The Tempest Quotations and A02

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  • Created on: 10-06-15 15:43

CALIBAN IN 'THE TEMPEST'

CALIBAN'S NAME = ANAGRAM + PLAY ON WORD FOR 'CANNIBAL' - MAKES HIM APPEAR SAVAGE + UNEDUCATED

ELIZABETHANS - ASSOCIATED WITH CALIBAN +  MAN-EATERS - READ ABOUT DURING EXPLORATION ERA OF TRAVEL

NAME = PLAY ON ROMANY WORD 'CAULIBAN' = 'BLACK'/ SOMETHING ASSOCIATED WITH BLACKNESS

COULD INDICATE HIS DIFFERENT SKIN COLOUR

OR MOTHER WAS 'BLACK WITCH' PRACTICED DARK MARGIC.

CALIBAN OFTEN REFERRED TO "THIS THING OF DARKNESS" AND "THOU EARTH"

MAY BE USED AS MIRANDA'S OPPOSITE

HE REPRESENTS DARKNESS + DIRT

MIRANDA IS LIGHT AND PURITY (KIM F. HALL)

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CALIBAN IN 'THE TEMPEST'

SYMBOLIC OF VICTIMS OF EUROPEAN COLONISATION

COLONISED PEOPLE WERE "disinherited, exploited, and subjugated...Like him, they were torn between their indigenous culture and the culture superimposed on it by their conquerors."(Virginia Mason Vaughan & Alden T. Vaughan)

APPEARANCE = LARGELY AMBIGUOUS - LED TO MANY DIF INTERPRETATIONS "monster" "demi-devil" "not honoured with human shape" "strange fish"

HOWEVER, PROSPERO STATES - ISLAND WHEN HE ARRIVED WAS NOT INHABITED BY HUMANS EXCEPT CALIBAN - SUGGESTING HE'S HUMAN

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CALIBAN IN 'THE TEMPEST'

'You taught me language, and my profit on't / Is that I know how to curse' - Caliban to Prospero and Miranda

DEMONSTRATES IDEA THAT COLONISERS (P+M) HAVE CORRUPTED COLONISED (CALIBAN) BY TEACHING HIM LANGUAGE

PROSPERO BELIEVES HE'S EDUCATED CALIBAN - SEES HIM AS UNGRATEFUL

LANGUAGE TO P + M = A GIFT / MEANS KNOWING ONESELF

CALIBAN DOES NOT FEEL EMPOWERED FROM THIS 'GIFT' - CONSTANT REMINDER HOW DIF HE IS FROM P + M AND HOW THEY'VE CHANGED HIM FROM WHAT HE ONCE WAS

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CALIBAN IN 'THE TEMPEST'

HIS ONLY HOPE FOR AN IDENTITY SEPARATE FROM COLONISERS IS TO USE WHAT THEY GAVE HIM AGAINST THEM - (DEMONSTRATED WHEN CALIBAN SPEAKS VERY SCATHINGLY ABOUT PROSPERO)

E.G. BRANDS HIM A "tyrant"

POSSIBLE CALIBAN IS SYMBOLIC OF VICTIMS OF COLONIAL EXPANSION (STEPHANO AND TRINCULO CONSIDER TAKING HIM BACK TO ITALY TO DISPLAY HIM FOR PROFIT)

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CALIBAN IN 'THE TEMPEST'

"Be not afeared. The isle is full of noises,/ Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments/ Will hum about mine ears."

HE OFTEN CLAIMS THE VIRTUE OF SPEECH IS TO CURSE PROSPERO

BUT HERE IT SHOWS HE IS CAPABLE OF USING IT SENSITIVELY

SPEECHES LIKE THESE ALLOW CALIBAN TO AVOID BECOMING A COMPLETE CHARACTER OF RIDICULE

THIS SPEECH CONVEYS THE ISLAND'S WONDROUS BEAUTY AND HIS ATTACHMENT TO IT

CALIBAN NOT STUPID AS OTHER CHARACTERS BELIEVE

MAKES SHREWD OBSERVATIONS

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CALIBAN IN 'THE TEMPEST'

