Thou most lying slave, Whom stripes may move, not kindness! I have used thee, Filth as thou art, with human care, and lodged thee In mine own cell, till thou didst seek to violate The honour of my child.Without making light of attempted rape, Lawler notes that Caliban does what ‘any pubescent young man [would] do with a beautiful young woman an arm’s length away in the absence of any moral education or habituation, without any moral virtue.’21 The harsh treatment of Caliban seems to be an effect of the (not only) early modern prejudice against physical deformity as a reflection of moral degeneracy. The Renaissance is replete with images opposing ‘the beauty of virtue and the deformity of vice.’22 Instead of educating the creature on moderation, Prospero seems to write him off as a moral reprobate based on his ‘monstrous’ appearance. Prospero’s ‘usage’ of ‘kindness’ is simply that: the master used the slave for domestic duties and treated him in kind as a brute when Caliban conducted himself as one.23 As Lawler rightly observes, ‘Caliban was being ruled by Prospero without his consent and as a human being he has the right to revolt to escape slavery.’In exchange for Prospero’s care, Caliban had shown him the best uses of the island’s vegetation. Caliban had been sovereign on the island until Prospero came to rule as king and came to ‘sty me / In this hard rock.’25 Because Prospero and Miranda have chosen to see him as ‘vile’ and deal with him more by punition than education, Caliban can profit from language and its aborted civilising processes only by cursing: ‘there is nothing better than to be a free and responsible human being loved by others, which he was in his earlier, better days. But it’s better to be a contented, unconscious, selfsufficient animal than an unloved or cruelly isolated human slave.’Unhae Langis Just because Caliban was taught to speak (indeed, impossible to learn alone) does not mean that Prospero should view him as ‘the Aristotelian slave by nature, [...] a man so one-dimensional that he’s easy to rule because he is so dull-witted that he can do nothing but serve.’27 Prospero forgets that no human being loves the yoke and that the vertical hierarchy of master/slave and superior/inferior breeds envy-truths of human nature that Aristotle himself does not consider sufficiently: that political rule over people, ‘even though not unjust, is a great impediment to a man’s individual well-being,’ and that therefore civil restraints in the tradition of social contract should be enacted only for clear and substantial benefits.28 If tyranny, as Aristotle explains, has in view self-interest rather than the common good, Prospero’s reaction to Caliban’s attempted rape, as the initiation to his rejection of him, was an impulsive one, influenced by his view of Miranda as a feminine extension of his honour, which has been assailed. This possessive attitude, in turn, makes him retaliate by restricting Caliban even further as a slave.
It is only later ironically through the sprite Ariel’s advice that Prospero becomes humanised and enlightened enough of his tyrannous rule to accept Caliban back as a human. Caliban’s response, ‘What a thricedouble ass / Was I to take this drunkard [Stefano] for a god, / And worship this dull fool,’ substantially belies Prospero’s early opinion of Caliban’s dullwitted incorrigibility in that he shows himself to be more intelligent and ethically discerning than his human co-conspirators, Stefano and Trinculo, by ‘being able to recognise trash as trash.’29 As it turns out, Caliban ‘longs less for pure freedom than obedience to one who is lovable and loves in return.’By the end of the play, Prospero has arrived at a more humane and enlightened stance towards freedom: ‘the rule of a master over slaves is contrary to nature, and that the distinction between slave and freeman exists by law only, and not by nature; and being an interference with nature is therefore unjust.’31 Recognizing his rule for what it is - ‘a misanthropic dream of perfect justice’ demanding ‘an unrealistic denial of the liberty of most human beings,’ Prospero ‘withdraws his magic and returns them to their real, natural human existence as free and troubled selves.’Regarding the freedom and constraints of the subject-citizens of a state, Prospero’s action of releasing the men to their own actions entails grave perils in the overarching issue of political governance, or how best to rule. While Caliban represents those whom education can rehabilitate and improve, Antonio and Sebastian represent a more intractable problem of what to do with those who reveal themselves to be deficient in managing the excesses of human nature, letting their actions be rule by ruthless ambition, greed, and a vicious disregard for the life of others. Apparently, there is no choice but to deal with the messes - as they unfold in all their complexity and difficulty - confined by the means available to civilised nations - diplomacy, economic sanctions, and military action, as a last resort.
