Thursday, 12 January 2012

What about Ariel

Civilization and Barbarism are different cultures depicted well in the Shakespeare play, “The tempest” (Cohen 82).  These multicultural practices were common in the 17th century and Shakespeare in his writing chose two characters to explain vividly his views on the two different cultures.  The symbolism used in the two characters elaborated the view of the writer from the onset.  Civilization is a state where individuals in the contemporary society are enlightened. This means that the persons are educated and have sound reasoning. In addition, there decisions are deemed prudent and acceptable by majority. On the other hand, barbarism is a state of inhumanity. Individuals under this state are normally uneducated and their actions defy the laws of civilization. The mode of treatment of these two individuals by the society is different. In a glimpse of the entire writing, Prospero, a master exiled from Duke Milan seeks refuge in an island. In the island, he frees a cursed spirit called Ariel and enslaves it in his house. In addition, Prospero and his daughter Miranda took a non-biological monster son of a witchdoctor to their home. The monster, Caliban, was to serve as a slave at Prosperos’ home (Cohen 87).
Ariel is a spirit considered civilized while Caliban is a representation of a barbaric character. The writer depicts Caliban as a naturally morally detestable animal. In addition, Shakespeare looks to present this character as an innocent individual unable to differentiate between bad and good.  Caliban enjoys the traits that other natural beings in the society do not possess. Moreover, the writer draws sympathy from the readers’ on the knowledge nature of the beast. This infliction of sympathy is directed to the less valued persons in the society that the monster slave represents. The trait of Caliban does not make him a lesser man when compared to the civilized ones. The nature of upbringing of Caliban was uncivilized. The devil mother, who was a witch, brought him up and he later inherited the island of her mother. However, despite the innocence, Caliban earned his enslaving after attempting to rape Prospero daughter (Cohen 93). This action is not one of an innocent man who is worth sympathy.  The swift anger of Caliban on Prospero depicts that nature has a natural impact on the society.
Prospero managed to control Ariel and Caliban in one island. It is apparent from the writer that Prospero was in exile after a quarrel with Antonio his brother.  The man feels the treatment by Antonio was unfair while on the other hand he is enslaving Ariel and Caliban. Prospero domesticated Ariel after the death of Sycorax (Cohen 89). The masters’ intention was to have him fit into the shoes of the death witch. Ariel possessed unique traits over his fellow slave, Caliban. Ariel is knowledgeable and can handle various tasks conclusively. This intelligence is attributable to his civilization. The state of his understanding enables him enjoy massive favors from the master. There was a friendly atmosphere between him and the master. However, Ariel and Caliban operated in a coarse environment, this is because of the bad blood they had against each other. The hatred was caused by the master selective treatment of the two parties. The barbaric nature of Caliban brought about the unfriendliness with Prospero. The abilities of Ariel aggravated the hatred between these two parties. However, they had a number of similarities. First, he was adopted as an illegitimate son and his father failed to honor him to his rightful position. The civilized nature of Ariel shelters him from nerve-wracking activities that required hard labor. His master and fellow slave were positioned to harness immensely from his capabilities but they failed to utilize them. 
The airy spirit had super natural powers. This is attestable to his intelligence and his capabilities to tackle issues and conclude them in a civilized manner. Caliban, despite being a child of a supernatural father lacks the supernatural traits. The dented human nature he faces nearly saw him murdered by Stephano. However, Caliban enjoyed knowledge limited to language; however, the learned language failed morality test, as he used the learned language in cursing. Prospero initial intention was revenging on his brother (Cohen 136). The marriage of his daughter by Ferdinand would see her become a queen. Prospero admits that it was upon him to fight for her daughter and himself after releasing Aries, who was exemplary in his duties.
Ariel is a depiction of an individual largely acceptable by the contemporary society. His contribution, though supernatural, amplifies the good moral virtues harbored by civilized individuals. In addition, the knowhow and magnitude of his knowledge base toward various issues enhances his value in the society.  On the other hand, it is apparent that natural talent can be natured to help solve problems experienced in the society. However, barbaric state mould immoral attributes which are harmful to individuals and society. Shakespeare view of these different characters attracts several criticism, this is because, despite the sympathy triggered, the character fails the morality test by engaging in an immoral activity i.e. rape. Education is a plus to Ariel, he is considered a rational individual who tackles issue in a prudent manner and leaves no trail of damages.  The character enlarges the idea of rebellion and authority. Before the rescue, he was paying for the wrath of authority and even afterwards, he served as a slave against will. The patience advanced by Ariel in his service and slavery to both authorities amplifies the amazing nature of a civilized character. Prospero also is a victim of betrayal, his brother Antonio betrayed him after delegating over half of his powers in authority (Cohen 165).
The writing to a large extend depicts an island which incorporates two cultures, explaining various differences and similarities of a number of issues. Prospero is an exclusive liberator in the island. This is attributable to his treatment of Ariel and Caliban. In a glimpse, the freeing of Ariel from a tree enabled him to have a new life while his nurturing of the monster to be well versed with language is another major accomplishment. From the aforementioned issues, it is apparent that freedom is important if a nation is to accommodate diverse cultures. Cultural transformation has helped nature acceptable values in the society.  The choice of characters by Shakespeare shows that, one culture is not an island in a contemporary society. In addition, Shakespeare identifies the importance of nurturing nature to fit in the acceptable morals of the society (Cohen 191). It is therefore apparent that Caliban and Ariel are available in the society and the mode of handling them is important to enhance acceptable morals in the society.

Works Cited
Cohen, Derek. Searching Shakespeare: studies in culture and authority. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2003.

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