"Caliban Upon Setebos, a poem by Robert Browning.
Fearing Trinculo is one of Prospero's spirits, Caliban cowers under his gaberdine, and there he hears Trinculo soliloquize a version of his own recurring dream: `Yond same black cloud, yond huge one, looks like a foul bombard [a big leather liquor bottle] that would shed his liquor --- Yond same cloud cannot choose but fall by pailfuls' (2.2.22-25).
Caliban in setebos analysis essay - BLUEMAR
If so, then the clouds about to open and drop them would be the buttocks, and lest this equivalence of breast and buttocks seem too far-fetched, it might be well to remember Caliban's mother was
The foul witch Sycorax, who with age and envy
Was grown into a hoop (1.2.258).
`Filth as thou art.' `This thing of darkness.' Instead, adopting new masters, he thinks, will give him freedom.
No more dams I'll make for fish,
Nor fetch in firing
Nor scrape trenchering, nor wash dish;
`Ban, `Ban, Ca --- Caliban,
Has a new master --- Get a new man.
The Character of Caliban in The Tempest Essay - …
142 n.) Over and over again in Shakespeare's works, I see a sonlike man finding through submission to a father-figure the strength to fight outsiders, as here Caliban thinks he will gain from benevolent, liquor-giving `King Stephano' the strength to fight the hostile father Prospero.
The Character of Caliban in The Tempest Essay
By contrast, Caliban can only wish --- dream --- for riches to drop on himself --- or curses on others:
As wicked dew as e'er my mother brushed
With raven's feather from unwholesome fen
Drop on you both!
More about The Character of Caliban in The Tempest Essay.
There is no need of much word on the spell of the Bible over Robert Browning and Mrs. Browning. It is not often that two singing-birds mate; but these two sang in a key pitched for them by the Scripture as much as by any one influence. Many of their greatest poems have definite Biblical themes. In them and in others Biblical allusions are utterly bewildering to men who do not know the Bible well. For five years (1841-1846) Browning's poems appeared under the title Bells and Pomegranates. Scores of people wondered then, and wonder still, what "Pippa Passes" and "A Blot in the Scutcheon " and the others have to do with such a title. They have never thought, as Browning did, of the border of the beautiful robe of the high priest described in the Book of Exodus. The finest poem of its length in the English language is Browning's "Saul"; but it is only the story of David driving the evil spirit from Saul, sweeping on to the very coming of Christ. "The Death in the Desert" is the death of John, the beloved disciple. "Karshish, the Arab Physician" tells in his own way of the raising of Lazarus. The text of "Caliban upon Setebos" is, "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself." The text of "Cleon" is, "As certain of your own poets have said." In "Fifine at the Fair" the Cure expounds the experience of Jacob and his stone-pillow with better insight than some better-known expositors show. In "Pippa Passes," when Bluphocks, the English vagabond, is introduced, Browning seems to justify his appearance by the single foot-note: "He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust"; and Mr. Bluphocks shows himself amusingly familiar with Bible facts and phrases. Mr. Sludge, "the Medium," thinks the Bible says the stars are "set for signs when we should shear sheep, sow corn, prune trees," and describes the skeptic in the magic circle of spiritual "investigators" as the "guest without the wedding-garb, the doubting Thomas." Some one has taken the trouble to count five hundred Biblical phrases or allusions in "The Ring and the Book." Mrs. Browning's "'Drama of Exile" is the woman's side of the fall of Adam and Eve. Ruskin thought her "Aurora Leigh" the greatest poem the century had produced at that time. It abounds in Scriptural allusions. Browning came by all this naturally. Raised in the Church by a father who "delighted to surround him with books, notably old and rare Bibles," and a mother Carlyle called "a true type of a Scottish gentlewoman," with all the skill in the Bible that that implies, he never lost his sense of the majesty of the movement of Scripture ideas and phrases.