At first glance the relationship between these three might seem simple, Ariel is also in thrall to Prospero who keeps the spirit doing his. Act 1, Scene 2 of The Tempest takes place on the island shortly after a violent appears to want us to draw parallels between Ariel and Caliban. Though Prospero professes care for his daughter, his relationship with her. Whereas Ariel greets Prospero with an affirmation of his greatness, Caliban of Ariel and Caliban's separate relationships with Prospero are emphasized.
Rather, he begs them to be his master, even his god. Caliban thus shows himself to be incapable of autonomy. In his relationship to Stephano, Caliban is even more pathetic than in his relationship to Prospero, for he abandons his rebellious attitude for one of hero-worship and grovelling. By putting himself in willing slavery to Stephano, who is no more than a drunkard and a buffoon, Caliban shows himself to be truly in a pathetic state.
The vicious curses that he had constantly sent to his old master Prospero are replaced by requests to lick the shoe of his new master. A drunk Caliban even attempts a poetic song for the first time, and makes a fool of himself by stumbling over his name: Caliban becomes a more sympathetic character in the second half of the work.
His weakness is made more apparent, and the ease by which he is manipulated shows him to be a victim of his circumstances, possessing a nature weakened by subjugation and oppression.
Although the characterization of Caliban shows him to be a more pathetic character as the play progresses, the characterization of Ariel displays quite the opposite. Ariel occupies the most important role of the play during the last two acts. It is Prospero who conceives the ideas for enchanting the shipwrecked Italians, but he can only carry them out with the aid of Ariel.
In the same way that Ariel is dependent upon Prospero for his freedom, Prospero is dependent upon Ariel for the fulfillment of his plans.The role of Caliban in The Tempest
This entails a significant reversal in roles. Ariel becomes the one in control, for it is his power of enchantment upon which Prospero is dependent. In his speech to Alonso, Antonio and Sebastian in Act III, Ariel condemns these three in the same type of authoritarian language which had previously been reserved only to Prospero: I and my fellows Are ministers of Fate.
My fellow ministers Are like invulnerable. His changing use of language is evidence of a changing attitude. As Ariel comes closer to his freedom, his demeanor becomes more confident and less submissive. He is becoming more independent, and thus more strong in character. Where the second half of the work shows a Caliban increasingly destitute and pathetic, it shows an Ariel increasingly self-assertive and autonomous. The conclusion of The Tempest shows Prospero regaining his dukedom, Ariel finding his freedom, and Caliban resigning himself once again to the authority of Prospero.
Although it seems at first to be a pleasant state of affairs, a closer look reveals it to be quite the opposite. Prospero is surely unfit to be a duke, as his overbearing and oppressive nature throughout the play attests to.
It seems as if Ariel, in winning his freedom, is the only one of these characters whose state is truly better than it was at the opening of the play.
This is significant in that among these characters, the distinguishing characteristic of Ariel is that he is not human. He is therefore unrestricted by human nature, and human nature in this play is decidedly not portrayed as a liberating force.
Nonetheless, the article had made me aware of a whole different perspective on their relationship; I hope one day I get to see a production which makes use of these notions. What a cool, intriguing article! This is an interesting reading of the play as more of a coming to maturity tale a progression experienced by many characters to a degree — Miranda, Ferdinand, Prospero rather than a play about the politics of enslavement. Some call Hegel an idealist whose philosophy has essentialism as its foundation.
Others feel that Hegel is more materialist than we give him credit for. In other words, Ariel being in bondage to Propsero is not the only way that Ariel can develop his consciousness, but it is the way it will occur in a patriarchal world — one that is rooted in hierarchical relations of power.
Relationships Of Prospero And Caliban 📚 The Tempest
And certainly, that is the setting of this play. In a post-Patriarchal world there will be no Masters, Slaves, capitalists or workers.
As Marx says, the working class will, through revolution, abolish itself. In other words, in that world, Ariel will not need to pass through the phases of enslaved labour in order to realize his full potential.
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust I like this analysis, but then it raises questions about what happens next, If Ariel acquires a mind of his own through work, what happens when he is set free? Is this not an ironic ending?
Also I am interested in the assumption lurking under this analysis that Ariel needs Prospero to reach his full potential and that the enslavement is in some ways useful and even empowering. The idea of co-dependency is interesting in relation to The Tempest and it is often represented as such on the stage, with master needing servant as well as servant needing master.
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Insightful as ever, Christian.
The Tempest – Ariel, Prospero and Caliban – a very wonky triangle - Blogging Shakespeare
One of the things which I have always found interesting about the tempest is how well Caliban and Ariel know eachother. Their relationship if such it is is a resounding blank. Your suggestion that Caliban and Ariel work together to overthrow Prospero is one oddly neglected by Shakespeare.
Christian Smith I agree with Zsolt that there is more to the story than what I wrote in my comment and will take his suggestion to extend my interpretation in light of Hegel and Marx. It is this devotion to study that has made him content to raise Miranda in isolation. Prospero will have to let go of his magic to return to the world where his knowledge means something more than power. Prospero is a considerate character in that he was wronged by his usurping brother, but his absolute power over the other characters makes him difficult to like.
In our first glimpse of Prospero, he appears puffed up and self-important, and his repeated insistence that Miranda pays attention suggests that his story is boring her. Act I Scene II. So, the Prospero and Ariel relationship is one of master-servant but the servant willingly obeys the master in exchange for later benefits in this case, Ariel obeys Prospero to obtain his freedom.
The Epilogue is the only scene in the play in which we see Prospero ask others — the audience — for help. It shows him as a mere mortal who, stripped of his magic powers, is as vulnerable as the rest of us. It is incumbent on the audience to exhibit the same sort of mercy as he has just shown, indicating that we too have learnt to be magnanimous.
For some critics, this new Prospero inspires admiration and sympathy. For others, he is now an impotent tyrant who, without any method of self-defence, is in a position to be punished for the wrongs he has done to the others characters during the play.
Prospero treats Caliban as a slave.