Consider the means by which Shakespeare reveals character in the episode. In the second act of “The Tempest” Shakespeare takes the opportunity to develop the characters of Prospero and Miranda to the audience. Prospero is set out to the audience as some kind of supreme power, after the audience learn just before this extract that it was his magic, and not simply a hostile nature tat raised the storm in scene 1. The Tempest is a play about power as we observed in the previous scene, when the power of the storm disrupted the power relations between nobles and servants and Prospero is set out as the central force controlling and manipulating events throughout the play.Order now
During this extract Shakespeare informs the audience or Prospero’s power but also of his wisdom and love for his daughter, he states “I have doe nothing but in care of thee” to Miranda alerting the audience to the fact that in spite of the fact that prospero has just caused a shipwreck he is a moral man presumably acting for his own reasons. This may be done to prevent the audience immediately labelling Prospero as a villain, Prospero’s compassion is further enforced which he informs Miranda of the fact that he has insured that he has prevented any of the people aboard the wreck to come to any kind of harm.
This also creates prolepsis as it indicated that Prospero has something planned. Prospero’s wisdom and power are conveyed to the audience when he describes himself as “A prince of power” and also “master of a full poor cell”. In contrast to Prospero’s emitted aura of power and wisdom Miranda is meant to be seen as the epitome of compassion and innocence. These characteristics are indicated to the audience both by Miranda ignorance of her situation “Art ignorant of whet thou art” and by hr apparent lack of thirst for further information “More to know did never medal with my thoughts”. In modern times this would probably be seen as naivety however during the late Tudor period when this play was written the view of the ideal woman was still very focused around the image Miranda adheres to, one of purity, empathy and respect towards both farther (As is indicated in this scene) and husband.
During this section of the play Miranda is also set out to appear very young, and willing to leave her destiny in control of her father, later on seems to take more control of the events around her (such as when she proposes marriage to Ferdinand) however at this point she is still very emotional in a more child like manner “O! Woe the day!” This also helps to show her compassion since she is clearly so concerned for the safety of the people on the ship in spite of the fact that she is unaware of who they are. In conclusion Shakespeare utilises this scene to set out the key elements of both Miranda’s personalities, however it is not until later in the play that there characters are properly developed.