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Do you believe that Shakespeare intended the audience to share Prospero's view of Caliban?

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Introduction

"A Devil, a born devil, on whose nature, Nurture can never stick" (IV, i, 189,190) Do you believe that Shakespeare intended the audience to share Prospero's view of Caliban? I feel that through out the Tempest Caliban is portrayed as a dislikeable 'creature'. However I personally think that the audience is supposed to learn to love him by the end as slowly we are told of all his good points. In the Tempest we meet many characters, the first on the island being Prospero. Before Prospero we meet characters like Boatswain and Master, as well as Antonio. We are not sure at the start whether we like them or not as we haven't been with them for a very long time. However as soon as we meet Prospero we are told the story of his past and sympathise with him. We also start to trust him, as we all believe beyond question his story of his and Miranda's flight to the island. This principle is aided by the way Miranda believes everything without a doubt and as she is attractive our immediate thought is to trust her. ...read more.

Middle

He worshipped them and helped them to settle in to island life. "...Thou strok'st me and made much of me; wouldst thou give me Water with berries in't; and teach me how To name the bigger light, and how the less, That burn by day and night. And then I loved thee, And showed thee all the qualities o' th' isle, The fresh springs, the brine pits, barren place and fertile;" (I, ii, 333-348) This speech proves what Caliban did for Prospero and makes me think that Prospero may have died without Caliban's help and therefore Caliban must have some kindness in him. However Caliban makes his mistake now. This is that he raped Miranda, but as he helped Prospero could have thought that he had the right to own some of Prospero's property, and in the time that the play was written in, women were the property of their fathers and then husbands. By the time we meet Stephano and Trinculo we see a new side of Caliban. In the scene when we first see them we realise that they are in fact drunkard fools. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was an argument that was being debated at the time of the play and most people at that time thought that nurture was better than nature. I feel that Shakespeare felt the opposite way about this argument and by doing this play he was showing a new side to the argument. In the closing stages of the play Caliban realises that Stephano and Trinculo are not worthy of worship as at the end he says: "...What a trice double ass Was I to take this drunkard for a god, And worship this dull fool. (V, i, 295-297) After this Caliban is set free. This is lucky for him, as Prospero has mistreated him for a very long time. You also could argue that it was to avoid trouble that Caliban apologised, however this is unlikely as I feel that Caliban is a kind creature that is misunderstood. I think that Shakespeare wanted us to like him too; and for his audience at the time, he wanted them to realise their prejudice against people that looked unusual or different and change their views. Therefore Shakespeare didn't want us to have the same opinion of Caliban as Prospero. Essay on Shakespeare's, The Tempest Rachel Horton 2607 ...read more.

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