The Tempest Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the 2008 Norton edition.
Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again. (3.2.148-156)
Nature is beautiful enough to bring out the very best in even its most "unnatural" creatures.
Then, as my gift and thine own acquisition
Worthily purchased take my daughter. But
If thou dost break her virgin-knot before
All sanctimonious ceremonies may
With full and holy rite be ministered,
No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall
To make this contract grow; but barren hate,
Sour-eyed disdain and discord shall bestrew
The union of your bed with weeds so loathly
That you shall hate it both. Therefore take heed,
As Hymen's lamps shall light you. (4.1.14-24)
Miranda's virginity, outside of its socio-cultural implications, is really also a simple mark that she is just as she was created: being a virgin, she is still in her natural state. If we think about virginity as a mark of childhood and naturalness, not as some deep moral and religious issue, we can take the edge off. What is Miranda's state of nature, and is anything natural being lost in her union to Ferdinand?
A devil, a born devil, on whose nature
Nurture can never stick; on whom my pains,
Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost;
And as with age his body uglier grows,
So his mind cankers. (4.1.211-215)
Is Caliban a victim of his nature, or is Prospero foolish for thinking it could ever be otherwise? Can both of these things be true at the same time? (It's a mental Venn diagram!)