Earlier, we were discussing that Caliban is almost an anagram for cannibal. I came across several websites claiming that the “almost” in that last sentence is unnecessary considering that the word “cannibal” was once spelled as “canibal,” in which case Caliban is an anagram for cannibal.
The power of this allusion lies in the fact that it dehumanizes the character and highlights the resentment Prospero portrays so well. The Tempest unarguably symbolizes distinctions between the Old and New World with the coming of colonization of the Americas, which led me to think that Caliban may very well be representative of the Native Americans colonizers came across.
Think about it — Prospero steals Caliban’s inherited land which once belonged to his mother Sycorax and makes Caliban his slave. This parallels the actions taken by colonizers as they took land which was not theirs and used Natives as laborers. Shakespeare’s may very well be enlightening the public on the oppression taking place in America.
What do you think of the depictions of Caliban below? All seem remarkably unearthly.