HUMAN 1B Lecture 7: HumCore Week 5-1

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6 Feb 2017
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Week 5-1: Lewis
Two changes that shape the play:
Prospero drowns his book, gives up his power (pp. 75-76)
Caliban “seek[s] for grace” (p. 86)
Prospero contacting with people who usurped his power vs. Caliban questioning Prospero’s
power using language taught by Prospero
Prospero
Someone who used language to dominate those around him
Used language to…
o Change belief
o Imprison
o Change the notion of the past around him
At the end of the play, something changes in Prospero
o Gives up his power, daughter, the
o Forgives his enemies
When he gets banished, the first thing he gets is his booksimportant for him
o Vs. I am going to drown my bookyou need to have power to give it up
Caliban:
Curses Prospero
o You do not have power
Using Prospero’s language to overthrow him
Caliban changing:
o When he is sent to Prospero’s cell (grounded?)obeys meekly
o Sees how powerless he isseeks forgiveness to Prospero
o Language having multiple possibilities
Language is the Partner to [Human] Empire:
Conflict (within and between languages): Prospero vs. Caliban
World: Whose island is it? (Language decides)
Characters/people: How does language define humanity?
Characters + Conflict + World = A Play
Prospero’s Power=Conflict (Language-based)
Power exerted through language (confer identity; control bodies; change perception;
make believe) = partner of empire
o Comes from BOOKS pp.13/15
o Prospero keeps on talking because he do not want to lose his power
Vulnerable, enchanted, dominated, critiqued, interpreted by LANGUAGE = way to
ruin empire
o “Rapt in secret studies” (p. 9)
Prospero the imprisoner is imprisoned by these books
o “This island’s mine by Sycorax my mother” (p.20)
Caliban’s Power = Conflict (Language-based)
Language allows challenge, poetry, self-understanding, play and creativity: “King”
(p.20)/”This island’s mine”/The isle is full of voices”(p. 56-7)/ “‘Ban-Ca-
Caliban…Freedom high day!” (p. 47)
o Working/playing with language
Language disempowers/confines him both from without and from within:
o “You taught me language, and my profit on’t/Is, I know how to curse” (p.21);
“What a thrice double ass was I” (p. 86)
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