Ballads and Performance: The Multimodal Stage in Early Modern England

"The True Form and Shape of Caliban: Monstrosity and Wonder in 'The Tempest'"

Vaughan and Vaughan, for example, present a thorough exploration of Caliban’s “savage” nature, but follow this with only a brief glance at the implications of “deformed,” stating simply that the play is “annoyingly imprecise about his deformity” (Shakespeare’s Caliban, 9). Frank Kermode explains Caliban’s deformity as the physical representation of his evil nature, “because in romance ugliness within is platonically represented as ugliness without” (“From Shakespeare: The Final Plays,” 219), an interpretation that Julián Jiménez Heffernan takes one step further by claiming that Caliban’s deformity is a “moral, not physical, deformity” (Shakespeare’s Extremes, 132).

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