The Tempest Essay

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Source: "The New World," in The Dream of Prospero, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1967, pp. 72-123.

[In the following excerpt, James focuses on Caliban's character and his thematic significance to the playas a whole. Describing Caliban as a misshapen but definitely human creature likely drawn from contemporary reports of New World primitives, James recounts his history and his encounter with Prospero, who taught him language, but also heaped scorn on his new slave. James remarks, however, that Caliban possesses the ability to perceive the wonder of the world and to capture its sense of mystery and supernatural awe with his naive mind. James adds that the lines Caliban speaks "disclose the deepest truth about him" and argues that, as a primitive, he represents man in contact with the transcendent nature of life so often obscured in civilized man.]

I turn now to the figure of Caliban. I have...

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This section contains 1,979 words
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The Tempest from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.