The Tempest – Caliban

Prospero Malignant thingLitterDevilThing of darknessNot honoured with a human shapePoisonous slave, got by the devil himself
Miranda Abhorred slaveVile race SavageGabble like a thing most brutish
Caliban I loved thee, and showed thee all the qualities o’th’isle, the fresh springs, brine pits, barren place and fertile
Caliban You taught me language and my profit on’t is I know how to curse
Caliban I’ll show thee every fertile inch o’th’island and i will kiss thy foot, i prithee, be my god?
Trinculo A man or a fish?
Caliban Knock a nail into his head… Brain him… Batter his skull
Caliban Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises, sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not
Caliban I cried to dream again
Caliban Would’t had been done i would have peopled the isle with Calibans
Stage direction “Caliban, burden of wood”
(Martin Butler) (Ambivalence)
(Martin Butler) (He is defined not by his own identity but by what others see in him and make of him)
(Martin Butler) (Caliban’s touchingly aesthetic response to the island’s ‘sounds and sweet airs’, suggests he is not the simple brute the Europeans automatically assume)
(D. A. Traversi) (Caliban, the offspring of a witch but himself uncorrupted by civilisation, is a strange mix of the poetical and the absurd, the pathetic and the savagely evil)
(D. A. Traversi) (He expresses a genuine and distinctive poetic note in appreciation of the natural beauties around him but has to choose between his spiritual and animal nature when Prospero breaks-up the simplicity of the island)