A New Outlook

Recently, I have been reading various adaptations of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and have found them to be quite intriguing. They all add on varying differentiating perspectives to view the original play from

.Image result for the tempest While some are a completely different story but with the same characters, others reinforce or extend the story.

One particular adaptation that I am quite fond of is an extension to the play by Suniti Namjoshi. In her poem Snapshots of Caliban, she writes a series of journal entries by Caliban. The twist here, though, is this: Caliban is a female. That’s right — Namjoshi reimagines the uncouth beast-monster as a female. However, in the poem, Caliban can be seen as an intellectual rather than an idiot slave; she shows signs of foresight and resolve that the audience to the original The Tempest would not have expected.

It is weird how a version of something original can completely flip a person’s thoughts and opinions of the original around. If not for Namjoshi’s adaptation of The Tempest, I would still be here, sitting, with the thought of how Caliban is such a savage. I guess it all boils down to how one looks at something.


  • Picture from Ms. Ellis’ Literature Lab


  • Namjoshi’s adaption can be found here
  • Shakespeare’s The Tempest can be found here



5 thoughts on “A New Outlook

  1. It is important to examine what perspective authors of stories take their re-imagining of original stories. It this case, as you said, the slight change causes such a dramatic difference in how we as the audience perceive characters. It changes the story, the message of the story, and so much more. The change of intellect also plays a large part in the story and the resistance against this force that seems to be immovable like the powers of Prospero.


  2. Personally I love adaptations and the Namjoshi adaptation was one of my favorite The Tempest adaptations to read too. I think it’s so interesting to see how a character is brought to light through another person’s eyes. Through adaptations we also get a sense of recurring themes and issues within the work and it allows for the audience to build deeper connections and ties with the characters.


  3. I believe your blog brings up an excellent point on the perspectives of all things around us. It is not just about what is said sometimes, but how it is said. That alone can bring huge changes to any sort of situation. In Cesaire’s adaptation of The Tempest, he has Caliban say “Freedom Hi-Day” as a way to bring empowerment to his situation, while in Shakespeare’s original that same line is used in Caliban’s drunken state. Not quite the same meaning by any stretch, but identical words. I believe that this idea extends out into a wide scope of everything tangible in our world. There are two ways to see it all — it all comes down to the matter of one looking for it rather than being content with what they first see.


  4. It is interesting how the slight or drastic changes that are made in stories, create a new perspective for the reader to see. Just how in Aime Cesaire’s version of The Tempest, Caliban became someone that was robbed of his identity and suddenly all his anger becomes understandable. Just the change of dialogue can also transform the readers perspective, at first I saw Caliban as an evil person, but then I saw him like a victim. The different adaptations allow the reader to see the characters and then the novel in a new light.


  5. While I think the jump from a male Caliban to a female Caliban was used to invoke sympathy, I think Namjoshi’s work dives into Caliban’s mind, something we don’t really get to see in the original play. The original play seems to be from Prospero’s perspective, however, she gives us a look into Caliban’s mind. Seeing the play from Caliban’s mind does allow us to see things from his point-of-view and help us understand the play in a unique way.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s