Above: Gautam Moitra as Prospero with Samayita Dutta Chowdhury as Miranda in Act 1 Scene 2 before Prospero’s cell .
Prospero suggests to Miranda that they go and visit Caliban. Miranda doesn’t want to and seems afraid. Prospero explains that they
need Caliban – he is useful to them – and conducts many domestic chores like wood gathering.
Prospero orders Caliban out of his cave, but Caliban replies that there is enough wood. Prospero tells him it isn’t for that and insults him: “poisonous slave!”
Eventually Caliban comes out and protests that when they first came Prospero and Miranda were nice to him; they stroked him and he
loved them and he showed them the island. As soon as they knew enough, they turned on him and treated him like a slave.
Prospero agrees that they were nice to him at first, teaching him their language and letting him live with them until he attempted to
violate Miranda’s honour. Caliban replies that he wanted to “people the island with Caliban’s”. Prospero orders him to get wood and he agrees acknowledging Prospero’s powerful magic.
Prospero awakens Miranda and, calling for his "poisonous slave," summons, Caliban, the malformed son of Sycorax. Caliban and
Prospero immediately start trading curses. Caliban asserts his rightful claim to the island as Sycorax's son, and recalls how, when
Prospero first came to the island "Thou strok'st me and made much of me; wouldst give me / Water with berries in't; and teach me how
/ To name the bigger light, and how the less ... and then I lov'd thee, / And show'd thee all the qualities o' th' isle, / The fresh springs,
brine-pits, barren place, and fertile" ). But then, Caliban says, Prospero made Caliban, who had been king of the island, his subject and
servant.Prospero angrily responds that he treated Caliban with "human care" and even let Caliban live in his own home. Yet, in
response, Caliban tried to rape Miranda. Caliban replies, "O ho! Would't had been done."
Miranda angrily scolds Caliban, recalling how she tried to lift him out of savagery by teaching him to speak their language "When thou
didst not, savage, / Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like / A thing most brutish" . Yet despite this gift of education,
Miranda continues, Caliban remained innately vile and brutal. Caliban retorts, "You taught me language, and my profit on't is, I know
how to curse" . (Editor's note: some editions of The Tempest have Prospero, not Miranda, say the lines about teaching Caliban to speak).
Enraged, Prospero hurls new curses at Caliban and orders him to get to his chores. Caliban grudgingly obeys, knowing that Prospero's power is greater than his own, and exits.
Prospero awakens Miranda, telling her that they are about to visit his other slave, Caliban, a disfigured and savage offspring of the dead
witch, Sycorax. Despite Prospero's attempts to tame him, Caliban has remained wide and barbaric, and has even attempted to rape
Miranda. Prospero calls out to Caliban and, reluctantly, he comes, complaining about his captivity. Prospero replies that he has every
right to enslave Caliban, in payment for all the education and kindness Prospero has given him. Caliban strikes back, proclaiming that he did not want to be educated by Prospero:
You taught me language; and my profit on't
Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!
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