In his play The Tempest, William Shakespeare illustrates the transformation of many characters who have to re-evaluate their values, attitudes, and perceptions. This paper is aimed at discussing such a person as Ferdinand whose love for Miranda is one of the main themes explored in this play. He has to discover several important qualities such as responsibility and ability to love. These are the things that he lacks at the beginning of this play. This person is important for the author because he demonstrates how love can change an individual, his behavior, and perception of the world. These questions should be examined more closely.
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It should be noted that Ferdinand is present in the first scene, but he does not take part in the conversation. Certainly, one can assume that he is frightened. Moreover, Ferdinand is forced to accept that his life can soon end. Nevertheless, it is not possible to make accurate conjectures about his experiences. Overall, one can argue that Prospero is able to test Ferdinand’s qualities and intentions. Aerial, who serves Prospero, separates Ferdinand from his father; as a result, Ferdinand comes to the belief that his father and friends have perished. Therefore, he is forced to act independently. This character quickly forgets about his loss, when he sees Miranda and falls in love with her.
To a great extent, this example indicates the flippancy or light-mindedness of this character. He promises to make Miranda “the queen of Naples” without even mentioning his father Alonso, who could have died (Shakespeare 45). Moreover, it does not even occur to Ferdinand that he cannot fulfill his promise. This is one of the details that can attract readers’ attention.
Additionally, Fernando’s affection for Miranda bears a close resemblance to lust at least at the beginning. He does not think about the need to care about Miranda However, he eventually understands that Miranda is different from other women. The following quote illustrates Ferdinand’s experiences,
‘for several virtues
Have I liked several women; never any
With so full soul’ (Shakespeare 93).
In other words, he sees that this girl can transform him. By allowing Ferdinand to talk to Miranda, Prospero enables this character to reject his previous outlook. In particular, Ferdinand learns that he can be fully dedicated to another person. Moreover, he understands that love implies some responsibility for the wellbeing and dignity of a woman. For instance, he assumes an obligation to arrange a formal marriage with Miranda (Shakespeare 121). In the past, he did not act in this way, because his behavior was driven mostly by lust, rather than love. This is the main change that Ferdinand undergoes. To some extent, this transformation was caused by Prospero manipulations. His magic makes other people discover their true selves. This is one of the main arguments that can be put forward.
On the whole, these examples indicate that Prospero’s actions prompt Ferdinand to discover the hidden qualities. In particular, Ferdinand discovers that he can be committed to the needs of another person. Shakespeare focuses his attention on the behavior of this character because in this way he tries to show love should not be confused with lust. Ferdinand’s transformation highlights the difference between these notions. This is one of the main aspects that should be taken into account by the readers of this play.
Shakespeare, William. The Tempest, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004. Print.