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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: September ::
Caliban's Father
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1587  Thursday, 22 September 2005

[1] 	From: 	Joseph Egert <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 20 Sep 2005 18:10:42 +0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1560 Caliban's Father

[2] 	From: 	Bruce Young <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 20 Sep 2005 17:11:55 -0600
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 16.1570 Caliban's Father


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 20 Sep 2005 18:10:42 +0000
Subject: 16.1560 Caliban's Father
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1560 Caliban's Father

David Basch contends a careful study of the TEMPEST's text will show the 
two "angels" Caliban and Ariel "willing and even zealous servants of 
their Creator."

Sorry, David, I'm not buyin'.

A careful study of Basch's otherwise interesting and illuminating text 
will show it riddled with illogic, internal contradiction, and 
tendentious contortion. Ariel, Prospero, and Caliban all seek 
restoration to their differing Ages of Gold: Ariel, to the good old 
pre-mortal days on "hir" island; Prospero, to his Ducal lordship of 
Milan (and now Naples--a Habsburg marriage no less!); and Caliban, heir 
of banished usurper Sycorax, to repossession of "his" island before 
current usurper Prospero turned on him. A pervasive religious allegory 
may nonetheless suffuse this play, extending from pagan through Hebraic 
and Catholic to Reformation times, if only Reason could piece it out.

Regards,
Joe Egert

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Bruce Young <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 20 Sep 2005 17:11:55 -0600
Subject: 16.1570 Caliban's Father
Comment: 	RE: SHK 16.1570 Caliban's Father

Joseph Egert (whose name contains "ghost" and almost contains "seraph") 
speculates about hidden anagrams in "Caliban" and other names.  Though 
the various allusions are not necessarily mutually exclusive, I find 
more persuasive the common view that "Caliban" is a play on "cannibal."

For one thing, Caliban is a savage (more or less) on an island 
previously unknown to Europeans, and it may be relevant (with the play's 
allusions to America) that the word "cannibal" derives from "Carib" or 
"Caribes," according to the OED "a fierce nation of the West Indies." 
For another, the play quotes from Montaigne's essay "Of the Cannibals" 
and takes on his idea that savages, because more natural, are superior 
to civilized folks.  I say the play "takes on" the idea, but it would be 
better to say it complicates it.

Bruce Young

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