Student Question

How does Prospero's attitude towards Caliban change from Act 1, Scene 2 to Act 5, Scene 1?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Act 2.1.293-325, we witness Prospero's loathing of the slave. Caliban protests and calls Prospero names, and Prospero, in a voice drippping with hatred, tells his "poisonous slave,"

For this sure be tonight thou shalt have cramps.
Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up. Urchins
Shall forth at vast of night, that they may work
All exercise on thee. Thou shalt be pinched
As thick as honeycomb, each pinch more stinging
Than bees that made 'em.

In Act 5.1,925-300, Caliban and Prospero have reached an uneasy truce. After apologizing to Alfonso for Caliban's manners, he says to Caiban, "Go, sirrah, to my cell/Take with you your companions. As you look/To have my pardon,/Trim* it handsomely" (*trim = tidy, decorate).

Caliban responds, "Ay, that I will; and I'll be wise hereafter,/And seek for grace."

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial