How Does Caliban Animalize The Tempest

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The mid 19th century writer Daniel Wilson interprets The Tempest’s most intriguing yet unknown character, Caliban, as a “strange monster on the island” (72). However, I disagree with the way Wilson animalizes Caliban and does not give him the basics rights and freedoms of humanity. I believe that Caliban is not someone that readers should be frightened by but rather a character who is worthy of a reader’s sympathy. In the works of Robert Browning’s “Caliban Upon Setebos”, Caliban is described as a slave, a servant, but nonetheless a human. The contrast between Wilson and Browning’s works is whether Caliban is a monstrous slave or a slave treated like a monster. In Shakespeare’s The Tempest he is described as a human with traits of an animal. Through the speech of Prospero, Shakespeare writes that Caliban is a man “not honour’d with a human shape” (I.2.283). Critics, scholars, and readers are in a forever on-going debate as to who Caliban is and what he depicts. For me the question is who he is,…show more content…
Browning says the working class are treated as if they are animals and wrongfully so. He does not believe that those of the working class are animals, just treated as ones, including Caliban. Caliban upon Setebos gives a description of the working life of Prospero’s slaves “drudg(ing) at their task” (21). This shows how harshly the superior class treated the slaves. Browning describes a servant-owner relationship very similar to the one scripted in The Tempest. Both Shakespeare and Browning depict the slaves to be treated as creatures, disrespected, and deprived of human rights. Daniel Wilson’s The Monster Caliban fails to recognize this and continues to classify Caliban as a monster, and not a human being treated monstrously. Wilson calls him a “tortoise”, “like a fish, only with feet and hands like a man”

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