The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1917 Tuesday, 9 November 1999.
Date: Friday, 05 Nov 1999 13:24:17 -0500
Subject: Psychology in The Tempest
Hello Everyone, I have a curiosity about the two slaves on Prospero's
island. It seemed to me that Caliban and Ariel could be read as
symbolic aspects of Prospero's mind. Sort of like the Superego and Id,
though I don't believe those terms had been coined at Shakespeare's
time. Nonetheless, I think that the idea of a basic human dichotomy
would be acceptable. First off, is there any evidence to support my
view, or am I just wandering off track? Also, early in the play Ariel
and Caliban do not appear together, but keep just missing each other
until the very end of the play when the reconciliation occurs. If my
first notion is correct, would their final appearance together represent
a kind of reconciliation within Prospero's mind? I might be clutching
at straws here, but I thought it was an interesting avenue to explore.