The Tempest Feminist Analysis
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The Tempest by William Shakespeare - Act 1, Scene 2
She's fully aware of the powers Prospero possesses and begs him to cease the storm. When Prospero's servant appears, Miranda is placed into a magically induced sleep. She awakes when she is summoned and it is quickly shown that the two have a contentious relationship, most probably due to Caliban's failed attempt to rape her, she refers to him as "a villain, sir, I do not love to look on. As the moment with Caliban progresses, Miranda rebukes Caliban for the hatred he expresses towards her father:. Abhorred slave, Which any print of goodness wilt not take, Being capable of all ill!
I pitied thee, Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour One thing or other: when thou didst not, savage, Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like A thing most brutish , I endow'd thy purposes With words that made them known. But thy vile race, Though thou didst learn, had that in't which good natures Could not abide to be with; therefore wast thou Deservedly confined into this rock,. Who hadst deserved more than a prison. Moments later she encounters Ferdinand for the first time and the two immediately fall in love. Miranda is amazed by the sight of him, questioning whether or not he is a spirit. While Prospero is pleased by the immediate connection the two display, he purposefully takes up an attitude of animosity towards the shipwrecked prince, forbidding a relationship between the two in order that Ferdinand will place a higher value on his daughter's affection.
During the encounter Miranda once again stands up to her father, arguing against his harsh treatment of Ferdinand and defending his honour when Prospero refers to him as nothing more than another Caliban. Miranda's next appearance is in the third act. She and Ferdinand take a few moments together to get acquainted and are quickly married. She insists on doing the work that her father has assigned him, and freely admits her naivety to him before swearing her love for him. The scene ends with their marriage, Miranda swearing she will be his servant if Ferdinand will not take her as his wife. Later on, she and her new husband enjoy a masque put on by her father in celebration of their nuptials.
The celebration is interrupted by Prospero's sudden remembrance of Caliban's plot against him, after which Miranda displays a strong concern for her father's well-being. Her last appearance is in the play's final scene. After Prospero reveals himself to the assembled crowd he reveals the happy couple engaged in a game of chess. Miranda is teasing Ferdinand for cheating but admits that even if he is dishonest, she's more than happy to believe it for the love she bears for him. When she is finally introduced to the assembled crowd she reacts with wonder, proclaiming the play's most famous lines:.
O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,. That has such people in't. Traditional gendered criticism of The Tempest interprets Miranda as a living representation of female virtue. As is mentioned in the main article, Miranda is typically viewed as having completely internalised the patriarchal order of things, believing herself to be subordinate towards her father. She is loving, kind, and compassionate as well as obedient to her father and is described as "perfect and peerless, created of every creature's best". Miranda's behaviour is typically seen as completely dictated by Prospero, from her interactions with Caliban to her ultimate decision to marry Ferdinand.
The traits that make the pinnacle of femininity are the same traits that disenfranchise her: her innocence and vulnerability are seen as the things that allow her to be readily manipulated first by her father then Ferdinand. However, various critics argue that those same "feminine" traits enable her to be a strong female presence with important effects on the play's outcome. Throughout the course of the play, Miranda acts as a foil to Prospero's more violent instincts and serves as a sounding board to move the play's plot further. She is also a central figure in her father's revenge, enabling Prospero to gain political prestige through her marriage to the Prince of Naples, Ferdinand. Furthermore, while Miranda is very much subservient to Prospero's power, some critics argue that her obedience is a conscious choice.
Her decision to pursue a relationship with Ferdinand is also interpreted by critics as an indication that her marriage to him is more than a simple political match. Miranda makes a very clear decision to seek out Ferdinand and offer her assistance, all the while worrying that her father will discover them. Critics also argue that Miranda's feminine presence is essential to the central theme of the play.
