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Caliban Lesson Planner

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Stuart Rathe

on 14 February 2015

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Transcript of Caliban Lesson Planner

The play has been performed many times over the last 400 years and has even been turned into a film on several occasions. This is the trailer for the most recent film.
The Tempest is the last play written by William Shakespeare.

It contains many of his most poetic speeches. It is all about a banished duke called Prospero who is a great magician and lives on an island with his beautiful daughter, Miranda. They were sent there when Miranda was only a baby girl by some wicked men who stole Prospero's dukedom.

Miranda has never met any other humans...

The people who banished them are sent by a magical storm to the island, where they find Prospero, Miranda and strange creatures such as Prospero's fairy Ariel and Caliban, a monster who lived on the island before Prospero arrived.
What kind of story is The Tempest?
Here, Caliban is reassuring two drunken sailors called Trinculo and Stephano that the magical island is a remarkable and unsettling place to live.

Listen to Caliban speak about how he experiences the island.
How do you think he feels about the island?
Is he happy to be there?
Do you think he was happier before Prospero and Miranda arrived? Why?
Is there anything sad about what he says?
How would you feel if you were Caliban?

Be not afeard...
Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again

Caliban is quite a sad character in the story.
Although he is seen as wicked and it is suggested that he has tried to harm Prospero and Miranda in the past, many people feel sorry for him. He lived on the island before the old magician arrived, and he is now treated badly by Prospero, who makes him work hard and punishes him like a slave.
Caliban is often portrayed as an ugly and slightly stupid creature, who is sometimes seen as quite comical. Here are some pictures of Caliban from productions of the Tempest through the years...
The Tempest and Caliban
Shakespeare Week

Listen to this clip of Caliban speaking

Think about the story of The Tempest
Think about Caliban the monster.
Think about all the magic and sorcery
on the island.
Think about the words that Caliban says
about how wondrous the island is
In this lesson, you will be given copy of Caliban's speech where he talks about all the noises of the island...

Think about Caliban's sad life...

First, we will try reciting the speech
together as a class, thinking about the way
Caliban feels and how Shakespeare's words
give us clues about his character.
Working in pairs, we will then rehearse the speech to perform in our pairs to the whole class later in the week!


Create your own picture of Caliban as you see him. Will he be a hideous monster or will you show that he might
also be sad and capable of kindness?

Perhaps you will be inspired by the artists who have painted Caliban over the years or by the images from films and stage productions you have seen.
Or perhaps you have another idea...
What can you create for the
Shakespeare Schools Festival task
for Shakespeare Week 2014?
Caliban has also inspired
artists to paint the character.
This is a painting by the
cubist artist Franz Marc from
...And another image from 1868 by the painter Joseph Noel Paton that shows
Caliban listening to the sounds of the island (more
about this later!)
The Tempest
Good luck!
Full transcript