In Shakespeareâ€™s play, â€œThe Tempest,â€ one of the most interesting and difficult characters to define in a particular way is Caliban. Many people see Caliban as a â€œnoble savageâ€, wild man, the missing link, as well as other things. His character is one of the most talked about and controversial and yet he is not a direct influence on the conclusion of the play.
While Caliban is not a direct cause of the conclusion, he does have many small but important functions. He is part of the comic relief in this play, along with Trinculo and Stephano, as they stumble around the Island drunk plotting and scheming on how to gain power. He also is the complete opposite of Ariel, who is a happy servant of Prosperoâ€™s. Caliban resents that he is a slave, and is depicted as an ugly monster, where as Ariel is seen as a beautiful super-natural being. From the beginning of this play Caliban is shown to us as evil. I believe he has good reason to act out towards Prospero. Being that he was enslaved and his Island was taken over by his now master.
It is understandable that many readers of the text would refer to Caliban as an awful person. When Caliban is first introduced he comes across to be very beastly and immoral. While Caliban comes in to Act I scene 2 because he was summoned by Prospero, they immediately begin to argue. Just in the way Prospero calls upon Caliban it gives the reader a preconceived idea of what Caliban is, before they even hear his side of it all. Prospero calls on Caliban by saying: â€œThou poisonous slave, got by the devil himself Upon thy wicked dam, come forth!.â€ (I.ii.383-384) The words poisonous slave, gives the readers the mind sent that he is in fact a monster, and got by the devil himself tells us all that he is the spawn of Satan. No person will ever believe that the son of the Devil is a good person.
Caliban did do some nasty things, such as the attempted rape of Prosperoâ€™s daughter Miranda.