How Are Caliban And Ariel Different

What is the differences between two servants ?( Caliban and Ariel)


Especially their point of view on freedom.

Expert Answers
gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ariel and Caliban are markedly different in nature and appearance. Ariel as his name suggests is a spirit, ethereal, while Caliban is gross and bestial. Both are connected to the witch Sycorax who ruled the island before Prospero: Ariel was imprisoned by her, before being rescued by Prospero, while Caliban is her offspring. Both are servants of Prospero. Ariel performs a lot of magical feats at his master's command while Caliban is a more lowly and menial servant.

Caliban grumbles all the time at his servitude; he resents Prospero deeply and eventually leaves him for another master, and plans to murder him, although he is foiled in this. Ariel appears to be far more highly valued as a servant by Prospero than is the savage Caliban, but Ariel, too shows some signs of discontent with his servitude, reminding Prospero quite forcefully at one point of Prospero's promise to free him. However when Prospero is annoyed by this, he quickly apologises.  Caliban frets constantly at being kept under, while Ariel generally puts up with it. 

Caliban has often been taken as being representative of the New World natives often oppressed and enslaved by European conquerors, and he does have grounds for complaint against Prospero's brusque treatment of him. But he does not appear very favourable in himself; he apparently tried to rape Miranda and is capable of plotting murder. He is very much tied to his passions and instincts whereas Ariel, being a spirit, is more detached from things in general.

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The Tempest

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