Prospero – Ferdinand Conversation : Act 4 scene 1 The Tempest Question Answers

 Ferdinand’s Response to Prospero’s Advice : Act 4 Scene 1

  Question : What is Ferdinand’s response to Prospero’s advice to him ? 

   Answer:  Ferdinand is very happy and excited over the prospect of his marriage with his love – Miranda.

    He understands the feeling of concern for her in the mind of Prospero. So he declares in clear terms that his love is sincere and respectable. He will never let his love change into lust.

He says : 

” ……As I hope

With such love as ’tis now, the murkiest den

The most opportune place, the strong’st suggestion”

   Here Ferdinand says that he hopes for a long peaceful life and good children for themselves.

    He says  that he would not be tempted from the hidden darkness, and secrecy. He will not give into any temptation from the opportunity offered by the chance of suitable place. He acknowledges the existence of the evil desire in human heart, but he will reject the strongest attraction governed by our evil nature. He further says that he will await his wedding night with keen desire and anxiety and he will not forget his honour and give into lust.

     On hearing Ferdinand’s sincere words, Prospero commends him and permits him to sit and hold conversation with Miranda.

     He declares that Miranda now belongs wholly to Ferdinand. He feels happy and satisfied at the turn of events.

 Conversation Between Prospero and Ferdinand:  Revelation of their Characters 

Question : What does the conversation between Prospero and Ferdinand reveal about their characters ?

Answer: The conversation between Prospero and Ferdinand throws light on their characters.

    It is clearly seen from the opening lines of Act 4 scene 1 that Prospero is a loving and caring father Prospero says –

  “…..for I

Have given you here a third of mine own life

Or that for which I live,”

   In these lines Prospero says to Ferdinand that he has punished him (Ferdinand) severely and now to compensate for his trouble, Prospero offers an integral part of his own life i.e. his loving daughter as Ferdinand’s wife. He also says that she is the only reason for which he lives.

      Prospero is a responsible father who does not want his daughter to marry an insincere person. So he puts Ferdinand to test. When he is sure that both Ferdinand and Miranda love each other deeply, he agrees to their marriage.

    Prospero is also a God fearing person. He warns Ferdinand as – 

“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,”

      Here, Prospero warns Ferdinand not to violate the virginity before all the ceremonies of their marriage have been performed. If he dishonour her maidenhood, no sweet blessing will fall upon them from heaven to make their married life happy.

   As a concerned father, Prospero believes that a sexual union between a man and a woman outside the marriage never ends in happiness for anyone. In this case their marriage will be full of hatred, barrenness contempt indicated by bitter and angry looks, disagreement and friction between the two. Such hateful poisonous and oppressing results that both of them will begin to hate their union. So he warns Ferdinand against violating the virginity of Miranda before their marriage.

     Apart from being Miranda’s father and teacher, he is also the moral and religious teacher of the island. He intends to establish a moral order by  imparting  moral instructions to the stranded courtiers. It is due to this that he puts them in tempting circumstances. But he warns Ferdinand about the virtues of marriage.

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