The Tempest 10-18 9:25

In Act 3 Scene 1 lines 77-86 Miranda proposes to Ferdinand, declaring her undying love for him. How have we seen Miranda’s character change throughout the play? What perception did we have of her in the beginning of the play, when she was in large part controlled by her father, that is different in the way she acts in Act 3?

19 thoughts on “The Tempest 10-18 9:25

  1. In the beginning of the play we see Miranda as a caring and somewhat timid character. She seems to have a gentle submissive nature as well. There are occasional moments when she is not such a passive character. I think its in scene 2 of act 1 when she shows some anger and discontent about Caliban’s attempted rape. In Act 3 the marriage proposal is another moment of empowerment for Miranda. She proposes to him instead of someone else making a decision for her like we have seen through out the play.

  2. I agree that Miranda was a timid and submissive character in the beginning of the play. To me, she is awfully naive due to the fact that her father and Caliban are the only people she knows or has ever seen. I feel that she has changed throughout the course of the play, thinking for herself although unknowingly giving Prospero what he wants by falling in love and proposing to Ferdinand. She is thinking for herself and making her own grown up decisions. I also agree with Autumn Martin that Miranda proposing to Ferdinand is a moment of empowerment for her, since she made the decision without the push of her father. It is also surprising because instead of the man (Ferdinand) being chivalrous and romantic, Miranda takes the lead and pops the question.

  3. Within the first act, Miranda appears, as has been stated, as a very obedient and passive character. She sits down to listen to Prospero talk and simply listens. She has little to no action at all, except falling asleep which even was caused by Prospero’s magic instead of Miranda herself. The third act stands as a change for her, particularly when she speaks with Ferdinand. She continually disobeys her father, so to speak, in telling him her name among other things. By acting outside of how she should act, she becomes a more complex character. Her abrupt marriage proposal to Ferdinand gives a large example of Miranda taking her own action, but is she taking the right action? This action may seem too innocent and naïve for the audience to consider her an independent character.

  4. At the beginning of the play, Miranda seems to be very docile and submissive. I agree that Miranda has no control over the actions in her own life when we are first introduced to her. The fact that Miranda not only chooses her partner for herself but also proposes to him instead of conforming to the tradition of the man proposing shows her personal growth. MIranda changes from a naive girl to a confident young lady throughout the course of the play.

    • The word tradition in this comment really held a lot of meaning for me in relation to this play, more so than the concept of the question being answered. I think that the nature of traditions in general in this play, plays a huge role in the characterization and action of every one of the characters. The tractional view of status and class manipulate the actions of each character and the reactions of the reader to them. As well as tradition playing a part in class or status, it really controlled the gender roles of the characters. It is interesting to me to see how big of a step outside of the lines tradition has drawn, a woman proposing is, for example, in this time.

      • I also found the breaking of traditional norms to be the most important part of this scene. We not only see Miranda’s progression from a submissive daughter to one with a powerful voice that has opinions, but also a step away from typical lines that were drawn in terms of marriage, breaking boundaries by proposing to Ferdinand. While Prospero obviously had a large role to play in their coming together, I believe that Miranda would have ultimately found the inner courage to ask Ferdinand in his hand in marriage either way.

  5. I agree with that Miranda was a naive character at the start of The Tempest, but I’m not sure she truly picked Ferdinand as her spouse. I believe Prospero had a lot more to do with her love for Ferdinand, considering it was part of his plan all along. Sure, Miranda thought it was of her own creation, but Propspero is powerful and talented enough in magic to make something like that happen. Isn’t that he put her to sleep in the first act? However, I do agree that Miranda’s proposal to Ferdinand was a moment of the courage that contrasts with the timidness and naivety seen from her throughout the play.

    • I think its an interesting point to bring up that Miranda did not truly pick Ferdinand herself and that a great deal of her love for him was due to Prospero. He does have these abilities to somewhat manipulate the situation into how he wants it to occur. However, even though Prospero does have something to due with the situation, Miranda is not necessarily aware of this. That being said, her proposal shows a great deal of growth and courage that we have not seen from her in previous scenes of the play.

  6. As previously stated, at the beginning of the play, Miranda is portrayed as timid and compliant. When we are first introduced to Miranda, she does little besides listen to Prospero and fall asleep due to his magic, rather than her own exhaustion. She has little to no control over her actions at all. We see Miranda change in the third act where she continuously disobeys her father in telling him her name among other things. This is quite opposite of the obedient Miranda we saw before. Now, Miranda also has control. She proposes to Ferdinand, which shows she is making her own decisions, although I do not believe that she should be considered her own individual character due to her previous actions (or lack of actions). This may also show that Miranda is naïve by taking such a large leap.

  7. By the end of Act 3 when Miranda proposes to Ferdinand we see that her character has grown and shaped into someone who is confident and believes in herself. Miranda grew up on the island from a very young age and had no real contact to women and the only male contact she had was her father Prospero. When Miranda proposes to Ferdinand it shows that she has accepted herself and is ready to move on in her life and start a new life with Ferdinand. However we find out that her father Prospero is behind it all so it leaves us to question if she is fully ready for this or is it all because of magic? Event though she got help from her father I still think she has changed and become more mature by the time she proposed to Ferdinand. Miranda is no longer the young naive girl we met at the beginning.