LIKENS PROSPERO’S STEALING OF ISLAND TO ANTONIO STEALING MILAN

MIRRORS/PARODIES LOT OF ACTION IN PLAY - E.G. CALIBAN’S DESIRE FOR SOVEREIGNTY OF ISLAND MORRORS ANTONIO’S LUST FOR POWER

HIS CONSPIRACY WITH STEPHANO + TRINCULO TO MURDER PROSPERO = A LOT LIKE ANTONIO + SEBASTIAN’S PLOT AGAINST ALONSO AS WELL AS ANTONIO + ALONSO’S ORGINAL PLOT AGAINST PROSPERO

WITH THIS IN MIND, PERHAPS CALIBAN ALSO REPRESENTS SAVAGERY AND PRIMAL INSTINCTS BURIED DEEP WITHING MORE REFINED CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY

SEEMS CALIBAN (IN SOME WAYS) = HAPPY AS SLAVE – TO STEPHANO: “I’ll show thee every fertile inch o’th’island;/ And I will kiss thy foot: I prithee, be my god” – SHOWS GULLIBLE WHEN BELIEVES STEPHANO’S DRUNKEN CLAIM TO BE “the man in the moon”

THIS WOULD COMPLIMENT THE BELIEF AT THE TIME THAT THESE NEWLY DISCOVERED ‘SAVAGES’ DESERVED TO BE SLAVES OR WERE BORN TO BE ENSLAVED

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CALIBAN IN 'THE TEMPEST'

HAPPY TO BE SLAVE - 'I'll show thee every fertile inch o'th'island; / And I will kiss thy foot: I prithee, be my god' - to Staphano - SHOWS HE'S GULLABLE WHEN BELIEVES STEPHANO'S DRUNKEN CLAIM TO BE 'the man in the moon' - COMPLIMENTS BELIEF NEWLEY DISCOVERED 'SAVAGES' DESERVED TO BE SLAVES/ BORN TO BE ENSLAVED

MIRRORS + CONTRASTS WITH ARIEL

ARIEL IS “an airy spirit” CALIBAN IS OF THE EARTH, OFTEN TALKING OF “springs, brine pits” OR “crabapples” AND “pignuts”

ARIEL MAINTAINS DIGNITY AND FREEDOM BY SERVING PROSPERO WILLINGLY – CALIBAN ACHIRVES DIFFERENT KIND OF DIGNITY BY REFUSING (NOT ALWAYS) TO BOW BEFORE PROSPERO’S INTIMIDATION

WITH THIS IN MIND, MAY APPEAR CALIBAN IS ADMIRABLE TO DEFEND HIS RIGHTS (HE WAS FIRST ON THE ISLAND AFTER ALL)

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CALIBAN IN 'THE TEMPEST'

HAS COMPARISONS WITH FERDINAND – HE ENTERS “with a burden of wood” AS DOES FERDINAND LATER ON “bearing a log” (BOTH ARE PHYSICALLY STRONG)

BOTH EXPRESS INTEREST IN UNTYING MIRANDA’S “virgin knot”

HOWEVER, FERDINAND INTENDS TO MARRY HER – CALIBAN ATTEMPTS TO RAPE HER (CALIBAN COULD REPRESENT FERDINANDS MORE PRIMAL DESIRES)

FERDINAND’S ROMANCE WITH MIRANDA CONTRASTS WITH CALIBAN’S PRIMAL DESIRE TO POPULATE THE ISLAND WITH HIS OWN OFFSPRING. (TO CALIBAN, THIS IS NATURAL AS ALL AROUND HIM THE ANIMALS OF THE ISLAND ARE DOING SO, HE HAS NOT LIVED IN A SOCIETY WHERE MARRIAGE IS THE COURSE OF ACTION)

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CALIBAN - 'SAVAGE'

DESCRIBED IN THE FOLIO EDITION OF ‘THE TEMPEST’ AS “a salvage and deformed slave”

“salvage” = EARLIER FORM OF MODERN ‘SAVAGE’ BUT IN SHAKESPEARE’S DAY MEANT ‘WILD AND UNCIVILISED’ RATHER THAN ‘CRUEL’ OR ‘BESTIAL’

