Function of Ariel and Caliban in “The Tempest” Essay
The Tempest is an intriguing play by Shakespeare. The play begins by exposing the thirst for knowledge of Prospero. It also contrasts this feature with the greed of power of his brother. The story exposes how Prospero became a victim of injustice. His brother Antonio conspired with Alonso to carry out an evil plan. Antonio accomplishes his mission of taking away the position of the duke of Milan and drives Prospero off to an island. It is in this island that Prospero lays down the plan of the tempest as a form of revenge. Prospero depends on the ability of Ariel to carry out his revenge mission. On getting to the island, Prospero assumed its leadership, dethroning Caliban, the real islander.
Role of Caliban
Caliban is the sole human being in the island before the arrival of Prospero. He is the rightful ruler of the island. Caliban welcomed Prospero to the island. Prospero educated him because he lived in ignorance. His ignorance is the advantage of Prospero. The writer uses him to symbolize the situation of some regions before exploration by foreigners (Nostbakken, 157). Due to ignorance and lack of exposure, the explorers colonized them. Caliban results to rebellion in his heart, fights back but with no success.
Although being the rightful ruler of the island, Caliban lets Prospero take over the leadership. Being the ruler of the island granted Prospero an opportunity to plan the tempest. In the island, Caliban is the victim of circumstances. He lacks the composure to assume leadership of the island. Therefore, Prospero and Miranda use him as a tool. He results to being a slave of Prospero. Then writer uses Caliban to illustrate how people in society use others for revenge (Nostbakken, 149). Prospero, driven by his desire to attain justice, commits injustice to others. This is the irony of the race for justice. Through Caliban, the writer realizes the resentment existing in the heart of Prospero. Caliban actions drive Miranda to expose her feminist side to the reader. This side becomes vivid to the reader when Miranda condemns Caliban for trying to rape her.
Role of Ariel
Ariel is the character driving drama, because he is a spirit with a lot of powers. He serves Prospero with exclusive loyalty. Ariel is responsible for creating all the dramatic moments (Bloom and Shakespeare, 11). Under instruction from his master, he caused the ship to wreck. In addition, he scattered all the people in the ship, ensuring their safety. According to instruction from his master, he manipulates all these people to fall in to the traps of Prospero. Ariel protected Prospero from the then evil plans of Caliban (Bloom and Shakespeare, 9). Through his ability to create illusions, Miranda and Ferdinand end up together. In the end, Ariel manipulates all members of the family to an emotional reunion and reconciliation (Bloom and Shakespeare, 13).
The play ends with reconciliation. Through his reasoning, Ariel influences Prospero’s thinking. Ariel reasoned that forgiveness and affection were better strategies of settling issues. This reasoning from a spirit got Prospero into a realm of thought and reflection. Afterwards, Prospero resolved to forget the pain of the past and nurture a fresh relationship with his family. In the end, he gets back to Milan in the status of the duke (Bloom and Shakespeare, 12). Ariel ensures their safety getting to Milan.
Prospero makes use of subjection of Ariel and Caliban to accomplish his mission. (Nostbakken, 157). Their role contributes highly to the success of the story on the island. The writer uses such powers to create an imaginary world of extreme control to the reader. In this world, the characters come together and reconcile. Ariel’s powers to create illusions drive Prospero’s plan from the start to the end. The role of Ariel and Caliban make the play unique and more dramatic.
Bloom, Harold and Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. New York: Infobase Publishing. 2007. Print.
Nostbakken, Faith. Understanding The Tempest: a student casebook to issues, sources, and historical documents. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group. 2004. Print.