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The Tempest

To what extent would you agree with Prospero’s description of Caliban as a “thing of darkness”?

In the list of characters Caliban is described as a “savage” and “deformed” slave. On stage he has been played as a lizard, a dog, a monkey, a snake and a fish. Most productions opt for the form of a misshapen man as it’s very hard to imagine how the other forms could perform all the other chores that Caliban must do to satisfy Prospero. Also, it is a lot easier to fell sorry for a deformed man than a snake or fish.
We first meet Caliban when Prospero “calls” for his “slave”. From this scene we learn that Prospero views Caliban as a “filth”. We know this by the way that Prospero speaks, “hag-seed” and ”most poisonous slave” both conveying the full weight of Prospero’s disgust. We also learn that when Prospero and Miranda first arrived, Caliban helped them to survive and they all lived together happily, “when’st thou arrived thou stro’kst m...

Posted by: Janet Valerio

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