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

'...this thing of darkness I

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'...this thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine'. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of the relationship between Prospero and Caliban in 'The Tempest' and how it is presented in one or more productions you have seen. Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' is set on a small island between Tunis and Naples. The play is initially based around Prospero; once Duke of Milan, a loving father to Miranda and inhabitant of the island for the past twelve years, after being usurped by his scheming brother Antonio. When exploring the relationship between Prospero and Caliban, a 'whelp hag-born' living on the island when Prospero and Miranda first arrive, we must consider a number of aspects of Prospero and Caliban's relationship. It is important to look at the following points; Prospero's treatment of Caliban when first arriving on the island and his treatment during the play, Caliban's constant struggle for acknowledgement from both Prospero and Miranda, Caliban's plan to overthrow Prospero with Trinculo and Stephano and finally, Ariel; another creature living on the island who is also enslaved to Prospero-but in an entirely different way to Caliban. When Caliban first enters during Act 1 Scene 2, Prospero instantly uses much abusive language towards Caliban and describes him as a 'poisonous slave, got by the devil himself'. ...read more.

Middle

We know however, Caliban does not describe music in this way for acknowledgement, but because he simply does not know the word "music" and can only describe what he is able to hear and feel. When finally considering Ariel, it is important to compare the relationship between Ariel and Prospero to that of Caliban and Prospero. After releasing Ariel from Sycorax's 'cloven pine' twelve years previously, Prospero needs Ariel as much as Ariel needs Prospero and their relationship therefore is much more pleasant than that of Caliban and Prospero. During Act 1 Scene 2 when Ariel demands his 'liberty' from Prospero, it causes tension between the two characters. Prospero uses his power and authority over Ariel autonomously and it is apparent that although Prospero needs Ariel, Ariel stays under his close control. As Ariel is being admonished for demanding his premature freedom, Prospero introduces Caliban as a 'freckled whelp hag-born - not honoured with a human shape'. The audience can immediately see the diverse tone in language towards the two different characters. It becomes clear the relationships between Ariel and Prospero and Caliban and Prospero are extremely different due to dissimilar circumstances. ...read more.

Conclusion

For instance, at the beginning of the play, Caliban eats a raw egg in front of a roaring fire. Without dialogue, Jarman is able to create a disturbing scene for the audience, which introduces the many elements of madness throughout Jarman's film. The relationship between Prospero and Caliban is interpreted in two different ways during two productions. However, the anger and hatred is apparent in both and while Prospero evidently needs Ariel to complete his tasks and gather his enemies together, Prospero does not need Caliban and hence treats him with little respect. To conclude, the relationship between Prospero and Caliban is undoubtedly tense which is apparent to both the audience and Miranda-who also holds a grudge against the 'foul beast'. Prospero and Caliban's relationship is that of a traditional master and servant, but can also be lightly interpreted as human and animal. The relationship is tense due to Prospero initially taking the island from Caliban. Prospero has the power over Caliban through his magic and Caliban is apprehensive of Prospero because of this. Prospero exerts much power and authority over Caliban and it is clear their relationship is one of resentment. This is presented to the audience through Prospero's controlling and authoritive figure, his demanding voice and Caliban's self-abasement. Hayley Cook L63 ...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)

    qualities o?th? isle: ? cursed by I that did so!? The word ?qualities? conveys that Caliban knows the island well, as though it is a holiday resort.

  2. Discuss the character of Caliban and his relationship with Prospero

    This may have been his only comfort when he was alone on the island. Caliban is attracted to Miranda and thinks of her as a goddess, with whom he wishes to have children. He is lustful towards her and cannot control his animal instincts.

  1. Presentation of Prospero in the Tempest

    However, regardless of this dominance, there does seem to be mutual respect and affection between Prospero and Ariel: "Do you love me, master? No? "Dearly, my delicate Ariel." This presents Prospero as a compassionate person, who is able to have a loving relationship with those who may not be as superior as he is.

  2. Discuss the presentation and significance of Caliban in 'The Tempest'

    It is also clear that Caliban is the only character that truly understands and loves nature. This is represented in the play when Caliban describes the island to Stephano and Trinculo. "Be not afeard; this isle is full of noises, Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not" (Act 3, Scene 2, L136)

  1. Compare the presentation of Ariel and Caliban in the play

    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell". Ariel was able to speak English from the start. Ariel's songs which have a lot of rhythm can be compared to Caliban's which are a lot more chant like; "ban, 'ban cacaliban..." Ariel and Caliban both have different significances in the play.

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

    Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will hum about mine ears... ...The clouds methought would open and share riches Ready to drop upon me... (3, 2, 141-147) This act alone shows us that Caliban is not quite as 'evil' as he would have us believe.

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

    Seeing Caliban who came across as eager to help, the trust would have been easy, yet suspicious between them. The relationship in the beginning would have been one more of need than anything else. Like Caliban gave a new life to Prospero and Miranda, by showing them the island, Prospero

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

    Caliban is used in this scene to raise the issue of the treatment of servants and the master/servant relationship. Although the audience know by know that Caliban tried to rape Miranda, Prospero treats him very harshly which reflects the poor treatment of servants in Prospero's time.

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