The Tempest

why is miranda so merciful towards the shipwreck victims but only has contempt and hatred for caliban?

Tempest act 1 scene 1

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The character of Miranda does not appear in Act I/ Scene I of the play.

This question pertains to Scene II, in which Miranda chides her father for causing death and destruction. Her heart is with the good people who've been killed by the storm of Caliban's making, and the shouts of the dying have broken her heart.

"If by your art, my dearest father, you have

Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.

The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,

But that the sea, mounting to th' welkin’s cheek,

Dashes the fire out. Oh, I have suffered

With those that I saw suffer. A brave vessel

Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her

Dashed all to pieces. Oh, the cry did knock

Against my very heart! Poor souls, they perished.

Had I been any god of power, I would

Have sunk the sea within the earth or ere

It should the good ship so have swallowed and

The fraughting souls within her."


The Tempest/ Act I/ Scene II

I would argue that this is a representation of the emerging rhetoric towards black people, in order to de humanize them a give precedence to the slave trade. Shakespeare is using both Miranda and prospero to so the extreme otherness of both caliban and his mother.

Also he did try to rape Miranda,so there not friends anymore