Miranda and Ferdinand Love Theme : Act 3 Scene 1 The Tempest Long Answers

 The Tempest:  Act 3 Scene 1

      Question : How and why does Miranda come to see Ferdinand in Act 3, Scene 1 ?

     Answer:  When Miranda and Ferdinand see each other for the first time, they fall in love at first sight.
      Though a proposal for marriage with in ten minutes of first meeting may look odd, yet it was vital from Shakespeare’s point of view. In this case , he wanted to maintain the three unities of classical drama, unity of time, unity of place and the unity of action. So he could not introduce a prolonged period of courting and yet maintain unity of time as well as of action. This is the reason why Ferdinand and Miranda could not be developed as credible characters within the short time.
     The scene takes place outside Prospero’s cell. Ferdinand is given the task of carrying logs of wood – something which Prospero had continually ordered Caliban to do. 
    The initial entrance of Ferdinand  “bearing a log” echoes the entrance of Caliban in Act 2 Scene 2,  “with a burden of wood”. Each have received a similar task, but each goes about it quite differently.
      While Ferdinand’s first reaction to it is to resist;  but he rapidly accepts the necessity of his toil as a way to prove his love for Miranda. The heir apparent to the throne of Naples, happily submits himself to the most menial of works to prove his love. 
     It is necessary for Ferdinand to show discipline, hard work and sacrifice as his character traits to convince Prospero to give his daughter in marriage to him.
    In this scene, Miranda comes by to speak with Ferdinand, thinking her father is at home, but her father Prospero is actually hidden close by, watching the couple.
    Prospero, is inwardly happy at this development, but he wants to test Ferdinand’s sincerity in love. So he imposes upon Ferdinand some punishment.
    Ferdinand is to carry logs of wood from different places and pile them at one place.
   As instructed by Prospero, Ferdinand is carrying wood when he enters the scene. Miranda, who feels sympathetic towards Ferdinand because of the labour he has to do, comes to speak with him. 
    Prospero, who is hidden close by, watches the couple talking to each other. Miranda feels sympathy for Ferdinand and asks him to let her carry the wood for a while, but Ferdinand refuses to do so.
    Ferdinand asks Miranda her name, she tells Ferdinand that her name is Miranda and adds at the same time that the disclosure of her name would annoy her father.
    He tells her that her name is fit to be admired. She is perfect in all respects. She is a paragon of beauty. 
      When Miranda asks him if he loves her, he replies that heaven and earth will bear witness that he loves her and humours her beyond all limits.
   Miranda tells him that she has not seen any other woman than her own reflection in the mirror, so she has no idea about her beauty. She then, swears by her modesty that she can not desire any other companion or imagine any other human shape that she can cherish in her heart.
       Ferdinand reveals his identity and tells her that he is a prince and most probably a king because his father is supposed to have been drowned.
   Then Ferdinand declares his love openly and swears the allegiance of his heart to her. He tells her that he values her beyond anything else in this world, Miranda begins to weep. When Ferdinand asks her why she is weeping, she replies that she weeps due to her inability to give him what she wants to give him.
    Miranda, prompted by ‘Plain and holy innocence’ tells him spontaneously that she is ready to become his wife if he marries her, and if he does not wish to marry her, she would become his maid servant for the whole life.
   Ferdinand kneels and offers his hand to her as a pledge of his love and devotion. Prospero who has overheard the whole conversation of the lovers, rejoices over the intimacy which has developed between them.   
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