The Lone Woman

Seeing as how only one woman actually appears onstage, The Tempest cant exactly be classified as a progressive feminist work. Miranda—the token female character—is, for most of the play, very passive. Due to the fact that she has been stuck on the island since she was three years old, she is pretty innocent and oblivious to the way the world works. She is often just an object opposite her father, who seems to make the majority of her decisions. I was pretty disappointed with her as a character, but since she was the only woman, she had a lot on her shoulders.

Miranda did have her moments. After Caliban insults Prospero in Act 1 Scene 2, Miranda calls him an “Abhorred slave” and reprimands him for being ungrateful after teaching him language. Apparently, many editors reassign her little speech to Prospero, claiming that it was too harsh coming from her character. While that is a misfortune, it is certainly a testament to how meek of a character she was otherwise in the play. The lines should stay assigned to her though; the play needs every ounce of girl power it can get.

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