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William Shakespeares The Tempest - Book Report/Review Example

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Summary
Miranda is the most powerful female figure in The Tempest. Although she apparently sits by her father’s side, she has no real power. Her power is only in her status which she enjoys. She is entitled to all the trappings of the rich but is bereft of power. …
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William Shakespeares The Tempest
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William Shakespeares The Tempest

Download file to see previous pages... Prospero, the leading protagonist in Shakespeare’s The Tempest is a domineering man and father. As such, he is a patriarch who exercises his oppression to feminism. His daughter Miranda is portrayed as “perfect”, “peerless”, and the “admired Miranda”. Indeed, Miranda has a very narrow opinion of the role of women. She said that: We are such stuff As dreams are made on; And our little life Is rounded with a sleep (IV.i.156-58) Miranda is almost totally dependent upon Prospero for her happiness. Even after she found her love in Ferdinand, she and him were still dependent upon Prospero for their future. In Prospero’s terms, feminism means absolute obedience to him. Miranda is the most powerful female figure in The Tempest. Although she apparently sits by her father’s side, she has no real power. Her power is only in her status which she enjoys. She is entitled to all the trappings of the rich but is bereft of power. That would be rejected by a true feminist. Miranda is not a real feminist. In Shakespeare’s use of feminism, Miranda is portrayed as possessing external as well as internal beauty. It is a kind of manipulated feminism as even educated females are reflecting and supporting the patriarchal system. Education does not open her eyes; Miranda is staunchly filial to her father....
remain passive when her beloved Ferdinand was threatened

with death by Prospero. She rushed into her defense of her

lover Ferdinand.

O dear father,

Make not too rash a trial of him, for

He's gentle, and not fearful.

(I.ii.469-71)

Prospero is shocked. He had been so confident of the

success of his education and upbringing of Miranda that he

miscalculated her potential of free will. Instilling

education was an act of feminism in liberating the woman

from ignorance. Now, it seemed that the dog has turned to

bite the hand of her master. He puts her in her place by

saying:

What! I say,

My foot my tutor

(I.ii.471-72)

Prospero immediately puts her in her place. He is

saying that Miranda's status is but of a lowly one, like a

foot and as such, she has no right to tutor him on what to

do. He is indignant that his authority as head of the

household has been challenged. Miranda did not know that

Prospero was baiting the couple. He wanted to test the

strength of their love for each other by making it

difficult for them to unite as a couple. As a father,

Prospero wanted to ensure that Ferdinand was worthy of

Miranda and to prepare the couple for their united life

ahead of them.

Miranda, with all her contemporary feminism, is afraid

of Caliban. Her instinctive feminine traits tell her that

Caliban is a hostile slave because he resents his

captivity. She warns her father of this but he rebuffs her

because he is confident of his powers of magic to retain

his upper hand over Caliban (Patrick, 2001).

On the other hand, it can be argued that Miranda, with

her limited views of feminism, thinks that the slavery of

Caliban is unjustified. She might be thinking that if

females can be liberated (however ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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