Prospero And Caliban In Shakespeare's Natural Theology Of The Island

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The hierarchical relationship seen between Prospero and Caliban is used as the foundation for the poem. Browning uses the briefly mentioned god that Caliban’s mother, Sycorax, worshipped and establishes a similar rank relationship but in a religious aspect. The purpose of this is to show Caliban’s more humanistic side but also to discover his own thoughts and identity. In the poem, Caliban creates a ranking system where he is a slave to Prospero who is under Setebos’ command, who is beneath The Quiet. Caliban in the play swears to be Stephano and Trinculo’s slave upon their first meeting and degrades his sense of self going so far as to kiss their shoes without even being asked. “I’ll show thee every fertile inch o ' th ' island. / And I will kiss thy foot. I prithee, be my god” (2.2.64-64). Shakespeare’s Caliban is a slave that rebels to be free. Caliban’s relationship to Setebos in the poem does what Shakespeare doesn’t and paints Caliban as a being with his own morals and thoughts and by extension, his own humanity. For the poem, Browning uses the…show more content…
Darwin challenged the notion of man being created by God and instead is the result of evolution from animals. This poem responds to the conflicting ideas and Browning uses The Tempest characters because of Prospero’s god-like magic and his slaves that do his every bidding similar to followers. By using Caliban to explore new ideology, Browning can take both sides as well as neither. Caliban is caught in the middle of two worlds. The one he was raised in by Sycorax and with a god like Setebos comparable to his life with Prospero who taught him about modern civilization. It is interesting that the traditional theology was about the Christian God but the theology in the poem is a fictional

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