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

The Tempest Act III, Scene ii, lines 70-144. How does this dialogue develop your response to Caliban?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Act III, Scene ii, lines 70-144. How does this dialogue develop your response to Caliban? Caliban is described in the character list as "a savage and deformed slave," he is the son of Sycorax, an evil witch who has since died but who once held power over the island, now ruled by Prospero. Early commentators were often drawn to Caliban. In 1679 John Dryden cited him as an example of Shakespeare's genius for creating "distinctive and consistent characters", he remarked on the creatures "malice, ignorance, and sinful nature." Dryden's emphasis on Caliban's negative qualities was not all he had to say, however, and later criticism has demonstrated the complexity of his character. In our first onstage meeting of the native on Act I, Scene ii, we note that he is regarded as a "beast" and a "poisonous slave" by Prospero. Also accusing him of being "got by the devil himself' upon Sycorax, Prospero has forced Caliban into servitude. By contrast, Caliban considers himself mistreated and overworked. In his speech in the opening Act, he bitterly accuses Prospero of befriending him in order to take advantage of his gratitude and rob him of the island which he considers his birthright, "This island's mine by Sycorax my mother..." ...read more.

Middle

to see a dead Indian" and Stephano has the idea that "he's a present for any emperor." They give Caliban alcohol, which he refers to as "celestial liqueur"; it is through this that the thoughtlessness of Steohano and Trinculo is revealed. In Calibans first speech in the opening act, he makes reference to Prospero giving him "water with berries in't" although some critics believe this to be wine, it seem unlikely that Prospero would give the native alcohol, as Calibans reaction to the wine in this act suggests that he has never before experienced it. Caliban shows foolishness and naivety in bowing to Stephano as his new master, who grows in his ambitions to kill Prospero. The plan to "knock a nail into his head" seems almost laughable when set in contrast to the subtlety and cunning of Antonio and Sebastian, who use the euphemism of sleep to communicate their plot to usurp the king. Just before the beginning of the extract, Caliban gives his allegiance to Stephano but responds in a childlike way to Trinculo, calling him a "scurvy patch." This gives Ariel a chance to take advantage of the situation and play a trick, casting Trinculo out of the trio and strengthening the relationship between Caliban and his new master. ...read more.

Conclusion

Caliban dreams that the clouds "would open, and show riches Ready to drop upon me". The term "riches" may be a metaphor for freedom, and similar to Antonio's vision of the crown "dropping upon thy head", the riches "drop" onto Caliban, symbolizing the simplicity of attaining his dream. Unfortunately, Calibans Speech falls on deaf ears, and Stephano and Trinculo remain untouched by his words. As the scene closes, the audience feels ambivalence towards Caliban. On one hand, we feel sympathy for his claim "this island's mine" as his feelings for the island are revealed. We sense that he feels regret for Prospero's withdrawal from him. However, the attempted rape of Miranda and his total lack of remorse cannot be forgotten. Caliban has remained one of the most compelling characters in The Tempest, and has elicited a large portion of the critical interest in the play. It is not easy to decipher weather or not he is a monstrous native or just a na�ve figure with no experience of human morals. The critic G.L. Horton points out Caliban's poetic imagination, his childlike eagerness make it near impossible for us to see Caliban as an evil figure. The extract develops our response to the character, making us inclined to agree with Horton. ...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

    What is your response to Shakespeare's presentation of Caliban in The Tempest?

    3 star(s)

    Prospero?s prejudice towards Caliban again highlights this: ?Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil himself / Upon thy wicked dam? Prospero claims that Caliban is the devil?s offspring and fathered by an evil spirit, to a seventeenth century audience this was regarded as an unforgiving sin.

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

    Instead, he uses words in a way Prospero never quite matches. Caliban can only conspire with fools who think they ought to be the new King of the island for Prospero's death - and does not dare carry out

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

    Caliban's loyalty is to Stephano and not Trinculo because Stephano is the one with the liquor, which is the real reason that Caliban is following them. Also Stephano is kinder to Caliban than Trinculo and calls him his 'poor monster' whereas Trinculo mocks him and calls him a 'very weak monster'.

  2. How far do you agree that The Tempest is a play about the use ...

    Sebastian and Antonio plot to kill Alonso in his sleep: "My strong imagination sees a crown/Dropping upon they head" 208-209. Sebastian is able to seize power for himself as a blood relative. Caliban also highlights to the audience how a once maliciously evil, inhuman slave, whose very freedom is at risk, can submit himself to two drunks.

  1. How effective is the opening of 'The Tempest'?

    This gives the reader an effective impression of what Miranda and Prospero are like. Prospero is a firm father, yet not strict. Miranda is thoughtful and daydreams, finding it hard to concentrate for a long time. Prospero continuously questions whether Miranda is listening or not, but Miranda always replies that she is.

  2. The Significance of Colonialism in William Shakespeare's The Tempest (1610/11), Thomas More's Utopia (1516) ...

    as English colonists wanted to begin 'peopling' the excess English population into this new territory; a concept which resonates with The Tempest during Caliban's speech upon his failed attempt of raping Miranda and therefore unable to realise his dream: 'Thou didst prevent me-I had peopled else/ This isle with Calibans'.

  1. The Tempest - By the end of Act 3 Caliban has emerged both positively ...

    They are both also opposites in the sense of morality. Caliban is amoral, showing no remorse about his attempted rape of Miranda. When he plots with Stefano and Trinculo to kill Prospero and seize the island, he gives no thought to the morality of his actions.

  2. Explore Shakespeare’s Presentation of Caliban; a product of nature or nurture?

    John Locke, an English philosopher, held the view that characteristics are innate in his " Book Of Innate Notions". This theory backs up the view that Caliban inherits his bad characteristics from his evil mother Sycorax. Caliban is definitely portrayed as innately corrupt through his actions, uch as when he rapes Miranda.

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