Is He a Monster? - Caliban in William Shakespeares The Tempest

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Not only does Prospero abuse his power against the native Caliban but also against his own daughter, Miranda, and the indigenous spirit Ariel. One unusual side of Caliban Shakespeare uses to highlight the primal side of Caliban is the sexual tension between Miranda and Caliban. To tempt Caliban, Prospero brings around Miranda and keeps her at a distance so Caliban cannot touch her. This temptation that Prospero creates between the three characters shows the lack of respect Prospero gives to his daughter and Caliban. The distinction between Caliban and Ariel involves the overall appearance and duties that they serve.

The aesthetics of Ariel express the important resources that the Western conquerors came to find, such as gold and natural resources for their Empire. On the opposite spectrum, Caliban represents what the conquerors actually found. In the eyes of the Westerner, the attraction of the Caribbean is not the people who inhabit the island but the beautiful landscape and the tranquil atmosphere.

Caliban (The Tempest) | Non-alien Creatures Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

In order to keep both Ariel and Caliban from not escaping, Prospero punishes both characters, but in separate ways. Magically given pains by Prospero, Caliban has trouble moving about. The severity of his pains entitles Caliban to curse and fret throughout the play. The author emphasizes that Caliban envisions the way Western civilization pictured people of the Caribbean at the time. People of the West inaccurately imagined the Caribbean people as monsters and deformed beasts. The creative depiction by Columbus; reflects how Shakespeare wanted the reader to see Caliban.

Nature, represented by Caliban is always in conflict with Art, the Westerners. For many of the indigenous people, witnessing a vessel land on a beach was breathtaking and haunting. In ways Caliban loathes what Prospero has done to the island but he always has a level of respect for what Prospero has created. Caliban exemplifies Nature by pertaining to earthly deeds such as gathering wood.

Also, Caliban actually lives on the island so he relates much closer to nature than the Westerners.

The collision of these two symbols creates problems like slavery and warfare. At the time of Colonization the mix of these two ways of life resulted in many of the problems the Caribbean and other nations face today.


  • 1. Introduction!
  • Use Caliban’s Key Quotes when Studying William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
  • Caliban - Wikipedia;

When the Western nations first interacted with the native islanders they were referred to as cannibals. Speaking in tongues is one of our skills. Although the Europeans use the word in a derogatory manner, cannibal, to the Caribbean people means a person who soaks in culture all around them. Since the Caribs have witnessed so many different people; westerners, Arabs, Africans and various other islanders, it seems there are no other options but to cannibalize all the different cultures around them.

Caliban reinforces the idea of grasping on to whatever outsiders impose onto the Caribs. In the play, Caliban is often labeled an animal or something less of a human.

World Events Influencing Shakespeare¨s The Tempest Essay example

To the westerner the only distinction between an animal and Caliban, is that the islander can speak an accepted language. In this context, Shakespeare feels in order to be accepted in society, one must subscribe to the language and customs of that regime. Caliban is viewed as a beast that serves only for laborious uses; such as: picking up firewood or collecting food.

While Ariel represents the true treasure of the Caribbean isles.

The complexity of colonization has created an almost withdrawal to the oppressed people of the islands. Act 5, Scene 1, lines Caliban leaves the play claiming to have learnt a lesson and become wiser. But what happens to him? Does he go to Milan with Prospero or is he left behind, once again the lord of the island? Which ending does he deserve?

Use Caliban’s Key Quotes when Studying William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

How can he be tied into the contextual background of colonisation and slavery? A study of his character can certainly enrich any analysis of the play. Helen Mears is an English teacher who sits on the education committee of the British Shakespeare Association. Follow her on Twitter at shakesmears. The introduction of the Gatsby benchmarks has provided valuable guidelines to help schools ensure students Calling all teachers! Designed to spark the imagination of little smashers everywhere, the Racket Pack provides fun, skill-based sessions, where year-olds can learn and play.

Character Analysis

Prompt them to retrieve information from memory by embedding regular Females are still woefully underrepresented in senior leadership for education, says Victoria Cameron — but a Although many MFL teachers are reluctant to introduce writing early on, primary language learners love Boost comprehension skills in Year 1 through Year 6 with these activities, ideas, lesson plans Share tweet pin.

Download free quote posters for The Tempest and other Shakespeare plays here.

Who is Caliban? I will kneel to him.

Act 3, Scene 2, lines This oft-quoted speech reveals that Caliban is capable of beautiful expression. Share tweet pin Teachwire.