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(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a brutish or brutalized man
[C19: after a character in Shakespeare's The Tempest (1611)]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkæl əˌbæn)

the ugly, beastlike slave of Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest (1611).
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
"You are a sort of monster," I added audaciously, "a Caliban who has pondered Setebos, and who acts as you act, in idle moments, by whim and fancy."
Not to be tiresome, I shall say that I fetched the book from his state-room and read "Caliban" aloud.
To my astonishment the coarse, masculine voice of the cousin in the man's hat--the Caliban's, rather than the Ariel's voice--answered, "Here!"
Beyond "Fra Lippo Lippi" and "Caliban and Setebos," he found nothing in Browning, while George Meredith was ever his despair.
If you had told Sycorax that her son Caliban was as handsome as Apollo, she would have been pleased, witch as she was.
He felt as if he had come to look for Miranda and had been met by Caliban. Lord Henry, upon the other hand, rather liked him.
You are still yourself as now, and yet you are yourself no longer; you who, like Ariel, verge on the angelic, are but an inert mass, which, like Caliban, verges on the brutal; and this is called in human tongues, as I tell you, neither more nor less than apoplexy.
Jacob, you understand, was not an intense idiot, but within a certain limited range knew how to choose the good and reject the evil: he took one lozenge, by way of test, and sucked it as if he had been a philosopher; then, in as great an ecstacy at its new and complex savour as Caliban at the taste of Trinculo's wine, chuckled and stroked this suddenly beneficent brother, and held out his hand for more; for, except in fits of anger, Jacob was not ferocious or needlessly predatory.
Destroying the books, Caliban assures Stephano, is really the only way to be sure that Prospero will never again resort to magic, regardless of what the magician may imply in his Medea-inspired speech.
The text has been recuperated through postcolonial readings which legitimize Caliban's claims to ownership of the island.
Caliban and Ariel (and other spirits) as unskilled, circus performers are pitted against Prospero as circus ringmaster in one such hierarchical grid.