In Act 5, Scene 1, the couple play a flirtatious game of chess. Updates? Lilla Grindlay has a PhD in Renaissance Literature and is currently working on a forthcoming book on representations of the Virgin Mary in post-Reformation England. Miranda is the young daughter of Prospero in William Shakespeare's The Tempest. Ferdinand’s fanciful description of his personified heart flying as a slave to his beloved places Miranda on a pedestal. (3.1.75). His polished use of this elevated lexis also displays his noble status, as it employs a poetic style which was popular in the court in Shakespeare’s time. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Who is Rikki-Tikki-Tavi? In spite of Miranda’s use of plain and direct language, she only speaks in blank verse – a form she uses for the entire play. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Prospero’s actions are a subtle evocation of this exchange. Embedded within the conditional ‘if’ is a powerful acknowledgement that Miranda’s virginity is a necessary aspect of a dynastic match. Prospero’s unseen presence on the stage is a visual reminder of his control over all the characters in the play, as master magician and stage director. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Miranda-fictional-character, British Library - Discovering Literature - Character analysis: Miranda in The Tempest. And my dear father. (3.1.53–55). Earlier in the play, Prospero describes Miranda as a ‘prize’ (1.2.453), a metaphor which objectifies her as his property and assigns a certain value to her. One is never far away from Prospero’s influence in this play, and this scene is no exception. (1.2.448–50). The imprisonment of Ferdinand – unlike that of Caliban, and even Ariel – is really just a game, and the young lovers ultimately come out of it emotionally unscathed. Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. As they do so, their imagery fuses: Ferdinand  Here’s my hand. ‘Maid’ here carries the meaning of wondering whether she is human or spirit, but Ferdinand’s later speech highlights the word’s more potent associations with chastity: O, if a virgin, When Ferdinand and Miranda declare their love in Act 3, Scene 1, Miranda uses a metaphor which indicates her full knowledge of the cultural and ideological worth of her sexual purity: by my modesty In Act 1, Scene 2, when Prospero describes their past, Miranda’s sudden recollection, ‘Had I not / Four, or five, women once that tended me?’ (1.2.46–47) is a powerful image of high status. (3.1.64–67). … 5–6 ), and hearing Prospero’s tale of their narrow escape from Milan, she says “I, not rememb’ring how I cried out then, / Will cry it o’er again” (I.ii. The metaphors of wealth – ‘jewel’ and ‘dower’ – that signal Miranda’s ‘modesty’ imply that her virginity has monetary worth. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Just under fifteen years old, Miranda is a gentle and compassionate, but also relatively passive, heroine. Miranda disobeys Prospero twice during this scene: she tells Ferdinand her name ‘O my father, / I have broke your hest to say so’ (3.1.36–37), and even believes she is rebelling by talking to him at all: ‘my father’s precepts / I therein do forget’ (3.1.58–9). In this scene, her words reveal this as she speaks with ‘plain and holy innocence’ (3.1.82). Her speeches start to appropriate the language of service and self-abnegation that Ferdinand has earlier used, as she claims ‘I’ll be your servant’ (3.1.85) if she is rejected. She also teaches English at Sutton Valence School and is an A level examiner. Certainly, it lays the scene open to a reading of Miranda as a strapping country lass raised on fresh island air, a marked contrast to Ferdinand’s pampered physical form. His orchestration of her match to Ferdinand makes his daughter a pawn in a game to gain ultimate control over those who have wronged him. The Tempest is remarkable for its absent women; Prospero’s adored daughter is the only human female inhabitant on an island which, in the wake of the shipwreck, has been increasingly populated by men. Miranda, fictional character, the beautiful and naive daughter of Prospero, the exiled rightful duke of Milan, in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (written c. 1611). Miranda’s direct style of speech reflects her innocent ignorance of the world of the court, and it also reveals a somewhat sassier character beneath her idealised surface. Her name means ‘wonder’, and she is cut from a similar cloth to the heroines of Shakespeare’s other late plays, Marina in Pericles and Perdita in The Winter’s Tale, as a chaste, beautiful and engaging young woman. (3.1.50–52). More that I may call men than you, good friend, Ferdinand’s alliteration here seems over-rehearsed, and his admission that he has admired several women before perhaps gives us the reason for this sense of polish. The scene reaches a joyful climax when Ferdinand and Miranda exchange lovers’ vows. Caliban-an inhabitant of the island, and a slave to Prospero.- Caliban shows the cruelty of … Having grown up on an island with only her father and Caliban for company, she is overwhelmed when she finally sees other humans and she responds rapturously: Usage terms Folger Prompt Temp.10. She is, by nature, a noblewoman, and Shakespeare has already laid the foundations for this. On another level, Miranda is a ‘prize’ because she is a virgin. Yet, as this scene reveals, her character is not without a certain complexity and bite. Ferdinand is playing a courtly game, but Miranda is only just learning the rules, as her direct responses to his flattery reveal. The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1 by Joseph Wright. An awareness of Prospero’s controlling presence can open up disturbing meanings when one considers the ideologies used to construct Miranda’s character. In Shakespeare’s time, a common law known as the femme couvert denied a woman independence by making her a moveable possession, to be passed from father to husband. At the beginning of the scene, she offers to carry Ferdinand’s logs for him: with no knowledge of society’s codes concerning genteel female behaviour, she guilelessly claims, ‘It would become me / As well as it does you’ (3.1.28–9): If you’ll sit down, Ferdinand’s elevated language constructs an idealised image of Miranda. He attempts some ornate replies, but is asked, plainly and simply, for a confirmation of intent: ‘My husband then?’ (3.1.87). Of two most rare affections! Samuel Taylor Coleridge observed of Miranda that ‘she expresses all the delicacy of innocence, yet with all the powers of her mind unweakened by the combats of life’. To make me slave to it, and for your sake And your affection not gone forth, I’ll make you “O, I have suffered / With those that I saw suffer!” she says of the shipwreck (I.ii. (The jewel in my dower), I would not wish Act 3, Scene 1 is where some of the play’s key themes, including imprisonment and control, romantic love and social class, all intersect. (3.1.23–25). Miranda And mine, with my heart in’t. Later Prospero conjures a magical masque for Prospero and Miranda. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Miranda is beginning to absorb Ferdinand’s courtly style of speech; the touching metaphor of her heart within her hand is not unlike Ferdinand’s earlier descriptions of his heart flying to her service. I’ll carry it to the pile. PROSPERO [aside] Fair encounter This refreshingly direct – even forward – declaration gives Ferdinand no chance to do the proposing himself. The Tempest. Ferdinand overtly references this when they first meet, and he asks her, ‘If you be maid, or no?’ (1.2.428). Of course, Miranda’s rebellions against her father are imagined, for although it is mainly a dialogue between two lovers, Act 3, Scene 1 is not structured as a duologue. Premium Membership is now 50% off! Please consider the environment before printing, All text is © British Library and is available under Creative Commons Attribution Licence except where otherwise stated, Lilla Grindlay explores the character of Miranda in Act 3, Scene 1 of, The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr: sketches and original artwork, Sean's Red Bike by Petronella Breinburg, illustrated by Errol Lloyd, Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women's Rights, The fight for women’s rights is unfinished business, Get 3 for 2 on all British Library Fiction, Discovering Literature: Shakespeare & Renaissance, Why you need to protect your intellectual property, Gender, sexuality, courtship and marriage, only human female inhabitant on an island. 3.1.82 ) little girl alongside Peter Pan in J.M right to your inbox is an a level examiner School! Styles of language that Ferdinand and Miranda exchange lovers ’ vows she also teaches English at Sutton Valence and... 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