Within The Tempest, characters such as Prospero and Caliban share an intimate connection. Without some kind of malevolent force motivating the action of the play, none of the major characters would come into contact with each other. A violent storm, formed by Prospero's magic, subjects the foreign characters to the might of his mysterious power. Issues of control become a central part of The Tempest. One way in which this is highlighted is through the relationship between Prospero and Caliban, his bestial servant. Their relationship does not utilize the conventional imagery of those who hold power versus those who do not. Rather, Caliban comes to symbolize a physical manifestation of a darker part of Prospero's personality.
Early in the play, Caliban is described as a beast-like figure who lived on the island before any foreign intrusion. Prospero and Miranda found Caliban and his mother living on the island when they themselves became shipwrecked there. The first words introducing Caliban describe him as the son of the witch Sycorax who was banished to the island. Caliban is described as someone who is,"not honored with/A human shape....[a] Dull thing..." (I. ii. 283-6) Though Caliban is referenced here as a figure of disgust and contempt, Prospero chooses to use the word "dull" in his description of this creature. Even before he is introduced, Caliban becomes labeled with imagery of darkness, or at the least, lessened brightness. This labeling comes from Prospero, who has shown the power to control clouds and can cause storms to cover up the sky if he so chooses. Prospero has the power to decide when the sun will shine, and when there is to be darkness, and rai...
... middle of paper ...
.... Her imminent marriage at the end of the play causes Prospero to open his eyes to the world once again, and readies himself to rejoin society. This realization of the need for darkness as well as light allows Caliban the chance of forgiveness at the closing of the play. Caliban says,"
Ay, that I will; and I'll be wise hereafter
And seek for grace. What a thrice-double ass
Was I, to take this drunkard for a god
And worship this dull fool! (V. I. 295-8)
Shedding off his "dullness" in favor of a chance at redemption, Caliban takes a few steps closer to understanding the way Prospero views the world. It is Prospero?s acceptance of Caliban?s darkness that finally allows Caliban to have something in common with the world of light, and desire to seek grace.
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. New York: Penguin, 1970 .
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In literature as in life, characters are multi-dimensional beings. They possess a wide variety of character traits that make them who they are. In the Tempest written by William Shakespeare, Prospero traits resemble those of the Europeans that came during the exploration of the Americas. Thus, Prospero’s treatment of Caliban is similar to the way Europeans treated the Native Americans. In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered America. The Europeans came to the Americas and took over. Similarly, Prospero came to the island and took over.... [tags: essays research papers]
412 words (1.2 pages)
- From reading the play The Tempest, you can clearly visualize the whole play. Where Prospero has everyone under his dominion. While all the other characters such as Ferdinand, Alonso, Antonio, Caliban etc. In the play are being manipulated by Prospero for his plan to become the duke of Milan once more. Even during the very start of the play, where the ship was being wrecked by the thunder and waves. As Prospero tells Miranda as she is worried about the passenger in the ship. That he did not hurt a single person on the ship “Be collected.... [tags: Moons of Uranus, The Tempest, Caliban, Prospero]
706 words (2 pages)
- How does Prospero being a Renaissance man strengthen the reading of Shakespeare’s Tempest between the reader and the play. Prospero, the former Duke of Milan and protagonist of The Tempest by William Shakespeare, is the incarnation of values and talents of a Renaissance man. A Renaissance man is someone who is not only broad and deep in knowledge, but also applies that knowledge to his profession. Prospero embodies these values because he dedicates his life to learning magic and developing powers that he uses in the play, not only to get his work done, but also to gain control of spirits on the island and of his circumstances.... [tags: The Tempest, Caliban, Prospero]
1195 words (3.4 pages)
