How Does Shakespeare Present Parent/Child Relationships in ‘The Tempest’?
In 'The Tempest' Shakespeare presents parent and child relationships as an emotional process that eventually ends in a sacrifice, leaving the parent and child happy. Through the characters of Miranda and Prospero, Shakespeare shows that for parents to make their children happy they need to sacrifice what they like but can live without.
Shakespeare demonstrates this in Act 1 Scene 2, when Prospero is taking to Miranda about how and why they are on the island. This is the first time you are introduced to Prospero, and he seems like a loving father towards Miranda, although at some points he takes advantage of Miranda's innocence to make himself superior towards her. ‘‘O, my heart bleeds to think o’th’ teen that I have turn’d you to, which is from my remembrance. Please you, father.’’ Shakespeare is trying to show that although Prospero was being nice and lovely towards Miranda, he still has the power to manipulate Miranda into thinking how he wants her to think. She has nothing to compare this story to as she has no recollection of the past, this makes you think that this is the first time that Prospero has told Miranda this story, which perhaps shows their distant relationship.
At the beginning Act 4 Scene 1, Shakespeare presents Prospero as what he perceives as being kind and loving, as he allows Ferdinand to have Miranda, “…for I have given you here a third of mine own life,” when Prospero is speaking to Ferdinand about giving Miranda away, he describes her as ‘a third’ of his life, this could convey the mystery of the other two thirds to his life. In a normal parent and child relationship, the child is the parent’s whole life, so with Shakespeare’s character of Prospero describing Miranda as only one third, it shows that a parent and child relationship isn’t as important to Prospero as other things that one might have...
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