Michael Neill argues that Miranda's function on the Island is that of a Christ-figure —that she is the indicator of a given character's moral status within the social hierarchy of the island and that she also serves to protect the ethical code of the Island's inhabitants and visitors. Caliban, whom she rejects, is shown to be a monstrous figure, while Ferdinand—whom she embraces—is saved by her presence, her sympathy lightening the "baseness" of his given task. Critic Melissa Sanchez analyses Miranda in a similar light, discussing her as a representation of an "angelic—but passive—soul "caught in the conflict between enlightenment and base desire represented by Prospero and Caliban. Critic Lorie Leininger argues that Miranda fits into the colonialist interpretation of The Tempest in that Prospero's use of Miranda as an unwitting player in his political revenge is expressive of the play's sexist attitude towards women.
She states that Prospero's treatment of Miranda is in essence the same as his treatment of Caliban , describing his attitude towards both as indicative of their subjugation within the social hierarchy of the Island. Leininger also argues that Miranda's sexualisation is a weapon used against her by her father, stating that Prospero uses Caliban's attempted assault and Ferdinand's romantic overtures to marginalise her, simplifying her into a personification of chastity. In Leininger's analysis, Caliban is treated in a similar fashion, forced into the role of an uncivilised savage without heed for his individual needs and desires—much in the same way that Miranda is expected to marry Ferdinand and reject Caliban's advances simply because her father wishes it.
Critic Jessica Slights creates claims that although many declare that Miranda only reflects the image of an obedient and subservient woman; she argues Miranda's character as independent. Miranda's upbringing shapes her character and the view of the world around her. She is not confined to social constructs as she did not grow up within a conventional society. This leads Miranda to view the world without preconceived ideas. In addition, she challenged the rules of traditional courtship when she pursued Ferdinand. It could be argued, however, that Iago exhibits little love for his wife, insulting her in public and ultimately killing her himself. By sleeping with Desdemona, he believes that they will then be equal.
The feelings of Desdemona and Emilia are completely disregarded in his plotting. The women are merely objects to be used in order to further his own desires. Although Iago is an extreme example, he nonetheless demonstrates, through his thinking, the fact that women, in both Elizabethan and Venetian society, are perceived as possessions, secondary to the lofty plans and desires of men.
Women as submissive. Some modern feminist critics see Desdemona as a hideous embodiment of the downtrodden woman. Whether this is actually the case will be explored later in these notes. Suffice it to say, there is a large body of evidence to support this critical stance. She appears to have completely accepted her role as subordinate and obedientwife. Although going on to betray her husband, she still feels the need to explain why she is deviating from accepted behaviours. Society weighs heavily on the shoulders of these women; they feel that they must support the men and defer to them, even if the actions of the men are questionable.
By expressing these qualities of women in the masculine domain of the Venetian senate,Brabantio compounds and develops the traditional expectations of women in a patriarchal society. Venetian society presents its own social beliefs as immutable laws of nature. The women of Othello, however, are pre-Feminism, and seem to only compound the ideological expectations of what it is to be a woman through their own behaviour.
Women can be powerful. This is not to say, however, that the women of the play fail to question men at all. Their wives have sense like them; they see and smell,. And have their palates both for sweet and sour. Emilia suggests that men are brutish and simplistic, unable to control their desires with logical thought. It is perhaps ironic that the actions of Iago and Othello in this play confirm her arguments. These opinions, however, are given to Desdemona in moments of privacy. Emilia does not express such opinions in the company of men. This is because it is so ideologically embedded that women do not seem to consider any other possibility, other than, as these notes have shown, in private conversation with one another.
Women as temptresses. This is not to say, however, that women in Othello do not exhibit any signs of wielding power. Othello, when talking of his wife, often seems pre-occupied with matters of the flesh. This preoccupation is partly driven by the fact that Desdemona wields so much sexual power over him. Attempting to change his mind, Desdemona is not frightened to use her position and sexuality:. I wonder in my soul.Invention of concrete we Should Children With Disabilities Be Allowed To Enroll In Regular Schools through Othello we find that the women characters are presented according to this expectation of the Elizabethan society. Since its release, The Tempest Feminist Analysis Heights has been a subject of criticism for The Great Depression Of The 1930s. Theater Experience in Shakespeare's Lifetime. Do Should Children With Disabilities Be Allowed To Enroll In Regular Schools take requests?