Essay Example on Debates in the history of psychology to date is the idea of Nature vs Nurture









One of the oldest debates in the history of psychology to date is the idea of Nature vs Nurture The nature vs nurture debate questions whether a person's personality and development is influenced by their nature or their nurture nature dealing with their genes and genetic makeup and nurture dealing with the environment in which they live This universal debate is seen most prominently in Shakespeare's The Tempest in his character Caliban Caliban is introduced into the play as a complex individual who shows savage like qualities but like the other characters in the play who are said to be more civilized speaks mostly in iambic pentameter Caliban's presence throughout the play leads one to ask themselves whether Caliban s behavior is a result from the inheritance of his mother Sycorax s genes making it so he is therefore inheritably savage like or whether it is caused through the cruelty shown to him by the other inhabitants of the island and he is able to change his ways This is the question that I will be analyzing in this paper Was Caliban a product of nature or nurture with comparison to Miranda I will be using both William Shakespeare's play The Tempest as well as two articles by the 30 second theory One being Evolutionary psychology and the other being Nature v s Nurture These two articles will be beneficial because they both discuss the idea of nature vs nurture and how we are influenced by both concepts as well as give us more background on the situation on the origin of the debate and why it is something that is so difficult to answer 

In my essay I will start off by discussing in what ways Caliban seems to be influenced by nature and then how he seems to be impacted by nurture making comparisons between his way of nurture and Miranda s and close out by discussing what I believe was the more definite influence over the Caliban development As previously discussed nature deals with the idea that the development of one's self comes solely from the genes that they inherited In Shakespeare's drama Caliban father is not described but once when Prospero is summoning Caliban and calls his father the devil the only thing that we have to go by for the genes passed to him is from those of his mother Sycorax Sycorax was first introduced by Prospero by name when he was speaking with Ariel in Act 1 Scene 1 where he says Thou liest malignant thing Hast thou forgot The foul witch Sycorax who with age and envy Was grown into a hoo Hast thou forgot her Prospero then went on to describe the role Sycorfax played on the island and how her rule made everyone suffer in his next line of speech where he says O was she so I must Once in a month recount what thou has been Which thou forget st This damned witch Sycorax For mischiefs manifold and sorceries terrible To enter human hearing from Argrier Thou know'st was banished For one thing she did 

They would not take her life Is not this true This line describes Sycorax as a witch who was banished from her town because of the sorcery that she befell on to people that was cruel but that they wouldn't kill her for This shows the nature in which Caliban was born into He was born almost in the form of a monster unto a mother who was an evil witch and who enjoyed to watch people tortured Nurture deals with the bringing up of a person Miranda and Caliban were both raised by Prospero Miranda had spent most of her life on the island and because of this remembered very little about the life that she had outside the island as opposed to Caliban who only ever knew the island having been born there and living there alone after the death of his mother until Prospero and Miranda came there Despite the minor difference in length spent on the island Prospero took it upon himself to take care of the both of them You can see the kindness Prospero showed Caliban when Caliban addressed him for the first time when Prospero and Miranda went to go visit him in Act 1 scene 2 where Caliban says Thou strok st me and made much of me would st give me Water with berries in t and teach me how To name the bugger light and how the less That burn by day and night And then I loved thee In this quote Caliban is describing how Prospero helped feed and take care of him and Prosperos response to this is that he wished he hadn t shown so much kindness to Caliban and allowed him to live in the same hut as him and Miranda because Caliban tried to rape her This is where the question of where Calibans development came from arouses Although Caliban was raised by a man who is constantly praised as a wonderful person by his daughter and whos kindness shows through at the end of this play with his releasing of the captives and his forgiveness of those who were trapped on his island Caliban s nature pushes him to try to rape Miranda and then wish to curse Prospero for taking his island away from him although they ruled dually I believe that Calibans nature had more of an effect on him then his nurture because neither Miranda nor Prospero had done anything to push his hate for them until after Calibans attempt to rape where he was then made their slave and cursed to feel horrible cramps at Prosperos command

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