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A Feminist Reading of the Tempest Essay

Assignment id 1009719
Discipline Writing
Assignment type Essay
Words 3088
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William Shakespeare's The Tempest offers dialogue that portrays the social expectations and stereotypes imposed on women in Elizabethan times. Despite the fact that the play has only one principal feminine character, Miranda, the play also includes another women; Sycorax, even though she doesn't play as big a roll. Throughout many scenes, the drama illustrates the characteristics that represent the perfect woman within Elizabethan society. These characteristics support the fact that men considered women as a mere object which they had the luxury of owning and were nowhere near equal to them. Feminists can translate the play as a depiction of the sexist treatment of women and could disagree with lots of the characteristics and expectations which make Miranda the ideal woman. From that perspective, The Tempest may be used to objectify the common expectations and treatment of women within the 16th and 17th Centuries and compare and contrast to those of today. This play portrays the women as fragile and pathetic beings. When Miranda is speaking to Ferdinand she is allowing him to see her as quite vulnerable, which will allow him to view here exactly as that. "At mind unworthiness, that dare not offer/What I desire to give, and much less take"(3.2.77-78). She goes on to say, "If not, I'll die your maid. To be your fellow/You may deny me, but I'll be your servant/Whether you will or no"(3.2.83-86). This play is portraying Miranda as a pathetic woman who would rather be a servant to a man that won't marry her; she would rather be his maid than live without him. Miranda's character in the play represents the ideal woman of Elizabethan era. She's portrayed as a goddess among the men. "Most sure, the goddess/Oh whom these airs attend!" (1.2.425-426). Fer...

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