The Tempest

How would you translate the following line uttered by Ferdinand? How does it relate to the play?

"The white cold virgin snow upon my heart/Abates the ardor of my liver."

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Last updated by john k #345074
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Can you tell me what Act and Scene this question is for? I know this has something to do with a declaration of love (one that inspires laughter from audiences) by Ferdinand, but can't quite place the entire text.

All it says is Act 4

The Elizabethan concept of major organs were: the Liver; the Heart; and the Brain. The Liver was thought to control the humours. The Heart was thought to be the source of love. The Brain is responsible for reason.

Ferdinand had never been in love before. The cold snow is the cold blanket of lonliness that will melt slowly as Winter yields to Spring. His heart will be slow to respond and keeps the passion of the Liver from overwhelming him.

Ferdinand is assuring Prospero he will respect Miranda`s virginity.

In the totality of the play, this phrase resonates with the long wait Prospero has endured in order to experience his ultimate revenge. "Revenge is a dish best served cold"