MOST PEOPLE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND BELIEVED THAT THE UNCIVILISED WERE BELOW THEIR CIVILISED COUNTERPARTS – HIGHERARCHY – GOD @ APEX, INANIMATE NATURE @ BASE

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CALIBAN - NOT 'SAVAGE'

EVEN THOUGH CALIBAN ENSLAVED BY PROSPERO – RISKES PUNISHMENT BY USING ‘THOU’ FORM, NORMALLY ONLY ACCEPTABLE TO INFERIORS OR INTIMATE EQUALS, AND HIS SERVICE IS GRUDGING BECAUSE HE REGARDS PROSPERO AS A USURPER ‘the island’s mine, by Sycorax my mother, / Which thou tak’st from me’

CALIBAN = BETTER VALUES THAN STEPHANO + TRINCULO – THEY ARE DISTRACTED FROM THEIR PLAN BY THEIR GREED WHEN THEY SEE PROSPERO’S RICH GARNMENTS – ONLY CALIBAN REALISES THT SUCH FINERY IS UNIMPORTANT ‘Leave it alone, thou fool; it is but trash’

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CALIBAN IN 'THE TEMPEST'

CALIBAN = SENSITIVE TO BEAUTY – GIVEN SOME OF THE MOST POETIC LINES IN PLAY:

‘…the isle is full of noises,/ Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not./ Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments/ Will hum about mine ears; and sometimes voices,/ That, if I then had wak’d after long sleep,/ Will make me sleep again: and them in dreaming,/ The clouds methought would open, and show riches/ Ready to drop upon me; that, when I wak’d,/ I cried to dream again’ - ACT 3 SCENE 2

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CALIBAN - EXAMPLE PARAGRAPH

IN TRYING TO ESCAPE ONE RELATIONSHIP, CALIBAN QUICKLY CREATES ANOTHER WHEN HE PERSUADES STEPHANO TO MURDER PROSPERO BY PROMISING THAT HE CAN MARRY MIRANDA AND RULE THE ISLAND

CALIBAN IS A CHARACTER IN WHICH PROSPERO’S CONTROL CAN BE QUESTIONED. ALTHOUGH PROSPERO IS HIS MASTER ‘CALIBAN MY SLAVE’ HIS ANIMALISTIC NATURE REMAINS AN ELEMENT THAT NOT EVEN PROSPERO CAN FULLY TAME

'A devil, a born devil, on whose nature/ Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains,/ Humanely taken, are all lost, quite lost'

THE REPETITION OF ‘DEVIL’ AND ‘LOST’ SUGGEST THE DIFFICULTY THAT PROSPERO HAS IN ACCEPTING THAT THERE IS AN “IRRIDUCIBLE, BESTIAL ELEMENT” WITHIN CALIBAN THAT HE CANNOT REFINE. EVERYTHING THAT HE HAS ENCOUNTERED HE HAS TRIED TO BRING WITHIN THE CONTROL THAT HE HAS GAINED THROUGH HIS STUDIES, BUT CALIBAN EMBODIES THAT PART OF HUMAN NATURE THAT REMAINS AND MUST REMAIN PURELY ANIMAL, SENSUAL AND INSTINCTIVE.

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A04 - COLONISATION

WRITEN WHEN EUROPEAN COLONIAL EXPANSIONISM BROUGHT EUROPE STORIES OF STRANGE NEW WORLDS + CIVILISATIONS

MANY ASSUMED EUROPEANS HAD RIGHT TO COUNTRIES IN ASIA, AFRICA + AMERICAS

PARALELLS IN PLOT OF 'NAUFRAGIUM' BY ERASMUS

EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT SHIPWRECK OF SEA VENTURE - OCCURED WHEN SIR THOMAS GATES + SIR GEORGE SOMERS WERE IN CONFLICT ON ISLANDS OF BERMUDA

PERHAPS SHAKESPEARE USED REPORT OF IT BY WILLIAM STRACHEY + SYLVESTER JORDAIN

AS EUROPEANS - PROSPERO, MIRANDA, + ROYAL PARTY ASSUME RIGHT TO ISLAND – TAKING FROM NATIVE INHABITANTS CALIBAN + ARIEL.

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