126 The Role of the Intellectual Given the flaws of human existence as we know it, quality universal education still remains the single most important strategy or preventative munition against the social, political, and moral ills of society. As basic as it sounds, however, universal education is, at the same time, a radical solution not only because it addresses these problems at their root but also because we, as a world and as individual nations, have yet far to go in providing quality public education. All the more reason - even through these times of budget shortfalls - that we must persist in our endeavours as academic mentors and public intellectuals: not only to purvey knowledge to students in our disciplines but also to instil in them habits of philosophical contemplation of the good life and of civic responsibility and participation through sound ethical judgment and effective action. In this sense, I espouse the Humboldtian view of education as Bildung - not just knowledge and skills but rather ‘values, ethos, personality, authenticity and humanity,’ in other words, the ancient notion of the good life as personal and societal flourishing.33 The apparent tension between contemplative life and active life come together in the deft balancing act of juggling scholarship and teaching by finding interactions between them and, better yet, in the ways that we might incorporate service learning into the curriculum to promote awareness, critical thinking, and social responsibility simultaneously.
Notes W Shakespeare, ‘The Tempest’, The Norton Shakespeare, S. Greenblatt, W. Cohen, J. Howard & K. Maus (eds), Norton, New York, 1997, 1.2.75-77.
Aristotle, ‘Nicomachean Ethics’, The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation, J. Barnes (ed.), Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1984, X.14.1154b26.
Aristotle, ‘Politics’, The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation, J. Barnes (ed.), Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1984, VII.9.1328b33-a2.
Shakespeare, op. cit., 1.2.146.
P Cantor, ‘Prospero’s Republic: The Politics of Shakespeare’s The Tempest’, Shakespeare as Political Thinker, J. Alvis & T. West (eds), Carolina Academic Press, Durham, NC, 1981, p. 240.
N Schlueter, ‘Prospero’s Second Sailing: Machiavelli, Shakespeare, and the Politics of The Tempest’, Shakespeare’s Last Plays: Essays in Literature and Politics, S. Smith (ed.), Lexington, Lanham, MD, 2002, p. 180.
R Tuck, Philosophy and Government 1572-1651, Cambridge UP, Cambridge, 1993, p. 8.
P A Lawler, ‘Shakespeare’s Realism in The Tempest’, Shakespeare’s Last Plays: Essays in Literature and Politics, S. Smith (ed.), Lexington, Lanham, MD, 2002, p. 93.
T Dalrymple, ‘Why Shakespeare is for All Time’, viewed on 21 January 2010, http://www.city-journal.org/html/13_1_oh_to_be.html.
Aristotle, Politics, op. cit., I.5.1254a18-19.
Lawler, op. cit., p. 100.
Shakespeare, op. cit., 2.1.338-39.
Lawler, op. cit., p. 100.
M Garber, ‘Descanting on Deformity: Richard III and the Shape of History’, The Historical Renaissance: New Essays in Tudor and Stuart Literature and Culture, H. Dubrow & R. Strier (eds), Chicago UP, Chicago, 1987, p. 91.
Shakespeare, op. cit., 5.1.299-301; Lawler, op. cit., p. 102.
Lawler, op. cit., 102.
Aristotle, Politics, op. cit., I.3.1253b21-24.
Lawler, op. cit., p. 97.
J von Andel, From Academic to Customer: The Paradox of Post-Modern Higher Education, viewed on 3 May 2010, http://www.interdisciplinary.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/andelpaper.pdf. p. 8.
Bibliography Aristotle, ‘Nicomachean Ethics’. The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation. J. Barnes (ed.), Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1984.
–––, ‘Politics’. The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation. J. Barnes (ed.), Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1984.
128 The Role of the Intellectual Cantor, P., ‘Prospero’s Republic: The Politics of Shakespeare’s The Tempest’.
Shakespeare as Political Thinker. J. Alvis & T. West (eds), Carolina Academic Press, Durham, NC, 1981.
