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“Which first was mine own king”: Caliban and the Politics of Service and Education in The Tempest

“Which first was mine own king”: Caliban and the Politics of Service and Education in The... We can only fully understand Shakespeare’s Caliban if we consider his career as a servant and student in Prospero’s “cell.” Critics have long acknowledged that this career is key to Caliban’s character in the play’s current moment, but they typically say little about the mundane ways that service and education were supposed to influence early modern young people. As training-grounds for life, early modern households and schoolrooms were supposed to equip servants and students with a hierarchical world-view and flexible capacities for political action. Caliban speaks and acts like someone who absorbed such training in Prospero’s “cell” and who subsequently became disillusioned by it. Reading Caliban in this way illuminates aspects of his fraught and critically contested history with Prospero and Miranda as well as the play’s relationship with early modern cultures of service and education more generally. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in Philology University of North Carolina Press

“Which first was mine own king”: Caliban and the Politics of Service and Education in The Tempest

Studies in Philology , Volume 113 (2) – Apr 6, 2016

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1543-0383

Abstract

We can only fully understand Shakespeare’s Caliban if we consider his career as a servant and student in Prospero’s “cell.” Critics have long acknowledged that this career is key to Caliban’s character in the play’s current moment, but they typically say little about the mundane ways that service and education were supposed to influence early modern young people. As training-grounds for life, early modern households and schoolrooms were supposed to equip servants and students with a hierarchical world-view and flexible capacities for political action. Caliban speaks and acts like someone who absorbed such training in Prospero’s “cell” and who subsequently became disillusioned by it. Reading Caliban in this way illuminates aspects of his fraught and critically contested history with Prospero and Miranda as well as the play’s relationship with early modern cultures of service and education more generally.

Journal

Studies in PhilologyUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Apr 6, 2016

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