Ballads and Performance: The Multimodal Stage in Early Modern England

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

Critics who have considered Caliban as a monstrous birth include Barry Gaines, who points to one specific woodcut in a monstrous birth pamphlet from 1609, Strange Newes out of Kent, as Shakespeare’s inspiration for Caliban (Fig. 5); Mark Burnett, who, in his exploration of the connections between the fairground and the theater, considers multiple meanings for Caliban’s monstrosity (Constructing ‘Monsters’ in Shakespearean Drama); and Chris Laoutaris, whose larger reading is a post-colonial one, situating Prospero’s attempt to control nature and monsters within his colonialist project (Shakespearean Maternities). See also dissertations by Bradley Johnson (Birthed Effects) and Mark Schwartzberg (Mooncalves and Indigested Lumps).

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