Miranda is the Only Woman in William Shakespeare’s Play, The Tempes

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In William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, there has been much debate on whether Miranda, the only female in the play, is a fully formed character or merely an object being used by the men of the play. William Shakespeare wrote in a time where men were considered the dominant sex and women were only used for reproduction and maternal purposes. In the Tempest men like Prospero and Antonio are shown in a position of power and strength, while Miranda is associated with frailty and innocence. This allows the men to use Miranda for their own selfish purposes. However Miranda is unaware of this and acts independently and doesn’t always abide to what the men of the play force her to do. Miranda’s actions throughout the Tempest portray her as a fully formed character but as she is the only other female character in the play, the men view her as an object which can be used to suit their needs. Miranda’s actions are her own in the Tempest as we see in Act 1 Scene ii - the first time we are introduced to Miranda - where Miranda begs her father, Prospero not to harm any of the survivors from the Tempest. She talks with sympathy in her voice: “O, I have suffer’d/ with those that I saw suffer! A brave vessel/ who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her/ dash’d all to pieces” (1, 2, 5 – 6). Miranda is brave enough to stand up to her father knowing that he has the power to harm the sailors. She shows empathy and care not only for the sailors who she has never met before but for the ship
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