The Tempest

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In further examination of the Linguistic Relativity Principle and Caliban’s half assimilation into European culture, figural meanings behind linguistic context of Caliban’s speech can be identified. “In Linguistic Colonialism in ‘The Tempest’”, Stephen J. Greenblatt researches the figurative meaning behind Caliban’s response towards Miranda, when she states she assisted Caliban by teaching him language, Caliban responds, “You taught me language, and my profit on ‘t / Is I know how to curse (1.2.366-368).” Greenblatt contends language is a binding authority for Caliban, he claims all it is good for is knowing how to curse. However, his curiosity to know more about Prospero’s magic is an example of the idiom, fight fire with fire. Greenblatt…show more content…
By reason of their mutual educational upbringing, her character is in close natural relation to Caliban. Both have had the majority of her childhood rearing on the island, and have an education through foreign cultural perspective, because of this, she represents another half culturally assimilated character. However, Miranda’s shows hints of a greater understanding than her actual character discloses. For instance, in her speech directed towards Caliban she states, I pitied thee, / Took pains to make thee speak,…When thou didst not, savage, / Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like / A thing most brutish, I endowed thy purposes / With words that made them known (1.2.356-361). This speech surmises her understanding the importance in knowing language and its power to create meaning. Similar to the earlier stated theory of Linguistic Relativity, the passage above demonstrates Miranda’s shadowing of Prospero’s earlier portrayal of Caliban as inhuman. Examples are in her linguistic word choices for Caliban, words such as, ‘brutish’ and ‘savage’, illustrate a subconscious active subordination in the part of Miranda to the hierarchy of the island. In “Seduction and Service in ‘the Tempest’”, Melissa Sanchez justifies the

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