  8. I agree with the two who pointed out that Prospero is really the one who began the romance between Miranda and Ferdinand. However, even though Prospero planted the seed and made the arrangements, Miranda does come forth with the proposal of her own accord, ad an act of independence and even defiance against her father.
    Also it seems that no one mentioned Mirandas outburst in Act1 I think after Caliban casually acknowledges his attempted rape and he explodes at him publicly, this seems to be her first bold act amidst a sea of passivity in the plays beginning.

  9. I think we can all agree that Miranda is very loyal and obedient to her father in the first scenes of the play. This especially stems from how sheltered she is. Prospero absolutely set up the meeting between Miranda and Ferdinand, which as a couple people mentioned previously is important to point out. Miranda does defy her father into going to see Ferdinand when she knows her father is studying, she also tells him her name. However, she remarks that her father would be angry with her for telling Ferdinand her name. Up to this point in the play Miranda is still very loyal to her father and still values him enough to respect him. I think Miranda surprised herself with the proposal just as much as she surprised us. She is definitely declaring her independence here and following her heart with her first encounter of love.

  10. I do agree that in the beginning of the play Miranda comes across as very naive. However that is not necessarily her fault. She had spent her entire life on the island with only Prospero and Caliban as her influences. It therefore makes sense that she would not be very mature. Many people have mentioned that Prospero putting her to sleep is another sign of her immaturity. However she was under the influence of Prospero’s magic and could not help it. The same is true for when she “falls in love” with Ferdinand and proposes to him. She was helpless to Prospero’s power and was simply acting as another pawn in his master plan. I do not think that it proves any increase in maturity for Miranda. Also, I think proposing to a stranger after such a small period of time is not mature. Therfore, I do not believe that Miranda’s character becomes much more complex from Act 1 to Act 3

    • This opinion is obviously contrary to most beliefs the people above have expressed, however, I tend to agree with you. Miranda is very naive at the beginning of the play, as one would expect being stuck with Prospero and Caliban. However, proposing to Ferdinand, someone she barely knows, under the influence of Prospero, shows that she really hadn’t changed in that sense from the first act to the third act.

  11. I’m with Mimi on this one – I don’t think we can give credit to Miranda for asking Ferdinand to marry her because she did not have complete autonomy over the decision to fall in love with him in the first place. Like almost everything else in the story, this love was coerced by Prospero and therefore cannot be legitimately valued. You can make the argument that even though Prospero arranges the relationship, Miranda still possesses free will when she decides to marry him – but I don’t buy this argument because her original feelings were molded by Prospero without her consent. So I don’t necessarily think she grows out of her submissiveness and naivety by the end the play, as most of what happens to her is still dictated by Prospero.

  12. At the play’s start, Miranda is portrayed as a very naive young girl. This is justified by her limited life experiences and interactions with other humans. Her behavior is perfectly normal given how her life has been up to the point of the play’s action. However, when Ferdinand enters the picture, a drastic shift is seen in Miranda. Ferdinand is really the first suitable man she encounters in her lifetime, causing her to react to her emotions in an instinctual and new way. The arrival of Ferdinand also gives Miranda the chance to make her own decision about something, a choice she never really had before. Her father has been in control of her her whole life, but now she has found love apart from her father’s influence. Although the hasty marriage proposal may not seem like an “responsible” decision, the opportunity Miranda has to make that decision shows a new found maturity in her character. She grows to be a stronger, more independent character throughout the course of the play.

  13. Miranda was definitely portrayed as meek and naive in the beginning of the play. I believe that she showed tremendous growth by the third act when she proposed to Ferdinand. However, we do see a return to “normal” in act four when Prospero talks to Ferdinand about taking her virginity right in front of her. She doesn’t really contribute to the conversation, but rather stands off the side as they talk about her. I don’t think this small incident hinders her growth in becoming more assertive and outspoken.

  14. At the beginning of the play Miranda is a character that is timid and meek. As the play drives on, and she meets Ferdinand, she changes to having more control over her actions and doing what she wanted to by actually being the one proposing to him. I think it was a spontaneous act since she is so young but it proves her to have a mind of her own.

  15. I agree with those of you who don’t believe Miranda changes much at all throughout the course of the play. She simply goes from knowingly naive, to unknowingly naive. In the beginning, she is timid and submissive to her father because she simply doesn’t know any better. She has never seen other humans before, so of course she is going to submit. And in regards to her falling in love with Ferdinand, I’m willing to bet that it wouldn’t take any magic on Prospero’s part for her to fall in love with the first man she sees. However, Prospero knows this and manipulated the situation so that Miranda would fall in love and think it her own idea. In the end, Miranda is equally as naive, she just thinks she is developing and making her own choices. So, yes, she’s more confident and in that way she changes, but her confidence isn’t justified, since it was ultimately Prospero’s plan for her.

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