Dalrymple, T., ‘Why Shakespeare is For All Time’. viewed on 21 January 2010, http://www.city-journal.org/html/13_1_oh_to_be.html.
Garber, M., ‘Descanting on Deformity: Richard III and the Shape of History’.
The Historical Renaissance: New Essays in Tudor and Stuart Literature and Culture. H. Dubrow & R. Strier (eds), Chicago UP, Chicago, 1987, pp. 79103.
Lawler, P., ‘Shakespeare’s Realism in The Tempest’. Shakespeare’s Last Plays: Essays in Literature and Politics. S. Smith (ed), Lexington, Lanham, MD, 2002, pp. 91-109.
Schlueter, N., ‘Prospero’s Second Sailing: Machiavelli, Shakespeare, and the Politics of The Tempest’. Shakespeare’s Last Plays: Essays in Literature and Politics. S. Smith (ed.), Lexington, Lanham, MD, 2002, pp. 179-195.
Shakespeare, W., ‘The Tempest’. The Norton Shakespeare. S. Greenblatt, W. Cohen, J. Howard & K. Maus (eds), Norton, New York, 1997.
Tuck, R., Philosophy and Government 1572-1651. Cambridge UP, Cambridge, 1993.
Von Andel, J., From Academic to Customer: The Paradox of Post-Modern Higher Education. Viewed on 3 May 2010, http://www.interdisciplinary.net/wp content/uploads/2010/04/andelpaper.pdf.
Three Centuries before the Cultural Turn: The Critic on the Print Market in Early Eighteenth-Century England Michelle Syba Abstract One consequence of the cultural turn has been a destabilization of the distinction between high and low cultures. Some contemporary scholars (such as Noel Carroll) have lamented a corollary development - namely, the fact that the intellectual known as the critic has lost interest in making aesthetic judgments. I offer a wider context for this lament, looking at a formative period for aesthetic judgment - specifically, for literary criticism:
the 1670s to 1714 in London. This period witnesses the emergence of a mass print culture and of critical debates about aesthetic value. One might expect that critics would be most urgently in demand during this period. But specific cases show that the critic has a history of precarious authority, in large part because of his participation in a chaotic print market. During this formative, experimental period for criticism, critics such as Thomas Rymer and Joseph Addison test out different models of aesthetic judgment. Performing publicly authoritative acts of aesthetic judgment is not a self-evident activity during this period. As early critics experiment, they simultaneously imagine early incarnations for the public intellectual - a figure by turns respectable and satirized, whose early history offers us a wider context for reflecting on its contemporary predicament.
***** I will focus on one species of public intellectual: the literary critic.
According to established scholarly lore, the critic emerges as a new kind of public figure in eighteenth-century England.1 This is not to suggest that literary critics somehow didn’t exist before this period. Aristotle and Horace wrote important critical works. Moreover, in the early seventeenth century, criticism appeared publicly in works such as plays and privately in letters circulated within aristocratic coteries.But in the 1670s in London a new kind of public figure emerges - a person whose public identity is primarily as a critic. This figure is variously called ‘our English critick’ or just ‘the Critick.’3 ‘Our English Critick’ was made possible by transformations in the cultural marketplace. First, thanks to the reopening of the theatres in 1660. And second, thanks to an increasingly 130 Three Centuries before the Cultural Turn active print marketplace. In light of these transformations, one question I want to consider is this: how did the literary critic’s defining act - the act of aesthetic judgment - play out in print and, moreover, in the increasingly hyperactive print market of the early eighteenth century During this period, there’s an intimate relationship between the print market and the intellectual known as the critic. The print market makes possible newer genres of criticism, such as extended prose criticism for a non-scholarly audience. However, it also creates anxieties about that criticism. Thus the relationship between the print market and the critic is productive; but for critics it is also ambivalent and in some cases anxious, as critics exploit that market and also worry about its dangers.
If anything, the early eighteenth century context rewards attention, because it resonates with our own moment (and recent past). Much like today’s cultural marketplace, that of the eighteenth century undergoes a major transformation, as there is an explosion of print that triggers laments about information overload and about the diminishing quality of English culture.