The Tempest Essay On Caliban

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While Caliban betrays Prospero in an attempt to gain his freedom, Ariel instead serves willingly, hoping that his master will honor his promise to release the spirit.

Whether Ariel serves out of true appreciation or as a strategy is a question of some debate, although ultimately Prospero does free Ariel in 5.1.

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Caliban's human qualities illuminate another of the play's themes and, in doing so, shed light on Shakespeare's world, which was just becoming aware of the natives of America.

As Prospero's 'slave' (1.2.310) Caliban is linked with America; his mother's god, Setebos, was known by Shakespeare as a South American deity; in finding Stephano divine and in responding greedily to his liquor, Caliban behaves like the American na...He frees a spirit named Ariel from a spell and in turn makes the spirit his slave. These two slaves, Caliban and Ariel represent the theme of nature verses nature.Caliban is considered the illustration of the wild, a beast of nature.Caliban’s focus appears to be largely driven by his own bodily needs: when he comes on stage for the first time, he announces that he “must eat [his] dinner,” and we learn that Prospero used to treat Caliban better until Caliban attempted to rape his daughter.Caliban’s character is shaped by his bodily needs, whereas Ariel needs no body at all.Caliban has often been taken as being representative of the New World natives often oppressed and enslaved by European conquerors, and he does have grounds for complaint against Prospero's brusque treatment of him.But he does not appear very favourable in himself; he apparently tried to rape Miranda and is capable of plotting murder.During the first meeting, Caliban comes across as very savage and immoral.Prospero, when approaching Calibans lair, says disdainfully, ...[he] never/Yields us kind answer, meaning Caliban never responds with respect.Through the actions we get a view of Shakespeares ideas on civilization and the uncivilized, as well of letting the reader form their own opinions.Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, after being removed by his brother, arrives on an island.


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