Write a short account of the conspiracy hatched by Caliban against Prospero and the way it is defeated.
Caliban’s misconduct: Caliban harbours a deep grudge against Prospero. In the beginning Prospero used to treat Caliban with great kindness and sympathy. But Caliban proved most ungrateful. Thereafter, Prospero’s attitude towards Caliban became harsh and stern.
Caliban, hostile to Prospero: Whenever Caliban shows any unwillingness to perform Prospero’s tasks, Prospero punishes Caliban. On such occasions Prospero torments Caliban through the van’ous Spirits at his command. Caliban has realised that Prospero’s magic is even more powerful than that of the devil, Setebos. Caliban does carry out Prospsro’s orders and does perform all kinds of menial jobs for Prospero. But inwardly he is very hostile to Prospero. He cannot forget that the island previously belonged to his mother, Sycorax. He often receives Prospero and Miranda with curses and oaths. In a soliloquy Caliban tells us how Prospero has been tormenting him in all possible ways through his Spirits.
Stephano, a god in Caliban’s eyes: When Caliban sees Trinculo, he thinks that Prospero has sent a Spirit to tonnent him again. In an effort to hide himself, Caliban lies flat on the ground. In the meantime, Trinculo, finding that a stonn is about to blow, looks about for a place of shelter. seeing Caliban, he thinks him to be a savage native of the island struck dead by lightning. Finding no other shelter, Trinculo creeps under the gaberdine of Caliban. Stephano, another member of King Alonso‘s party, now appears in a tipsy condition singing, a vulgar song. He sees a monstrous looking figure on the ground. It is actually a combination of Caliban and Trinculo lying huddled together. But Stephano takes them as a strange, four-legged monster with two mouths. Caliban is shaking with fear of the supposed Spirit sent by Prospero. Stephano thinks that the monster is suffering from a high fever, and, therefore, pours wine into his mouth to restore him. By now, Trinculo has recognised Stephano. He now comes out from under Caliban’s gaberdine. Under the effect of the wine. Caliban feels elated and begins to think Stephano to be a god. Caliban swears his everlasting loyalty to Stephano. He is ready even to lick Stephano’s feet. Stephano gives some more wine to Caliban. Caliban promises to serve Stephano in every possible way. He says that he would no longer serve his previous master, Prospero. Stephano feels very much, flattered by Caliban‘s attentions and he really begins to think himself the lord of the island. Caliban’s attitude towards Trinculo is, however, scomful.
Caliban’s wicked plan to murder Prospero: All these three persons-Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo-are now drunk. Stephano is so wine-crazy that he would not drink a single drop of water till any wine is left in his cask. When Trinculo mocks at Caliban. Caliban appeals to Stephano for protection. Caliban is extremely humble and respectful towards Stephano but defiant and scomful towards Trinculo. Ariel. appearing there mvisibly. creates a good deal of misunderstanding between Stephano and Trinculo. As a result of this misunderstanding, Stephano gives a beating to Trinculo. Caliban now thinks that he has got a good opponunity for taking a revenge upon Prospero. He instigatcs Stephano to murder Prospero and thus become the lord of the island. He complains that Prospero has usurped the island which formerly belonged to him. Stephano feels greatly tempted by the possibility of becoming the lord of the island Caliban tells him that Prospero is in the habit of sleeping in the afternoon. The afternoon w ould. therefore. be the best time to murder Prospero. But the magic books of Prospero must first be seized. Without his magic books Prospero would have no supernatural powers. Caliban then further tempts Stephano by telling him that Prospero has an extremely beautiful daughter. Stephano promises to kill Prospero in order to marry his daughter and become the lord of the island. He promises also to appoint Caliban and Trinculo as his viceroys. Ariel has, however, overheard the whole scheme and will duly convey it to his master, Prospero. In the meantime, Ariel plays a musical tune which the three drunkards cannot resist and which they follow. Ariel leads them through thorny shrubs and bushes into a filthy pool of water where he leaves them.
Prospero’s device to defeat the conspiracy. Prospero, on being informed by Ariel about What has happened, appreciates Ariel’s action. He new orders Ariel to hang some showy garments on a lime-tree to divert the attention of the conspirators. The conspirators arrive with the intention of murdering Prospero. Stephano and Trinculo are feelling very unhappy over the loss of their wine-bottles which they dropped in the pond. Caliban again and again reminds them of the project they have to execute. Just at that time Trinculo catches sight of the splendid wardrobe hanging on the tree. He draws Stephano’s attention to it. They are both fascinated by this splendid display. They get busy in grabbing as many garments as they can lay their hands upon. Caliban repeatedly urges them not to waste their time. He wants them to go-ahead ,with the plot to murder Prospero, But Stephano and Trinculo pay little heed to the appeals of Caliban. At this stage, a number of Spirits appear in the shapes of dogs and hounds. Under the direction of Prospero these dogs and bounds chase away the conspirators who take to their heels in a state of confusion. Prospero then gives an order to his Spirits to torment the conspirators in every possible way. This is how Caliban’s conspiracy is defeated by Prospero.