Caliban In The Tempest Analysis

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William Shakespeare 's The Tempest is thought to be finished around the year 1610 in England, then under the rule of King James I. James, taking note of the success of Spain and Portugal 's exploration efforts across the Atlantic, increasingly sent ships with charters across to North America in order to find wealth for his country as Spain grew into the world 's first superpower. This mission to find gold or resources serves as the background for Shakespeare 's last play as it finds Prospero and other Europeans in this distant land, some by natural disaster, and details their struggle for power. Caliban, a native of the island and then slave of Propsero 's, serves as an initial guide to the island, but soon understands that these colonizers are his oppressors and subsequently fights back.…show more content…
Caliban first experiences…show more content…
Upon his introduction in the second scene of the play, Prospero begins assailing the slave 's nature, summoning him as a "poisonous slave, got by the devil himself Upon thy wicked dam, come forth!" (Act I, Scene II). By associating him with the devil, the lowest and most cursed position in society, Prospero deeply disparages the very existence of Caliban. Moreover, Prospero proclaims his lineage for him, a lineage that supposedly traces back to that of the devil. Caliban 's dehumanization continues when Prospero then deliberately mocks him as a "tortoise" and as "Thou most lying slave, whom stripes may move, not kindness" (Act I, Scene II), both claims diminishing the personhood of Caliban due to his position on the island. These remarks equate Caliban with a lazy animal, one who moves slowly to his master 's commands, responds to physical force only, and is incapable of reason. Prospero
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