What are some important quotations between Prospero and Caliban in The Tempest?

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Caliban and Prospero see their rancorous relationship differently. Their first conversation reveals how they both view themselves as victims of one another. Prospero claims Caliban’s father was “the devil himself,” and it appears Caliban’s mother Sycorax was a witch who was on the island before Prospero. Both Caliban and Prospero...

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Caliban and Prospero see their rancorous relationship differently. Their first conversation reveals how they both view themselves as victims of one another. Prospero claims Caliban’s father was “the devil himself,” and it appears Caliban’s mother Sycorax was a witch who was on the island before Prospero. Both Caliban and Prospero curse one another, but only Prospero’s curses work thanks to his indentured servant Ariel, a magical spirit.

The two enemies agree Prospero was initially kind to Caliban, who describes how his surrogate father cared for and taught him:

When thou camest first,
Thou strokedst me and madest much of me, wouldst give me
Water with berries in't, and teach me how
To name the bigger light, and how the less,
That burn by day and night:

Caliban says he also provided for Prospero, but now Prospero imprisons and enslaves him out of a desire for power. Prospero denies this, claiming he enslaves Caliban because he attempted to violate Prospero’s daughter Miranda. Caliban retorts, “You taught me language; and my profit on't / Is, I know how to curse.” Throughout the rest of the play, Prospero plagues Caliban and Caliban conspires to overthrow and kill Prospero. This conversation sets the stage for their conflict.

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