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(His mother was not a witch, but the same woman who gave birth to the generally moral duke, Prospero.) In fact, Shakespeare suggests that in some ways Caliban is more sympathetic than his human counterpart: Caliban gives a beautiful speech on the natural wonders of the island, whereas Antonio can only stupidly curse its “barrenness.” Though human, Antonio repeatedly acts like a beast.
Does comedy serve merely to relieve the tension of the tragedy, or do the comic scenes serve a more serious thematic purpose as well? Discuss how the play treats the idea of suicide morally, religiously, and aesthetically, with particular attention to Hamlet’s two important statements about suicide: the “O, that this too too solid flesh would melt” soliloquy (129–158) and the “To be, or not to be” soliloquy (III.i.56–88).
Why does Hamlet believe that, although capable of suicide, most human beings choose to live, despite the cruelty, pain, and injustice of the world?
At first, Caliban resembles a freak, whose greed, lust, and laziness contrast with the noble attributes of the humans around him.
But as the story progresses, Caliban seems less a monster and more a kindred spirit to Antonio, Duke of Milan.
Is it acceptable for Hamlet to treat them as he does? Analyze the use of descriptions and images in Hamlet.
How does Shakespeare use descriptive language to enhance the visual possibilities of a stage production?
When she sees the shipwrecked men for the first time and exclaims “O brave new world!
” her father can only cynically imply that the world’s newness will soon wear off, exposing a vast network of schemers and thieves.
Instead of showing gratitude to his new friends for their efforts to teach him English, Caliban attempts to rape Miranda, to “people the island with Calibans.” Although he could have tried to mitigate the harsh punishment he received by showing remorse for the attempted rape, Caliban continues to insist he did nothing wrong and to curse his human captors.
He conspires with a drunkard to overthrow Prospero and persists in believing that Miranda is a pawn who will gladly bear children for anyone who asks.