The Tempest : Ferdinand and Miranda’s first impression

 Ferdinand’s  introduction to Miranda  :

Question : How is Ferdinand introduced ? What is Miranda’s first impression of him ? What is Ferdinand’s impression of Miranda ? What kind of attitude do Miranda and Prospero show towards Ferdinand and why?

Answer : 

Ferdinand’s  Arriving to Prospero’s cell undernthe Impact of Ariel’s Music  :

    Ferdinand, son of Alonso, King of Naples, is separated from the rest of the survivors after the shipwreck. According to Prospero’s command, Ariel lands Ferdinand by himself in an out of the way corner of the island. As Ferdinand sits alone, mourning his father whom he suppose to be drowned, suddenly he hears strange music in the air. The music arrests the fury of the waves and soothes Ferdinand’s own grief – stricken mind. 

     It is at first a fairy song. Soon it changes to a dirge -a sea lament, referring to his own father. To Ferdinand  it seems to be heavenly music. He follows it and then he comes within views of Prospero and Miranda. The very words in which Prospero draws Miranda’s attention to him seem to be a potent charm of love – 

“Prospero:  The frienged curtains of thine eye advance/

              And say what thou seest yond.”

Miranda’s  Taking Ferdinand to be a Heavenly Being

     When Miranda happens to see him, she feels amazed and also delighted to see a stranger, the like of whom she had never seen before.

     At first she thinks that she is seeing only a spirit, but Prospero informs her that the stranger is not a spirit but a human being who was one of the passengers on the wrecked ship and who is perfectly safe.

    Miranda says that this stranger looks like a heavenly being and that she has never seen anything so noble before. Her admiration is expressed in extravagant words  – 

       “Miranda:  I might call him /

    A thing divine, for nothing natural / 

     I ever saw so noble.”

Ferdinand’s Feeling Surprised to see Miranda

 Ferdinand also feels surprised and delighted to see Miranda on this island. At first, he thinks she is not a human being but a goddess. She is not a human being but a goddess. He asks her if she is still unmarried and she replies in affirmative.

  “Ferdinand : Most sure the goddess /

    On whom these airs attend ! Vouchasafe my prayer/

  May know if you remain upon this island/

   And that you will some good instruction give/

  How I may bear me here; my prime request,/

  Which I do last pronounce, is, O you wonder !

    If you be maid or no? “

    Ferdinand is also surprised to hear her speaking his native language. He says that if he were in the country where this language is spoken, hem would claim to be the highest of those persons whose native language it is.

    “Ferdinand : My language ! heavens !

      I am the best of them that speak this speech.

     Were I but where ’tis spoken.”

    Miranda’s Sympathetic  Attitude Toward Ferdinand and Prospero’s Harsh Attitude ‘To him  :

    Ferdinand says that his father has got drowned in the sea and that he has now naturally become the King of Naples. Miranda feels very sympathetic towards Ferdinand on learning that this young man has recently lost his father.

   Ferdinand then says that he would make Miranda the Queen of Naples by marrying her. Prospero feels inwardly very happy at Ferdinand’s proposal, but Prospero at the same time decides not to make it too easy for Ferdinand to win Miranda as his wife because a man, who gets anything too easily, does not value it sufficiently.

     Therefore he calls Ferdinand a traitor for calling himself the King of Naples when there is no certainty that his father has really died.

    Prospero then threatens to put Ferdinand in prison in order to punish him for having told a lie.

   Ferdinand says that he would never submit to Prospero’s authority, but Prospero now casts a magic spell upon him and renders him powerless. 

   Miranda tries to intervene on Ferdinand’s behalf because she has already fallen over head and ears in love with him, but Prospero scolds her and asks her not to speak a single word on behalf of the young fellow.

     Shakespeare quotes here: 

    “Miranda:  Sir, have pity

            I’ll be his surety.

    Prospero:  Silence ! One word more 

    Shall make me chide thee, if not hate thee what !

     An advocate for an impostor ! Hush !

    Thou think’st there is no more suth shapes as he,

    To th’ most of men this is a Caliban

   And they to him are angels.”



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