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How effectively is Caliban presented through his actions to a modern audience?

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Tom Moore How effectively is Caliban presented through his actions to a modern audience? One of the most crucial characters of the Tempest is the character Caliban; the 'monster-like creature' that inhabits the island at which the play takes place. Caliban lacks civilized influence due to the fact that he was born on the island and deprived of any social activity other than nature and instinct. Caliban is not monstrous simply for the sake of being frightening. Caliban is now looked at more sympathetically to a modern audience. To a Shakespearean audience they could not see past all of this, whether it was to do with lack of action in the way Caliban used to be played of the lack or intelligence of the audience present. His action or his looks are more likely to be the reason where the sympathy leaked through as on the stage during the Shakespearian period he has been played as a lizard, dog, monkey, snake and even a fish. ...read more.


That is left for the audience to decide. The evidence of him loving the island is in the way he expresses some of the most haunting poetry in the whole play. For example the speech in which he tells Prospero how he feels about him taking the island, I ii 337, 'I loved thee and showed thee all the qualities o'th'isle' this shows that Caliban would not just accept anyone onto the island they have to be special to him to make him want to show them something special (his island). A modern audience would see this as a touching part of the play and again would feel sorry for the way that Caliban is being treated. Had this play been shown to an audience in Shakespearean times they would take the side of Prospero. This is because it was at the time of explorers discovering unknown parts of the world, which this play is a metaphor of in a sense that Prospero came and took over the island, colonization. ...read more.


There is two ways that Caliban can be seen to an audience during this section of the play. One way is that it will just enforce a 17th century audience to make them hate Caliban even more as he is now being seen as a 'violent monster'. Although a 21st century audience would respect his decision for rebelling against Prospero because a modern audience has been introduced to other forms of revenge with sometimes it being their own experiences. Killing Prospero maybe going to far but Caliban is not the only one involved in the plot this would mean he could be influenced by others decisions (Trinculo and Stephano) he plays a sheep in a way. In conclusion it is clear from the evidence that Calibans actions in the play makes a modern audience take his side even makes them look past his monstrous looks and behavior. The character is confused and overwhelmed by the way that complete strangers had landed on the island, invading his space. This influences him to take such actions that show his worse side, which is why an 17th century audience would not be able to see past this. ...read more.

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