The Tempest and Its Woman - Masked Theme
The abandoned damsel, the lonely daughter, the beautiful virgin... In The Tempest, Shakespeare depicts all of these ideal constructions of womanhood in his character Miranda. However, looking closely at the text reveals that Shakespeare had a subtle, but clear message to send to his royal audience of the early 17th century. In allowing Miranda to defy the patriarchal traditions of her day in the way she speaks to her father, in her defiance of him, and in her impulsive decision to marry Ferdinand, Shakespeare develops his message of frustration with the absolutism of the monarchy.
Among all of the main characters in The Tempest, Miranda seems tosay the least. While her limited amount of speech could present a weakness in her character, Miranda's scarce but skilful choices of words seem to be a strategy on Shakespeare's part. By presenting her as a quiet, humble daughter, Shakespeare reveals to his audience a naive construction of womanhood that would estray them from hearing Shakespeare's ulterior thematic. To discover the meaning and significance of Shakespeare's underlying message, one must look back to the time period in which The Tempest was written. Elizabeth I's respected reign had recently ended. Her...
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