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Despite their differences, Ariel and Caliban exist as slaves on the island to serve Prospero’s attempt at a society.In order to keep both Ariel and Caliban from not escaping, Prospero punishes both characters, but in separate ways.Shakespeare’s image of Caliban as a beastly, savage was done intentionally.
Nature, represented by Caliban is always in conflict with Art, the Westerners.
The Art being presented in this play involves Prospero’s creations with magic and the arrival of the new ships.
The aesthetics of Ariel express the important resources that the Western conquerors came to find, such as gold and natural resources for their Empire.
On the opposite spectrum, Caliban represents what the conquerors actually found.
The Ironic relationship of Prospero and Caliban is that Prospero, who has the supreme control of the island, knows less about the island itself than Caliban.
Research Papers Database Administration - Tempest Essay Caliban
Originally, Caliban was owned by another authoritative figure, Sycorax, but Prospero freed him from Sycorax’s control and enslaved Caliban for his own uses.One unusual side of Caliban Shakespeare uses to highlight the primal side of Caliban is the sexual tension between Miranda and Caliban.To tempt Caliban, Prospero brings around Miranda and keeps her at a distance so Caliban cannot touch her.Prospero’s attitude toward Caliban seems condescending and rude: “Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour One thing or other: when thou didst not, savage, Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like A thing most brutish, I endow’d thy purposes With words that made them known: but thy vile race, Though thou didst learn, had that in’t which good natures Could not abide to be with; therefore wast thou Deservedly confin’d into this rock, who hadst Deserv’d more than a prison” (2.1).Not only does Prospero abuse his power against the native Caliban but also against his own daughter, Miranda, and the indigenous spirit Ariel.Caliban represents the indigenous islander who cannot escape the brutality of his master.Often in the play, Caliban makes remarks against Prospero’s exploitation of the island.“All the charms Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you!Magically given pains by Prospero, Caliban has trouble moving about.The severity of his pains entitles Caliban to curse and fret throughout the play.“For every trifle are they set upon me: Sometime like apes that mow and chatter at me, And after bite me; then like hedge-hogs which Lie tumbling in my bare-foot way, and mount Their pricks at my foot-fall; sometime am I All wound with adders, who with cloven tongues Do hiss me into madness” (2.2).With the ability to manipulate the weather, induce sleep and instantly create pain, Prospero has an almost godlike ego that the colonizers at the time felt as well.The symbolism in this play lies in Prospero’s control of the island.