Caliban is the savage son of the witch Sycorax, and was born on the island.
When Prospero arrives on the island, he shows him all its secrets that he knows, and in return is educated by Miranda and her father. He attempts to rape the girl, however, and is thereafter enslaved. He is not a happy slave. Prospero keeps him obedient by sending his spirits to torment him with pinching and bruising, though he cannot lock up Caliban’s tongue. He is more than willing to worship any person who brings him a hope of freedom, particularly if they give him alcohol, and so he falls in with Stefano and Trinculo, not realizing the extent of their foolishness. His thoughts towards Prospero are brutishly violent, but he is not immune to aesthetics, and enjoys the musics that can be heard throughout the island. When sobered up, he becomes aware of the madness of his revolt. Though distinctly human in form, he is considered deformed by many, and often called a monster; there is also something fishy about him, possibly his odor.