In The Tempest, Act IV Scene I, Prospero describes Caliban as ‘A devil, a born devil, on whose nature/nurture can never stick.
This line is significant, for it speaks of how Caliban’s personality traits throughout the entire play.Throughout the play Caliban is discouraged with how Prospero acts towards him and treats him and it is shown in the way Caliban speaks to him and acts towards him.When Prospero and Miranda first arrived on the island, twelve years ago when Miranda was only three years old (Act I, Scene II, p. 4), and had first come across Caliban, he seemed like a wild beast, unable to communicate at all and had no knowledge except that of instinct.Prospero and Miranda began to help him, teaching Caliban their language and about what the world was like.They allowed Caliban to live with them, and Prospero fed him, housed him in a sheltered hut, and accompanied him so he wasn’t alone.They trusted him to behave and not do anything that could hurt his credibility.He had to do some work around where they lived but it only makes sense for living in the wild.They didn’t expect him to turn into the ungrateful, wild beast that he did turn into.Caliban was the son of an evil witch named Sycorax, who was banished from Argrier (more recently known as Algeria), for mischief and terrible sorcery.Both Sycorax and her son, Caliban, were brought to the island, rather than being killed.Caliban’s mother died within a three-year time span, but Caliban continued to live.He was the only one on the island before Prospero and Miranda crashed there ship onto it, and he blames Prospero for taking his title of the King of his island and turning Caliban into a slave.In Act I Scene II, Caliban speaks of how when Prospero and Miranda first came to the island, they took it away from him when it was rightfully given to him by his mother.He says that when they frst arrived there, they stroked him, and made much of him.They would give him water with berries in it (which shipwrecked mariners normally made), and taught him about the world, about night and day, and how he grew to love them.He claims to have showed them all the qualities of the isle, the fresh springs, the brine pits, barren place and fertile.Caliban says he is angry about doing so, that he is the only subject of the great King Prospero, which is now being stuck in a hard rock, being kept from the rest of the island.This shows he has absolutely no sense of emotions or compassion for others.He attempted to rape Miranda, and he sees no wrong in doing so.He says if Prospero had not stopped him, he would have had the island infested with Calibans.In that time, premarital sex was a very sinful thing.People everywhere would look down on that, but it was not Calibans nature to.
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- Voice and Grammar