• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Does Shakespeare introduce Caliban in The Tempest?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Does Shakespeare introduce Caliban? [Lines 308 - 374] In your answer: * Look closely at the language, imagery and tone of the passage. * Comment on what the passage suggests about the relationship between Prospero and Caliban. Shakespeare introduces Caliban into act 1: scene 2 before he even speaks by the shared dialogue between Prospero and Miranda. Before he has even entered the stage, the audience learn that Caliban is a slave controlled by Prospero "Whom now I keep in service" because he was born to a wicked mother; Sycorax. As Shakespeare unfolds the evilness that the "hag" Sycorax had previously executed, the audience gain a bad initial impression of Caliban as a character. This idea is also emphasised by the connotations attached to his name, for example it is clear for the audience to see the similarity between the word Caliban and Cannibal, and in fact to see it is an anagram. This brings imagery of a primitive, feral savage. The imagery is reinforced further by the wordplay associated with his name; implying the modern day term of Caribbean, also bring undomesticated and untamed suggestions to the character before he has even spoken. It is easy to recognise that Caliban does not get on well with his ruler, as conversation prior to his arrival on stage such as "Dull thing" makes it evident that he is disrespected and also the use of animal imagery used by Shakespeare emphasises this point further. ...read more.

Middle

As the audience are aware Prospero can mistreat people (as they have earlier witnessed him threaten to lock Ariel into an oak tree) it is almost assumed that Caliban does not deserve the ill-treatment he is receiving, as he appears to be performing his duties and is vital to Prospero "We cannot miss him". Prospero's tone and language can be interpreted as unfair treatment and can gain Caliban sympathy from the audience. The constant threats exchanged between Prospero and Caliban "south-west blow on ye,// And blister you all o'er" make their hatred towards each other mutual and builds tension on the stage as the characters tempers begin to boil. Shakespeare uses a similie to describe the pain Caliban will be in due to the pinches he will receive from his cramps "As thick as honeycomb"; this implies the pain will be severe because the pinches will be in high concentration. This figurative language is continued with the similie and comparison of the pain to bee stings "each pinch more stinging// Than the bees than made 'em". Later, Caliban reveals his and Prospero's past to the audience and answers a lot of previously unanswered questions. The audience learn that once Caliban respected Prospero as his teacher "Thou strok'st me and made much of me" and ironically taught him in return and shared all his knowledge of the island with him as well as using the animal imagery to describe himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also Shakespeare repeats the idea of Prospero and Miranda being betrayed by someone they trusted, as they have previously been by Antonio. In this scene, Miranda agrees with her father's views on their "abhorred slave" although Caliban has an answer to everything they say against him and states how they have been a negative influence on him, "I know how to curse". Prospero is trying to assert his authority here by using threats and backing them up with animal imagery, "Fill all thy bones with aches, make thee roar,// That beasts shall tremble". However Caliban is rebelliously challenging it as we have seen earlier in the play by Boatswain. In conclusion, Shakespeare introduces Caliban very strongly into "The Tempest". He has shown courage and guts to challenge and confront his master who controls him whilst maintaining his resentment against him for stealing the land which was rightfully his. Early impressions are instantly made of him, although in most cases these are dramatically turned around when the truth about his past is revealed. However the audience may sympathise with him as all he really wants is ironically the same as his contrasting character - Ariel; his liberty and freedom which he debatably deserves. The audience will therefore be keen to find out if he is later granted this by Prospero or not, and their relationship with one another increases the audience's anticipation of the unfolding of future scenes. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ashleigh Soppet 12A ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Tempest section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Tempest essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Nature vs. Art in The Tempest

    3 star(s)

    He threatens Ferdinand with 'If thou dost break her virgin-knot before All sanctimonious ceremonies ... No sweet aspersion ... but barren hate ... sour-ey'd disdain and discord shall bestrew The union of your bed with weeds so loathly'. This attempt to control Miranda's sexuality is one of many during the play, and is one of Prospero's more consistent 'nurturing' attempts.

  2. Shakespeares 'The Tempest' as a Study of Colonialism.

    In contrast, although Prospero's seems to relish having possessed the god-like power to wield lightning bolts; cause eclipses, storms, and earthquakes; and command the tenants of graves to come forth (V, i, 41-49Prospero never wastes his "art" on the execution of trivialities.

  1. How does Shakespeare present Prospero's relationship with Ariel and Caliban throughout the course of ...

    Ariel, although lacking of human emotion, seems to crave the approval of his master as the play progresses. He frequently questions Prospero's love for him, "Do you love me, master? No?" (4, 1, 48) Prospero has promised to release Ariel from his service upon his own escape from the island.

  2. Why is Caliban such an interesting an important character in 'The Tempest' and how ...

    'But they'll nor pinch me, fright me with urchin shows, pitch me I' the mire'. This scene also reinforces the opinion that Caliban is stupid and childish because he thinks that if he hides under his coat and lies flat on the ground, Prospero's spirits wouldn't be able to find him.

  1. With reference to two or three episodes, explore Shakespeare's dramatic use and presentation of ...

    therefore has no reason to lie about what Caliban is really like, yet his description of Caliban is still very negative, "a born devil, on whose nature nurture can never stick; on whom my pains...lost". Therefore Shakespeare is presenting Caliban as being inevitably evil - due to the fact that

  2. Compare and contrast the ways in which the writers of The Tempest and Translations ...

    found in both plays, and one of great significance, because the colonised were often 'educated' or 'civilised' by being taught the coloniser's language. We witness this in both plays. In The Tempest, Caliban intelligently recognises the damage being taught Italian has done to him; he says, "The red plague rid you | For learning me your language!"

  1. How Does Shakespeare Present the Realtionships With Ariel and Caliban

    However, affection has seeped through causing the paternal bond. Caliban is also seen by Prospero as being unintelligent, and this adds to Prospero naturally assuming that Caliban could never be considered as an equal, and is lower than him on the social standings.

  2. With close reference to the language and imagery of the passage, show in what ...

    This may well be down to a lack of communication, or because he simply felt she was not old enough to understand. When telling this story, Prospero is very forceful and controlling, ordering her to "sit down" and listen. In some parts, Shakespeare writes in the third person, almost as

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work