a feral, sullen, misshapen creature in Shakespeare's The Tempest. The son of the sorceress Sycorax, Caliban is the sole inhabitant of his island (excluding the imprisoned Ariel) until Prospero and his infant daughter Miranda are cast ashore. Shakespeare gives Caliban some complexity, with the result that the character has drawn much critical attention, both in contrast to Ariel and Ferdinand and as a symbol, perhaps, of the natural human. Other interpreters consider him a representative of native peoples suffering under imperialist oppression.
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