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When I rephrased the speech between Prospero and Caliban (taken from the Tempest, Act I Scene II) I used the same tenses as used in the play. (simple present to refer to their current speech and past simple to refer to their past relationship). Why do I have to use the simple present in both cases? Thank you.


1) At that time (past action) he loved him back. In his turn (In return for his kidness?)Caliban showed him all the features of the island: the freshwater springs, the saltwater pits, the barren places and the fertile ones.
2) Now (at present) he curses himself for doing that. He wishes he could use all the magic spells of Sycorax against him and plague him with toads, beetles, and bats. He is the only subject Prospero has in his kingdom.
3) Prospero was his first king, and now he pens him up in that cave (he keeps him shut up like a farm animal) and doesn't let him go anywhere else on the island.
4) Prospero calls him a liar, who responds better to the whip than to kindness. (who can be influenced only by punishment and not by kindness).
5) He says that he took good care of him and let him stay in his own hut until he tried to rape his daughter.
If Prospero hadn't stopped him, Caliban would have filled the island with a race of Calibans.
6) Miranda calls him a horrid slave, who can't be trained to be good, and who is capable of anything evil. In the past she pitied him, worked hard to teach him (how) to speak, and taught him some new thing practically every hour.
7) When he didn't know what he was saying, and was babbling like an animal, she helped him find words to make his point understandable.

  • English -

    Clarify all instances of "he" and "him," etc.

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/composition/literature.htm --
    "Write about literature in the present tense unless logic demands that you do otherwise. (Even though a story is written in the past tense, we say that the main character writes to her brother because she thinks she knows something important. Even though Robert Frost is long gone, we say that Frost suggests or uses or says. And in his poems, we say that a phrase or word suggests or means or implies something (all present tense verbs). However, Frost moved his family to England and he died in 1963, etc.)

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