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

How far does Prospero's judgement on Caliban seem fair to you?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"A devil, a born devil, on whose nature Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains, Humanely taken are lost, quite lost. And so with age his body uglier grows, So his mind cankers." (IV.I. 188-192) How far does Prospero's judgement on Caliban seem fair to you? Becky Harris 12G2 Prospero's judgement on Caliban changes considerably throughout 'The Tempest.' However Caliban is always referred to as of a much lower status than Prospero, such as "poisonous slave" and "dull thing." In the lines 188-192, act four, scene one, Prospero's judgement on Caliban is possibly the most scathing throughout the entirety of the play. In act one, scene two, we are first introduced to Caliban by Prospero, who describes him as a slave, with "We'll visit Caliban, my slave, who never yields us kind answer." Here, Prospero's judgement on Caliban is fair, as Caliban is just treated as a slave of Prospero throughout the play. "He does make our fire, Fetch in our wood, and serves in offices that profit us." All of what Prospero tells us is true, and it is almost as if Prospero is grateful for Caliban's services with the line "that profit us." ...read more.

Middle

Caliban was educated by Prospero and of his education he says "You taught me language, and my profit on't is, I know how to curse." The repeated idea of Caliban's incapability to speak without cursing is shown in act two, scene two, where he says "And yet I needs must curse." The critic Joseph Warton says the following regarding Caliban's language and intellectual qualities in his essay, 'Remarks on the creation of character';"he has the dawnings of understanding without reason or the moral sense, cursing Prospero and Miranda, and in him, as in some brute animals, this advance to the intellectual faculties, without the moral sense, is marked by the appearance of vice." Other characters in the play also offer their judgements of Caliban, which I believe are ultimately justified and fair. Stephano and Trinculo are the two characters most likened to Caliban, as they are drunk, which gives then animal qualities which are mostly attached to Caliban. Trinculo describes Caliban as a "strange beast" and "an abominable monster," leaving Stephano to describe Caliban as a "strange monster." These descriptions lead us to the conclusion that Caliban is monstrous, as these degrading descriptions come from two characters of the lower classes and are two classic comedy characters; a jester and a drunken butler. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe that Prospero's judgement on Caliban is so very harsh because Prospero's effectiveness is more limited with the sinners of the play; Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo. Caliban serves Prospero perforce under threats, but he still remains, however, despite formidable physical intimidation and the attempts at education and humanisation "a devil, a born evil." At the very end of the play, Caliban does determine to be "wise hereafter / And seek for grace." These two lines do not take Caliban very far in the directions of reason and self-control which Prospero had in mind as we are not sure whether Caliban means what he says or whether he has been well educated by Propsero and from this education springs the recognition to say what would be deemed as an appropriate, correct and gracious comment. E.M.W Tillyard uses the lines "Two of these fellows / you must know and own; this thing of darkness I / Acknowledge mine" in her critical essay ' The tragic pattern' and says this of them; " The last words express all Prospero's old bitterness that Caliban has resisted him and refused to respond to his nurture." I think that at the end of the play, as at its beginning, Caliban is still as Prospero describes him, a "thing of darkness." 1,206 words ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE The Tempest essays

  1. Shakespeare has made Caliban the most violent and savage character, but has also given ...

    Prospero which again emphasises the power Prospero has over Caliban and therefore reflects on how he treats Caliban. Act 3 scene 2, Caliban speaks about getting revenge on Prospero. He outlines a plot to kill him. This is shown through the language spoken by Caliban, "when Prospero is destroyed," The atmosphere created here is unpleasant.

  2. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Caliban in The Tempest. How far do you accept that ...

    In the Victorian times Caliban was seen as a slave but in the Post-colonial era he was seen as a victim. The psychoanalytical interpretation is neutral and looks at both sides of Caliban. The first time Caliban is mentioned is in Act 1 Scene 2 "We'll visit Caliban, my slave...Tis

  1. Explore the theme of transformation in 'The Tempest '. Show with particular reference to ...

    Caliban informs him both of Prospero and Miranda. He agrees to kill Prospero and take Miranda as his wife. This plan is easily stopped by the sheer vainness that accompanies himself and Trinculo, who, incidentally distrusts Caliban but believes him to be a successful money making scheme, if taken to England and put on show.

  2. 'The Tempest' is centrally concerned with the themes of control and power. How are ...

    On a negative point, Prospero does use emotional torment on Alonso and Ferdinand as he leaves them both to mourn for one another in the belief that they have died in the storm. The amusing yet clever effect of releasing Ferdinand is that he may then gain control over Alonso.

  1. How does Shakespeare influence the audience's response to Caliban?

    Shakespeare uses poetry to show how much Caliban values the nature and simple things, that the mercenary elements in the audience would not appreciate. Caliban thinks nothing of riches or the glistening apparel that Ariel presents him with, "Let it alone, thou fool, it is but trash."

  2. How appropriate do you find this extract (Act 5, Scene 1, from line 216) ...

    others for his mistakes but is instead making people see when they need to take responsibility. For instance, Prospero demonstrates to Alonso that he is not fully to blame for the murder plot by Trinculo, Stephano and Caliban against him.

  1. It is believed that the Tempest reflects one of the themes of Shakespeare time: ...

    They would believe the inhabitants are brutish creatures who have no social exceptive behaviour. It depends on the point of view if Caliban is a brute, or just misunderstood. To intruders he is a brute, but for those with a neutral aspect of the situation he is misunderstood.

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

    (I, ii, 349-351) This gives Prospero and us what seems on the surface a good reason to loathe Caliban. However when you look in to this fact in more detail you realise that it is actually natural for any animal to do this, even though it may seem unacceptable by human standards.

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