Feminism In The Tempest Essays

Feminism In The Tempest Essays-53
It is an interesting paradox that Miranda's sexuality serves as bait to entice Ferdinand, while at the same time, he is warned by Prospero not to touch the bait (IV.1, 14-23).

It is an interesting paradox that Miranda's sexuality serves as bait to entice Ferdinand, while at the same time, he is warned by Prospero not to touch the bait (IV.1, 14-23).In fairy tales, the captive princess is usually rescued by the prince.

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Feminism In The Tempest Essays

According to the religious authorities of the period, women were inferior to men because the Bible says they are, or at least biblical scripture was interpreted in this way.Feminism was an important movement in seventeenth century England, generating many attempts by king, clergy, and male writers to suppress women's attempts to create a greater equality.Men's patriarchal concern about possible social changes was expressed in the many debates on this issue.Political marriages — and the union of Miranda and Ferdinand is a political marriage — were normal parts of Elizabethan life.The audience learns in Act II that Alonso's daughter has been married to the king of Tunis.On an island filled with men, her presence serves one important purpose — to provide a bride for Ferdinand, since by marrying him, she helps to bring reconciliation and redemption to their fathers, Prospero and Alonso.Miranda's primary value is in her virginity, which determines her worth on the marriage market. They love one another instantly, and if she is a virgin, she has value to Ferdinand, who can only wed a virgin. Ferdinand may love Miranda, but he cannot wed her unless she is pure.The 1613 presentation of The Tempest to celebrate Princess Elizabeth's coming wedding further reinforces the fairy tale elements, in which the princess is rescued by marriage, taken to a new land, and lives happily ever after.This was after all the plight of princesses everywhere, who were little more than political pawns in a game of diplomacy.Some of this concern was expressed in vehement sermons delivered by clergy and directed toward women, who were a captive audience forced to listen during church services.Improvements in printing and less expensive books created an explosion of how-to pamphlets offering additional instruction for men on how best to control their wives and daughters.

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