasingly familiar with during Shakespeare's lifetime. ...read more.

Middle

However it could be argued that Caliban isn't entirely to blame for his beastly and primitive behaviour. It could also be said that Prospero is somewhat to blame as he was the one that invaded the island, and the fact that Caliban has been living there his whole life shows that he should in fact have more control and power over the island. "All the infections that the sun sucks up From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make him by inch meal a disease" This quote again supports the idea that Caliban is ungrateful for a lot of things that people like Prospero may have done for him, as he believes that the gift of language is a benefit for him as it allows him to curse. ...read more.

Conclusion

It has been said that if Caliban has been living on the island a lot longer than Prospero, then why is he unable to take control of the island. However the fact that he is unable to be tactical about his moves on the island proves to the audience that he doesn't have the ability to outsmart Prospero and seize the island from him. I think Caliban is a complex character. This is shown by the contrast between his vulnerability and his venomous nature. Shakespeare reveals this through the appearance of Caliban, his language and the way he delivers his speech. He is a complex character as he can be venomous one moment and then talk about his island and be very poetic and delicate. Rozina Akhtar 12KAM ...read more.

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