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Caliban Timeline and Summary

  • 1.2: When Prospero calls, Caliban answers that "there's wood enough within!"
  • 1.2: Caliban curses variously over Prospero, citing his mother's wickedness as a thing he wishes would fall upon his current master.
  • 1.2. Caliban demands that the island is his, as left to him by his mother, the witch Sycorax, and taken from him by Prospero. Caliban remembers when Prospero first came: Prospero was kind to Caliban, and Caliban loved Prospero, showing him all the best places in the island. Caliban curses that he ever did this, and says now he is a subject, kept tied to a rock, when once he was his own king.
  • 1.2: Caliban responds to the fact that he was turned out Prospero's cell because he tried to rape Miranda. He is not remorseful, but wishes it had been done, so he could people the island with little Calibans. (Yech.)
  • 1.2: Caliban claims that the benefit of being taught Prospero's language was learning how to curse, and he wishes a red plague upon Prospero for teaching him his language.
  • 1.2: Caliban admits he must obey Prospero, for the sorcerer's powers are greater than those of his mother's god, Setebos.
  • 2.2: Caliban is afflicted by spirits Prospero sends to torment him. Seeing Trinculo, Caliban thinks the man is another such spirit of torture.
  • 2.2: Caliban, listening to the drunken Stefano, pleads not to be tormented, and says that, though the spirit isn't hurting him now, he probably soon will be, as all Prospero's spirits seem to do.
  • 2.2: Caliban identifies Stefano as some brave god—because he is not a spirit, that's his only other option. (Also, Stefano is bearing "celestial liquor," of which Caliban drinks heavily.) Caliban decides to kneel to him, and swears upon the bottle (nice) to be his subject, because the liquor is so heavenly.
  • 2.2: Caliban asks if Stefano has not dropped from heaven, and hearing that Stefano claims to be the man in the moon, he naively says he adores him.
  • 2.2: Caliban, rather heavily sauced by now, promises to show Stefano every fertile inch of the island. He kisses Stefano's foot, swearing to be his subject. Caliban then gives a pretty speech about the delights of the island he can share now that he is free of the tyrant Prospero.
  • 2.2: Caliban wishes a drunken goodbye to his new master, and sings happily to himself of his freedom. (Kind of like Gollum in Lord of the Rings, singing to himself while he bashes in the head of a fish. You're happy for him, but creeped-out, too.)
  • 3.2: Caliban is with Stefano and Trinculo, and all are drunk. Caliban offers to lick Stefano's shoe, but does not think Trinculo valiant or worthy of shoe-licking. Caliban has a back-and-forth with Trinculo, asking Stefano to defend him from mockery.
  • 3.2: Caliban repeats to Stefano that he had the island taken from him by Prospero unfairly, and enlists Stefano to avenge him of this wrong. Caliban wants Stefano to murder Prospero by knocking a nail into his head. (No comment.)
  • 3.2: A plan is hatched: they'll sneak up on Prospero during his daily afternoon nap and murder him in any variety of ways. Caliban warns they must first possess Prospero's books, as they're his source of power. Caliban then promises they can have the beautiful things inside his house, including access to Miranda, who will breed well for the god Stefano. They make merry after deciding to destroy Prospero.
  • 3.2: Caliban comforts Stefano and Trinculo, who are freaked out at the strange noises of the island. Caliban speaks beautifully of the sweet airs of the island and the dreams they conjure, so sweet that "when I wak'd, I cried to dream again."
  • 4.1: Caliban leads Stefano and Trinculo to Prospero's cell, and begs them to be quiet, so as not to wake his master, who would be rightly miffed about the murder plot. Caliban is furious when the two drunken fools are distracted by Prospero's rich wardrobe, and begins to worry about what terrible things Prospero will do to them if they are caught.
  • 5.1: Caliban, knowing he has been caught, worries he will be punished severely: "How fine my master is! I am afraid he will chastise me." After being comforted by Prospero that he might still gain pardon, Caliban replies: "I'll be wise hereafter, and seek for grace." He admits he was a fool to take a drunkard for a god.