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How does Shakespeare present the falling in love of Ferdinand and Miranda in a typically romantic way and what is their relationship to the play as a whole?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare present the falling in love of Ferdinand and Miranda in a typically romantic way and what is their relationship to the play as a whole? The concept of the relationship between Miranda and Ferdinand is one of the fundamental aspects of the play. In relation to the plot itself, the eventual idea that the pair will eventually end up together is part of Prospero's 'big plan', as it were. Shakespeare not only presents their falling in love and relationship as an important part of the make up of his play, but also uses the two characters to bring up a number of different concepts and themes, in addition to showing the audience the internal struggle Prospero faces and as a means to look more closely at the character of the 'protagonist'. This idea that Prosper is the hero of the play is in many ways justifiable, however Shakespeare makes his main character very interesting through his in depth presentation of his characteristics; he is a man plagued by emotional conflictions, facing both the mental struggle of effectively giving up Miranda to Ferdinand and the feelings of anger and betrayal that are so prominent throughout. ...read more.

Middle

In contrast Ferdinand seems to be well experienced as well as rather glamorous and flattering and possibly overly direct, and the appeal of the character is the way in which he seems to be reformed through meeting and falling for Miranda. In addition, although the audience knows better, he comes across as a sad figure through his obvious distress at the apparent death of his father; '...are all bound up, my father's loss, the weakness which I feel, the wreck of all my friends...'. There is a playful dramatic irony in that Prospero knows what is truly going on and talks aside to the audience. There is the idea that all is happening too easily for Prospero, with the pair clearly falling in love immediately and so he decides to test Ferdinand. There seems to be some reference to the idea of 'courtly love' in the presentation of the relationship. Although not all the aspects of the medieval literary tradition are fulfilled in the play, although certain points are. The idea that Ferdinand views her as a goddess from the island when she approaches represents the typical idealisation by the lover. In addition that the woman is unobtainable due to certain prohibiting factors such as rank or being married to someone else resulting in the ...read more.

Conclusion

Prospero, prior to the masque seems to ruin the romantic set mood by being very straight to Ferdinand, warning him to not to 'break her virgin-knot'; this is echoed by the nymphs talking of 'chaste crowns' and no 'bachelor' loves; all designed to ensure the success of the love affair. Prospero refers to the marriage using rather formal language such as 'ratify' and the masque helps to make it a formal occasion, almost a pre-nuptial ritual, and he uses legal terms such as 'ratify' to refer to the marriage; this suggests a contrasting seriousness to the entire theme of marriage - it is an important issue, almost a legal bond which should not be broken. Overall, the relationship between Miranda and Ferdinand is the main positive occurrence in the play, it signifies a new generation, but also leads to Prospero's realisation that after his plan - the one he had spent so many years conceiving - he will no longer be the main character of Miranda's life, and will return to everyday life a normal man. This is reflected by his moment of reflection and the long pause where he delves into the mysteries of life and questions humanity and 'the grand scheme of things'. The relationship is typical of a romantic idealised love affair, and so seems to provide the audience with moments of warmth and comic, rather sweet imagery. Alexander Phillips 27/11/04 ...read more.

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