Act 5, Scene 1: Caliban’s End

How does the ending of the play have a lasting affect on our understanding of Caliban?

What a journey Caliban has been on! I feel as though we have almost lived with him through it. We have called him a monster, empathised with him, been outraged by him and outraged for him. Yet where does it all end for Caliban?

This lesson asks you to analyse the final moments of the play and considers, after all that we’ve been through, how the scene affects our lasting impression of Caliban.

And remember:

‘After all that we’ve been through, I know we’re cool…’

Caliban’s End Extract E

Homework: Caliban the traitor?

How is Caliban a presented as a traitor? Is this justified?

Due: Monday 6th October

Over the last few lessons we have begun to consider the complexity of the character of Caliban. As he begins to hatch his plan against his capture, is it fair that he is considered a traitor?

Plan and write an essay to the explore the question. Include:

1) Introduction (2-5 sentences outlining the your position)

2) Paragraph: Key idea 1

3) Paragraph: Key idea 2

4) Paragraph: Key idea 3

5) Conclusion (making your interpretation clear)

See me before Monday’s lesson if you need some support!

Act 2, Scene 2: Caliban the fool?

The Shakespearean fool has a distinct set of characteristics and a particular dramatic function in many of Shakespeare’s plays.

While technically Caliban does not meet every requirement to be considered a Shakespearean fool, taking a moment to consider the implications of viewing Caliban’s dramatic role in this way offers some rich material to be explored.

I think the most interesting aspect to explore is how a contemporary staging of the play, that enhances the fool-like qualities of Caliban, might be asking big questions about the oppressive forces in the world and the power of knowledge.


Homework: The Tempest Summary

Due: Thursday 25th September

I like summaries. They make life simple. It saves me having to read an entire text over and over again to remember what happens in it. Instead, I can find all of the important bits in one place.

As we have spent the last 2 weeks reading The Tempest the time has come to summarise once more. You should have already completed a summary of Act 1 and Act 2 and I would now like you to summarise Act 3 and Act 4. You should include:

  • information about the narrative
  • which characters appear in each scene
  • the main themes that are present in the scene
  • 1 or 2 key quotations from each scene

Happy summarising!

Lesson 4: Act 2, Scene 2- Caliban Alone

How does Shakespeare encourage empathy for Caliban at the beginning of Act 2, Scene 2?

In Act 2, Scene 2 the audience sees Caliban alone for the first time. It is the first opportunity we have to study Caliban away from any external forces that may influence his behaviour or language.

He enters carrying a bundle of sticks- a sign of the hard labour of his enslavement. A creature of the earth and a product of the natural surroundings of the island, we see his strong connection with nature through the visual imagery Shakespeare grants him in his language.

Despite his monstrous appearance, we have our first glimpse of Caliban’s sensitive side. But why would Shakespeare portray such a monster, who attempted to rape Miranda, with such empathy?

Lesson 2: Act 1, Scene 2- Caliban Enters

Who is more monstrous: Prospero or Caliban?

On the surface, it appears that Caliban is the monster within this play. Prospero and Miranda even tell us so. Yet if we look a little more closely at the language we begin to understand that the issue is a little more complex than it first seems.

So where does human end and monster begin?

Lesson1: Act 1, Scene 2- Meeting Caliban

How does Shakespeare’s use of structure and language affect the audience’s reading of Caliban?

This lesson focuses on how the structure of Shakespeare’s The Tempest affects the presentation of Caliban to his audience. We hear of a ‘whelp hag-born’ before we even see Caliban.

What does this tell us about his character? Perhaps more importantly, what does it tell us about those who make judgements of him?

Meeting Caliban

Extended Writing Task Sheet

Writing Frame