‘Ban, ‘Ban, Cacaliban

William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II. scene 2:

The monstrous creature Caliban, drunkenly rejoicing that he is now free from Prospero’s domination:

‘Ban, ‘Ban, Cacaliban
Has a new master: get a new man.
Freedom, hey-day! hey-day, freedom! freedom,
hey-day, freedom!

How interesting that the supposedly debased Caliban has all the most beautiful lines in the play. Maybe Shakespeare created a character that stepped off the page and reclaimed himself.

Photographs:above: Djimoun Honsou plays Caliban in Julie Taymore’s filmed version of The Tempest (2010); immediately below: Caliban in Michael Smuin’s ballet, The Tempest, produced at Ballet San Jose Silcon Valley (2003). The role is danced by Willie Anderson. Photo by Robert Shomler;   bottom: Caliban the puppet, a character inThe McCarter Theatre’s puppet production of The Tempest (2007), directed by Christopher T. Parks, http://www.mccarter.org.

   The Tempest, Act III, scene 2:

  

   CALIBAN:

    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.

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