Caliban And Other Essays Dec 18, ..

The Other in the Tempest In order to understand the characters in a play, we have to be able to distinguish what exactly makes them different. In the case of The Tempest, Caliban, the sub-human slave is governed largely by his senses, making him the animal that he is portrayed to be and Prospero is governed by sound mind, making him human. Caliban responds to nature as his instinct is to follow it. Prospero, on the other hand, follows the art of justifiable rule. Even though it is easy to start assessing The Tempest in view of a colonialist gaze, I have chosen instead to concentrate on viewing Caliban as the monster he is portrayed to be, due to other characters that are not human, but are treated in a more humane fashion than Caliban.

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Research  and essay writing, free essay topics, sample works The Tempest : Prospero Vs. Caliban

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In spite of this, Caliban's mind is subject to his senses, much as Prospero's passions are subject to his mind. Caliban's underlying motives are still passionate. His indignation at having his inheritance usurped loses its weight when we realise that, of his own free will, he will let Stephano rule - showing himself to be naturally ruled, not ruler. At the end of the play, when he recognises that his choice of Stephano as ruler was foolish, it is not mental reasoning that has led him to this conclusion, but the evidence of his senses and experience. Caliban had mid enough to function as part of society, but training him to become part of that society cannot be abstract, like Prospero's failed attempt at educating him with Miranda - Caliban's must be practical and hammered home with his own senses. If the senses represent something natural and the mind represents an art like knowledge or in Prospero's case, magic, then we can say that Caliban represents Nature and Prospero Art. While the need for control over nature is asserted continually, the ending suggests that art must ultimately come to terms with nature (hence Prospero's 'this thing of darkness I/Acknowledge mine';); for while Caliban's limitations are apparent, his wish to improve himself is promising, and his new relationship with Prospero seems to be more stable and more reassuring than the resentment-filled and extremely uneasy jailer-prisoner/master-slave relationship shown earlier.

For instance, there is patriarchy present when Prospero controls and dominates Caliban and Miranda in “The Tempest”.
Throughout history, these types of events have destroyed societies, and George Orwell uses his strength in satire to show this.

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The final trajectory taken by these essays is to see the works as less locatable in a particular period but as embedded in and reflecting upon processes of transition and change. In a strikingly ambitious essay on A Lover’s Complaint — the disputed authorship of this text is set aside in a footnote — Christopher Warley reads the poem as expressive of the shift from feudalism to capitalism. Indeed, the author states his intention to explore how the poem reveals ‘the transition from medieval to Renaissance’ (25) which again has the rather odd effect of largely reinstating the very categories the volume sets out to challenge. Still, the reading itself is resourceful, remarkably so in many ways, in its attention to the rhetorical complexity of the poem combined with a reading of its relationship to economic discourses of property-relations and commodification. At times, the theoretical density of the argument does over-burden the poem with an excessive amount of conceptual and historical significance. The core argument is that love complaint expresses a new form of productive social power to transform existing circumstances. The concluding thesis, influenced principally by Gayatri Spivack, is a provocative one: that the maid’s acceptance of her own commodification also constitutes the possibility for new forms of social opportunity and agency. Still, the essay is full of energy and interest although it seems wedded to tracing the ways in which this text does indeed mark ruptures and transitions that point towards modernity.

However, the reactions can also be loosely grouped into two diametric characterizations: peaceful and violent.

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Before we meet Caliban, we meet Ariel, Prospero's trusting spirit. Even though Ariel is not human either, he is treated kindly and lovingly by his master who calls him 'my quaint Ariel.'; Caliban, on the other hand, is called a 'tortoise'; and a 'poisonous slave'; by Prospero. As Caliban enters in Act 1 Scene 2, we realise his fury at both Prospero and Miranda. He is rude and insulting and Prospero replies with threats of torture. Prospero justifies his punishment of Caliban by his anger at the attempted rape of his daughter, something Caliban shows no remorse for

Every culture, community, or ethnic group tends to have its own beliefs, values, and notions of how to lead one’s life.

Kutzinski, "Caliban and Other Essays

Caliban loved Prospero and Miranda because they 'made much of me';; and his response to this was purely sensual in his recollections: 'Thou strok'st me, .. wouldst give me/Water with berries in't.'; What Caliban responded to, more than anything else, was the sensation of pleasure that being loved and petted gave him. The action that caused Caliban to be removed from this position and punished was his attempt to rape Miranda, another example of how he seeks pleasure. Prospero's position on sexual relations is quite opposite - he tells Ferdinand repeatedly not to take advantage of his daughter, for the obvious reason that rape and taking advantage of someone sexually is considered wrong. This is something Caliban doesn't seem to understand and further distances himself from the human figures. During The Tempest itself, Prospero and Caliban have two very different purposes. Prospero intends to resolve the injury that was done to Miranda and himself, bloodlessly, by the use of his Art. Caliban's dearest wish is to depose Prospero by killing him and, rather than resuming rule of the island himself, submit to the rule of Stephano.