The Oppression of Miranda in The Tempest Essay

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The Oppression of Miranda in The Tempest

Miranda's schooling in The Tempest shows the audience the conflicting arrangement white women in the Shakespearean drama as well as Shakespearean times are forced to act within. Paul Brown points out that "the discourse of sexuality…offers the crucial nexus for the various domains of colonialist discourse" (208) and the conduct in Prospero manipulates his followers' sexuality is the mainstay of his power. The Miranda-Prospero relationship servers to represent a sort of patriarchy, which is unarguably the system many Renaissance women and women of Shakespeare's time found themselves in. It is thus unsurprising that Prospero controls Miranda and her sexuality as well. The
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As a Renaissance woman protagonist, she acts within an completely male world: "I do not know/ One of my sex; no woman's face remember" (3.1.48-49). While no other women appear in the play, references are made to other women, but the count here is still minimal and sums up to three. Miranda speaks of the lack of female companionship around her because of her location, but simultaneously the audience sees that the references to women that do occur within the play often have a sinister purpose for appearing within the lines. The other women mentioned in the play seem to provide a sort of dark cloak over the proceedings of the play, even if they are completely absent. Regardless, Miranda, as the only physical woman in the play the audience actually sees and hears, is described by Prospero with kind words, and few, if any, negative imagery revolves around the appearance of the innocent Miranda. For example, Prospero informs Miranda that this "Art" is prompted by his concern for her; "I have done nothing but in care of thee" (1.2.16). Prospero also tells Miranda that his mistreatment and harshness toward Caliban stems from the fact that Caliban attempted to rape Miranda and Prospero wants to protect her from any harm that could come about from Caliban.(1.2.347-51). Prospero also indicates that Miranda, to him, is "a third of mine own life,/ Or that for which I live" (4.1.3-4); therefore after she is
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