- As some of essays about The Tempest would conclude, the core of The Tempest seems to be the colonialism. Then without any question, the most crucial character under this conclusion, Caliban becomes the symbol of oppressed occurs of colonialism. However, did Shakespeare address this issue intentionally. Is colonialism just an interpretation from a modern perspective. Probably we assert the statement too fast to contemplate author’s focus of his work. As Vaughan mentioned in his essay: “... most Third-World authors who borrow emblems from The Tempest ignore, as irrelevant, Shakespeare’s sources and intentions.... [tags: The Tempest, Caliban, Moons of Uranus, Prospero]
933 words (2.7 pages)
- ‘Is Prospero a good ruler in the play The Tempest?’ In Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, there is evidence both for and against the idea that ‘Prospero is a good ruler’. On one hand, he successfully conjures a plans and escapes from the island he is currently imprisoned on and also eventually gains his title back once returning to Milan. He is a powerful father for his daughter and torments those who may disobey his orders. But on the other hand, his slack approach to his role as Duke Of Milan led to his removal in the first place and there are also elements of cruelty and abused power that he continues to show throughout the play.... [tags: The Tempest, Prospero, Moons of Uranus, Caliban]
1111 words (3.2 pages)
- ... Prospero’s magic is referred to as his art throughout the play by Miranda, “If by your art” (I.ii.1), by Caliban, “his art is of such power” (I.ii.374), and even by Prospero, “By my so potent art” (V.i.50). This reference reveals Prospero’s character as an artist rather than a sorcerer, this association is important when Prospero is equated to William Shakespeare. Similar to Shakespeare writing a play, Prospero formulates and controls the storylines and their conclusions. Prospero’s likeness to Shakespeare is seen throughout the play as Prospero uses his art (magic) to push the characters toward self-realization; parallel to Shakespeare using of his art (writing) to push the audience tow... [tags: Prospero, Ariel and Caliban]
884 words (2.5 pages)
- In the comedic, yet thrilling play, The Tempest, William Shakespeare uses characters such as Caliban, Alonso, and Ariel to show Prospero’s immense cruelness and pure monstrosity. Moreover, these Shakespearean characters are also used to highlight Prospero’s change in character into a kinder and more forgiving person. Prospero starts the play out as a vengeful monster, after an illuminating moment however, his persona transforms into his true identity of a compassionate man. Prospero’s relationships with others prior to his personal epiphany were highly unpleasant to say the least.... [tags: The Tempest, William Shakespeare, Caliban]
1062 words (3 pages)
- Prospero in William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" Prospero has long been read as one of Shakespeare’s most cherished and provocative protagonists. His timeless role in “The Tempest” has provided readers and critics with insights into many attributes of Shakespeare as a man, his works, and the political views that are personified in his play. The historical context of “The Tempest” is one that convincingly conveys the political views of the English people of his time, relating to the colonization of the New World, the expansion of British powers, and the domination of the indigenous peoples that was necessary for the British to thrive in the Americas.... [tags: Shakespeare Tempest Prospero Essays]
1260 words (3.6 pages)
- Intro: The Tempest, a famous play written by William Shakespeare shows the restricting powers of a dominant culture. The play is filled with drama between two characters Prospero, a leader of the island and Caliban, his slave. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s a postcolonial revision of Shakespeare’s play was made by Aime Cesaire named A Tempest. Both versions of of the play approached the New World culture and the power to rule over someone. Rob Nixon author of Caribbean and African Appropriations of The Tempest critiques the value of an unstable social society.... [tags: The Tempest, William Shakespeare, First Folio]
1735 words (5 pages)
- Prospero and Ariel in The Tempest by William Shakespeare Throughout the years since The Tempest was first published in the 1623 Folio, there has been much debate among Shakespeare’s contemporaries and critics as to the significance of the figure of Prospero and other major characters featured in the work. In this paper, I want to examine the figure of Prospero and his relationship with the character Ariel. In doing this, I want to show how Prospero is a figure for the artist, how Ariel is a figure for the poetic imagination, and how the relationship between Prospero and Ariel explores the relationship between the artist and his or her poetic imagination.... [tags: Tempest William Shakespeare Essays]
2317 words (6.6 pages)