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

The Tempest - How is Caliban presented and what is his dramatic significance to the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How is Caliban presented and what is his dramatic significance to the play? Caliban is the son of Sycorax, a witch that originally inhabited (and so is the only true native) of the Island on which the play is set. He is the "misshapen" slave of Prospero who claimed the island as his own when he was banished to it 12 years previously. Prospero refers to him using earthly names, such as "tortoise", making very clear quite early on that Caliban is not considered an equal by Prospero or Miranda. He is seen as a lower, 'uncivilised' life-form because of the uneducated and primal state they originally met him in, making their actions to correct this mirror the current events during the Elizabethan period in regards to the discovery of the Americas. ...read more.

Middle

This was the point where Prospero stopped trying to nurture Caliban into a respectable man and started seeing him as "filth". Shakespeare chose to include such an occurrence to highlight the fact that we cannot judge natives from undeveloped countries by western standards, as however much semantic knowledge they acquire, it is made completely redundant if they are taught western morals to which we feel they should abide by, making Caliban crucial to conveying this theme. Despite the deficient schooling, he is very close to the natural aspect of the island, which is shown in his passionate and almost poetic description of it ("The isle is full of noises / Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not") ...read more.

Conclusion

Ariel is described as his "fine apparition" and is an "airy spirit" which corresponds more to the elements, leaving Caliban discussing "springs, brine pits" keeping the connection between him and the earth very strong. The actions of Caliban towards the end of the play draw parallels with the actions of Antonio as well, in the way his ambition leads him to attempting to usurp Prospero from his position. The only difference is that Antonio actually achieves this, but the raw ambition that led them to commit the deeds are the same, which is demonstrated when he tells Stephano and Trinculo "The dropsy drown this fool I what do you mean To dote thus on such luggage? Let's alone, And do the murder first". ...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. Discuss the presentation and significance of Caliban in 'The Tempest'

    to the negative effect but also this tells the reader that Caliban truly despises Prospero and the other unnatural habitants. This tells the reader that nature is the most valuable asset Caliban has. The theme of power also contributes to how Caliban is presented in the play.

  2. The Significance of the Island Setting - The Tempest and Robinson Crusoe.

    He progresses rapidly, no longer feeling isolation on the island. Crusoe uses his tools to build a protective fence and a room inside a cave. He then builds a farm where he raises goats and grows a corn crop. Later, his ambitions take him to the other side of the island where he builds a country home.

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

    and then I loved thee, / And showed thee all the qualities o'th'isle...Cursed be that I did so! (Shakespeare 1.2.332-339) 'Prospero masked his dependence on Caliban for information about the island with displays of physical affection...Once petted, Caliban now remains penned like a pig, but on a rock barren of all food.

  2. Explore the way that the theme of power and control is presented in 'The ...

    However, the first example of control and trying to maintain it is shown by the boatswain who commands the sailors and gives instructions, establishing his control. Following that, Alonso and Gonzalo emerge and get told by the boatswain to "keep below" (1:1:10)

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

    "I'll rack thee with old cramps". Each time that Prospero addresses Caliban, he includes curses, and therefore Caliban will be constantly subjected to curses, meaning that it becomes the most common language to him and therefore it can be said that he is merely repeating what he hears.

  2. Discuss the significance of Caliban in The Tempest

    Shakespeare had a tendency to write his plays in order to please the ruling monarch, who at the time was James I, who had just 4 years previously authorised the founding of Jamestown in the new world. Shakespeare can also be seen promoting the idea of colonisation in Anthony and Cleopatra.

  1. What is the significance of sound and music in the play as a whole?

    This is especially true in the first scene in which Prospero has directly ordered Ariel to perform `to point the tempest.' The tumult of the first scene works to capture the audience's attention -as was necessary in Jacobean theatres. This is achieved through the sounds, the `tempestuous noise of thunder.

  2. An exploration of the treatment of the theme of government by Shakespeare in the ...

    Under normal circumstance the crew would have never stood the chance of responding to these nobles in the slightest aggressive manner, but owing to the situation at hand, the crew having the upper hand of navigating the ship to safety they appear to be in control.

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