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Mothers in William Shakespeare's The Tempest Although Miranda's mom and Sycorax never really appear in The Tempest, their memories occupy a precarious position in Prospero's will to power. Prospero invokes the memory of Miranda's mum to legitimize his lineage, nevertheless feels threatened from the control she exerts it over. His narration deftly erases his spouse's existence from Miranda's memory, making him the only purveyor of his son's imagination. Prospero employs a discourse which supports maternal ability throughout the denial of female sexuality. He negates the validity of Sycorax's matriarchy by constructing Sycorax as not only a wicked witch, but in addition an unchaste mother. This type of discourse opposes Caliban's claim to the island whilst justifying Prospero's usurpation of power. Although Miranda recalls having four or five female rabbits, she does not have any memory of a mommy. Really, Prospero alludes to his wife only once during his recount of the events which compelled him from Milan to the island Prospero: Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years since, Thy father was the Duke of Milan, also, A prince of power -- Miranda: Sir, aren't you my dad? Prospero: The mum was a bit of virtue, and She said thou wast my daughter; and thy father Was Duke of Milan, and his sole heir and princess no worse issued. (1:2:52-58) Miranda's unwitting question provokes a strange response from Prospero. He admits to relying on his spouse's word that Miranda is his daughter. In doing this, he shows his alienation from Miranda's birth and also the possibility of illegitimacy. Miranda's mother's power to bear children exerts a threatening cont...