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Home » , » Discuss Prospero's relationship with Caliban
Prospero's relationship with Caliban is one of the central topics in the play, The Tempest by William Shakespeare. The relationship between Prospero and Caliban is not good and friendly at all. Prospero handles Caliban adroitly. Caliban carries out Prospero's commands unwillingly. He does Prospero's works only under threat. He receives Prospero with curses and vile abuse.

In the beginning, Prospero used to treat Caliban kindly. Prospero even taught Caliban the language of human beings. But Caliban proved most ungrateful. One day he tried to violate the honor of Prospero's daughter, Miranda. Caliban is perfectly incorrigible. He is incapable of any moral improvement. He does carry out Prospero's orders like carrying fuel wood, but his hatred for Prospero continues to be fierce. In a soliloquy, Caliban tells how Prospero has been tormenting him in all possible ways by employing his spirits against him. Prospero has tried his best to civilize Caliban. He used to treat Caliban with great kindness and sympathy. Caliban collects wood for him, makes fire, and does many other odd jobs. Thus Prospero has subjugated Caliban for his own interest. The relationship between Prospero and Caliban exemplifies the issues of subversion behind the ideology put forth by the colonists. Thus till the very end, the relationship between Prospero and Caliban remains unpleasant and unfriendly. All of Prospero's beneficence fails to reform Caliban. Caliban represents the evil passions that cannot be changed into goodness.


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