Character sketch of Caliban

Published: 2021-08-30 10:55:10
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Category: Character, Character Sketch, Caliban

Type of paper: Essay

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Character sketch of Caliban The Oxford Dictionary of English defines the adjective servile as the quality of "having or showing an excessive willingness to please others". This is a trait of character that is often desired in a slave. But is it a required trait for a good slave or are there other ways to make them bide your words? In the stage play "The Tempest" (1611) written by William Shakespeare we are presented with the character, Caliban. Caliban is a native ofa remote island, the power of which 12 years earlier was usurped by the magician Prospero.
Prospero made Caliban his subordinate and additionally tried to civilize him. Caliban, however, violated Prosperds trust as he tried to commit rape upon Prosperds daughter, Miranda. Prospero and Miranda believe that they did Caliban a favour by teaching him their language and "civilizing" him. This belief is central in the discussion of imperialism and can be easily transferred to the English Empire even though it took place around 200-300 years after the play was written. Caliban represents the opinions of the colonized people.
His island has been taken over by a foreign power nd he feels impotent and in contrary to Prospero and Miranda he says that it hasn't done him any good to learn their language: miou taught me language; and my profit ont Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you For learning me your language". It seems as if Caliban has developed this hatred towards Miranda and Prospero over the last 12 years. As they have taught him more, he has become more aware that they were treating him badly. "When thou camest first, Thou strokdst me and mad'st much of me and then I loved thee".



Caliban believes in the upernatural. He uses curses and mentions the god of his mother as a ruling power that is able to have influence. It is, however, not an almighty god, as Caliban mentions that Prospero is stronger that Setebos, the god. Before Prospero and Miranda started teaching him their language his knowledge was limited. He says that they taught him "how to name the bigger light, and how the less". Hence, he has not had a word to describe the sun and the moon before Prospero and Miranda came. The argument between the three of them is generally kept in a very cruel tone, which emphasizes

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