In this whimsical play, Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, after being supplanted of his dukedom by his brother, arrives on an island. He frees a spirit named Ariel from a spell and in turn makes the spirit his slave. He also enslaves a native monster named Caliban. These two slaves, Caliban and Ariel, symbolize the theme of nature versus nurture. Caliban is regarded as the representation of the wild; the side that is usually looked down upon. Although from his repulsive behavior, Caliban can be viewed as a detestable beast of nature, it can be reasonably inferred that Shakespeare’s intent was to make Caliban a sympathetic character.
During the first encounter, Caliban comes across very bestial and immoral. While approaching Caliban’s cave, Prospero derogatorily says, "…[he] never/Yields us kind answer," meaning Caliban never answers respectfully. When Prospero reaches the cave, he calls to Caliban. Caliban abruptly responds, "There’s wood enough within." His short, snappy reply and his odious tone, reveal the bitterness he feels from leading a servile life. Caliban’s rudeness makes him seem like an unworthy and despicable slave. Also, Caliban displays an extreme anger toward Prospero. When Caliban is asked to come forth he speaks corruptly, "As wicked dew as e’er my mother brushed/With raven’s feather from unwholesome fen/Drop on you both!…And blister you all o’er!" Caliban’s attitude and disrespect is unfitting for a servant. However, his actions are justified.
Until Prospero arrived... [continues]
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