Caliban In The Tempest

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‘Caliban is the core of the play.’ The Tempest Caliban serves as a core character in the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare. This essay will discuss how Shakespeare uses Caliban to highlight themes of contrast and also colonial injustice. Although he is not key player in the text, he undergirds many of the imagery important to the play’s narrative. Through the analysis of his character and his interaction with other characters in the play, as well as his relationship with the island itself, this will essay will prove that Caliban’s role can certainly be considered the core role of the play. As the only native islander, Caliban is the one character to provide the contrast between all the Italians and the islanders. At the time of the…show more content…
‘Carib’ as in “Caribbean”). The audience would have heard legend of these at the time Shakespeare wrote the play. Another suggestion is that its origin is with the Romany word for dark or blackness, i.e. “Cauliban.” Caliban is linked to or associated with darkness throughout the play, often likened to the earth, “Though earth.” (The Tempest 1.2.317) Caliban (darkness) is a good example of the ongoing theme of contrast as Miranda is associated with purity and light. Her names itself provides a contrast, meaning “worthy of admiration,” whereas Caliban’s name, considering either meaning does not entice the audience to admire him. Prospero was raised in Italy as a nobleman, “Thy father was the Duke of Milan/ and a prince of power.” Caliban was raised almost in isolation on the island. Therein already lies a contrast. The first description of him alone gives the impression that he is more animal than man; certainly from Prospero’s view, “A Freckled whelp, hag-born-not honoured with a human shape.”(The Tempest 1.2.285-286). Prospero, arguably erroneously so, would have believed from the onset that he was a better and more civilised man than
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