The Tempest
The Tempest
by William Shakespeare

Miranda Timeline and Summary

  • 1.2: Miranda asks if her father is responsible for the tempest and the destruction of a ship, and pleads that he stop it if he is. She is sure all aboard the ship perished. She wishes she could have done something.
  • 1.2: Miranda, about to hear her father's confession of his real life, admits she never suspected everything had been a lie.
  • 1.2: Hearing the story of who they used to be, Miranda asks, shocked, whether it was a curse or a blessing that brought them to this island.
  • 1.2: She notes that no matter what she thinks of her uncle Antonio, it would be a sin to think ill of his mother, her grandmother, as good wombs have borne bad sons.
  • 1.2: She hopes that as a babe she did not cause her father any great trouble during his already-hard voyage to the island.
  • 1.2: Miranda is full of thanks – for Gonzalo should she ever meet him, and to her father for educating her – but she still wants to know what the tempest has to do with all of this. She asks, and her father promptly puts her to sleep with an enchantment.
  • 1.2: Prospero tells Miranda to accompany him to see Caliban, and she says he is a villain and she doesn't like to see very often.
  • 1.2: This exchange with Caliban is so vehement and violent that some editors attribute it to Prospero instead of Miranda. Regardless, in this passage, the speaker upbraids Caliban, whom she/he had taught to speak, though "thy vile race had that in't which good natures could not abide to be with." The speaker claims Caliban deserves more than a prison, and being tied to a rock is a small punishment. This is Miranda's most serious outburst, if it is actually her speaking.
  • 1.2: Miranda spots Ferdinand, and calls him divine, because she's never seen a natural thing look so noble.
  • 1.2: Miranda asks her father why he is so unkind to Ferdinand, the third man she's ever seen, and the first she's ever sighed for. (Cute.)
  • 1.2: Miranda accepts that beauty is on the outside – nobody as good looking as Ferdinand can possibly be bad.
  • 1.2: Miranda spends a few lines pleading with her father to treat the delicate Ferdinand kindly, because she likes him, and can guarantee that he's a good guy and not another usurper. (Not that she's really spoken to him. He must not have that usurpy look about him, though).
  • 3.1: Miranda pleads with Ferdinand to not work so hard, as her father is busy and won't notice anyway. She offers to carry the logs for him, and says it would become her as well as it becomes him (she's strong, and prone to egalitarianism it seems), as she would do it out of love, not inferiority.
  • 3.1: Miranda admits she's never seen a woman properly, or a man besides her father, but she calls her own modesty the best she has to offer, and that modesty assures her that Ferdinand is the best thing she's ever seen. She's embarrassed a bit by how forward she's being, but then quickly asks, "Do you love me?" Hearing a positive reply, she weeps for gladness.
  • 3.1: Pretty much, Miranda wants Ferdinand. The more she tries to hide her love, the more it shows. Miranda says she's inspired to put aside bashful cunning, and just come out with it, based on plain and holy innocence – she'll be Ferdinand's wife if he'll have her, and a devoted virgin if he won't have her. Either way, she chooses to be his servant (there's a paradox, if e'er there were) whether he wants it or not. Then, she accepts his pledge to be her husband.
  • 5.1: Miranda has a weird exchange while playing chess with Ferdinand – she says he cheats, which he denies he'd ever do for the whole world, and she says she'd think it fair if he did it for even just a couple of kingdoms. (Maybe she's funny, maybe she's modest, maybe she's just awesome at chess.)
  • 5.1: Miranda's last line plays on her own amazement at others, while others admire her: "O, wonder! / How many goodly creatures are there here! / How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, / That has such people in't!"
Next Page: Gonzalo Timeline
Previous Page: Caliban

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