How Does Shakespeare Present Caliban In The Tempest

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Jennifer Musgrove Dr. Perry English 2322-001 22 November 2016 The Colonialization of Caliban in The Tempest William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, illustrates the infliction of culture from exploration and exploitation in colonialization. The play portrays Caliban as a grotesque and indigenous native of the island that the powerful Prospero seizes after his banishment from Milan. Caliban’s aspiration to reacquire the harmonious island epitomizes his passion for emancipation. Caliban’s resistance to Prospero’s sovereignty is apparent through his explicit actions and verbal rebuke. The Tempest reveals the devastation to cultural characteristics of natives in the aspects of colonization, as foreigners force different cultures and languages upon…show more content…
335-341). The juxtaposition in Caliban’s eloquent and simple verse of the pastoral image of the island provides readers an insight into both his knowledge and naivety, as he emphasizes to Prospero that his survival is due to Caliban’s generosity. Prospero’s betrayal and exploitation of Caliban’s resourcefulness reflects upon colonialization as he uses Caliban’s knowledge of the land to survive. Prospero gains Caliban’s trust by appearing to be generous, but in reality is coercing and manipulating the situation to acquire his control. William Shakespeare’s The Tempest forges the colonizer’s oppression and the inhumane treatment of natives as exploitable resources for prosperous gains. In contradiction to Caliban, Prospero’s fundamental goal is to gain knowledge of the foreign surroundings and rule the island. Prospero’s perspective challenges Caliban’s in his belief that imposing his culture and language upon Caliban was beneficial. He presumes Caliban should be gracious and condemns his rebellious nature. Prospero threatens this insubordination with, “If thou neglect 'st or dost unwillingly/What I command, I 'll rack thee with old cramps,/ Fill all thy bones with aches, make thee roar” (2.1. 371-373). Prospero’s forceful reprimand and enslavement of Caliban only heightens his lust for freedom. Prospero’s control is dictated under his creation of hierarchies, and views Caliban as an unworthy savage solidifying the inequality in their
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