Caliban: The Offspring of the Witch Sycorax Essays

Submitted By juliaglavv
Words: 1947
Pages: 8

Caliban is very instinctual and self centred
Prospero rules Caliban through magic and threats, evident in their initial meeting where they insult each other. This changes a bit when Caliban meets Stephano and Trinculo and moves across and thinks that they might be equal with Prospero. He tries to ‘revolutionise’ on the island however he finds out at the end that Stephano isn’t a God and he is not even an equal with Prospero. (v.i.292-295)
Caliban changes significantly according to the context of the play
Whilst he is considered savage, Caliban is a complex character – he very much adapts and changes throughout the play and this can be seen in his language
His interactions with all the character are deeply essential to the plot
He discovers his ability to think and speak in a civilised way – aggressive evolution of his character
He discovers a lot through his interactions with the other characters throughout the play – example: humanity (v.i. 298)
Audience discovery – Caliban’s appearance is particularly important because his character generates an initial reaction from the audience based on his physical appearance. This reaction demonstrates the prejudices against those who are not white and had existed for centuries. Initially it is easy to form a dislike for Caliban based on his appearance but as his character begins to unfold we see that there is more to him than just an unattractive exterior
Caliban is the malformed son of Sycorax the witch who dies and left him on the island. He discovers much about himself and the world during the course of the play
We develop a sympathy for his character because of his suffering and attempt to change
Caliban changes significantly according to the context
Caliban has been interpreted in many ways over time and is a complex character who can be seen in terms of colonialism and a ‘noble savage’, an instinctual beast, a revolutionary and manipulator among others
Initially we see Caliban as a slave, but one who wants to control his own destiny. Caliban wants independence and manipulates to get it
Caliban is dark and serious but also contributes to the humour (e.g. the scene where he tries to hide from Stephano). Caliban is not civilised enough to return from the island to Milan
Caliban remains monstrous and savage, but the potential is there. Caliban can discover how to find lordship and grace
He discovers the human world with all its complexities. He discovers its (human kind) beauty, its duplicity and its maliciousness. He is ungrateful for human kind. He has a hatred for and a lack of gratitude for Prospero which is contrasted with his admiration and respect for Prospero’s power. Prospero’s power is through force and fear rather than intelligence of guidance. Caliban initially communicates through vulgar language and complaints which represent his savage beastly nature. When he speaks about human nature we see curses, when he speaks about the natural environment, he speaks in beautiful verses
At the end, Caliban is seen as more honourable, more delicate and more perceptive. We the viewers are able to see this side of Caliban temporarily but Miranda and Prospero never see it
He discovers his wrongs at the end of the play and seeks to rectify these. “ill be wise hereafter and seek grace, what a thrice double-ass was I to take this drunked for a god and worship this dull for it”  he uses a self-deprecating tone (putting himself down). In the end, he ends up being a little nobler. To the audience he is seen as being nobler than several of the other characters/social superiors in the play (Antonio stephano trinculo)
At the end we see self growth in Caliban
Caliban is an example of the negative impact of physical discoveries – colonialism
He is an individual that is entrapped by a foreigner/foreign civilisation which is represented by prospero. His island has been taken from him through prospero ironically like prospero’s kingdom was taken from him
His speech about the island and