Feminism & The Tempest

Powerful Essays
Topics: Gender, Female, Sex
Correia � PAGE �6�

Brandon Correia

Ms. Bradley

ENG-3U1

December 10, 2007

Feminism in the Tempest

Feminist theory aims to understand the nature of inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations and sexuality. To do Feminist Research is to put the social construction of gender at the center of one 's inquiry. Feminist theory is about seeing gender as a basic organizing principle which profoundly shapes/mediates the concrete conditions of our lives. In the play The Tempest, by William Shakespeare Miranda is a perfect example of a woman 's role in literature from a feminist theorist perspective. In The Tempest, Miranda 's prescribed gender role and physical stature account for her naturally being subordinate to males.

In Literature there are many instances when women are objectified solely because of their physical stature. Since women are generally smaller in size, her social hierarchy is inferior to the man. Gender is defined as masculine or feminine attributes that are socially fixed to their biological sex in opposition to each other. Scholar Germaine Greer states that, "the male sex/masculine gender embrace the positive side of the opposition and the female sex/feminine gender, the negative side"(4). A woman 's physical stature excludes her from being superior, since superior is determined by masculine attributes. Furthermore, Joanne S. Frye, author of Living Stories: Women and the Novel, states that, images of women are analyzed by men based on physical appearance, as opposed to intellectual capacity. A woman is not seen for her inner beauty, only judged by what can be identified by bodily manifestation. The woman 's physical appearance is a primary factor as to why she is seen as subordinate to the male.

In The Tempest Miranda is often objectified solely because of her physical appearance. To explain, Miranda is seen a beautiful woman, nothing more that a sex object. Ferdinand 's first thoughts of Miranda are revealed when he states, "most



Cited: Frye, Joanne S. Living Stories, Telling Lives: Women and the Novel In Contemprary Experience. United States of America: The University of Michigan Press, 1986 Lambert, Ellen Zetzel. The Face if Love: Feminism and the Beauty Question. Boston: Beacon press, 1995 Ferguson, Michaele L. "Sharing without knowing: collective identity in feminist and democratic theory. (Critical essay)." Hypatia, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2005 Baumlin, Tita. "Holy Estates: Marriage and Monarchy in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries." Renaissance Quarterly. Portland, American Book Company, 2005. Harding, Sandra. "Feminism and Methodology Social Science Issues." Bloomington. Indiana University Press, 1987

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Tempest

    • 16586 Words
    • 67 Pages

    SHAKESPEARE MADE EASY The Tempest Three Watson Irvine, CA 92618-2767 Web site: www.sdlback.com Copyright © 2006 by Saddleback Educational Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronc or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, with the exception below. Pages labeled with the statement Saddleback Educational Publishing…

    • 16586 Words
    • 67 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tempest

    • 980 Words
    • 4 Pages

    ------------------------------------------------- The Tempest From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about the Shakespeare play. For other uses, see The Tempest (disambiguation). The shipwreck in Act I, Scene 1, in a 1797 engraving based on a painting by George Romney The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero…

    • 980 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Tempest

    • 1093 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Adam Dolah 12/27/12 10B Essay In both of the plays The Tempest and Julius Caesar, a group of people is formed to take down and kill one person. In Julius Caesar, the conspirators who came up with the plan to kill Caesar were Cassius, Cinna, Casca, Metellus, Decius, and one can even say Brutus as well even though he was not part of them originally. In The Tempest, there are a couple different murder plots. The first of which is when Ariel puts everyone to sleep except for Antonio…

    • 1093 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tempest

    • 1044 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Relevance of The Tempest in the Modern Wo The Tempest, a pastoral tragicomedy by William Shakespeare, was written in the Renaissance period. When the play was written, the particular context that the author intended and that the audience received would be different to the meanings and ideas that we pick up from studying or viewing the play now. For example, the way that women in particular are portrayed in old plays such as The Tempest is quite derogatory and would be unacceptable for a modern play…

    • 1044 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Tempest

    • 785 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The tempest is an intellectually challenging play that explores a wide range of significant issues, such as power and control and versions of reality. Shakespeare uses a large variety of language techniques and dramatic devices such as imagery and music to help us fully understand the true meaning of The Tempest. Power and control is shown through Prospero and Antonio’s complex relationship. Prospero was the rightful duke of Milan until Antonio stole his role, which is the main reason for Prospero’s…

    • 785 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tempest

    • 435 Words
    • 2 Pages

    One of the most well-discussed themes in The Tempest is the theme of illusion versus reality. This theme initially appears as it relates to the opposing worlds of a primitive island and the civilized culture of Milan. All of the characters in this play have been brought to this island in one way or another, and they are forced to coexist in a new and unfamiliar setting. These men are accustomed to reigning over all things, yet they now find themselves in a realm where the reigning power is that of…

    • 435 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Tempest

    • 282 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Zaria Ragguette Language Arts a. What was the name of Caliban’s mother? b. Caliban's mother was a witch called Sycorax. c. Over how many days does the action of The Tempest take place? d. The tempest takes place for one day. e. Which mythical figures appear in the wedding masque Prospero stages for Miranda and Ferdinand? f. The mythical feature that appears in the wedding masque Prospero stages for Miranda and Ferdinand are Iris, Ceres, and Juno. 1. Students must…

    • 282 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Tempest

    • 451 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The Tempest In William Shakespeare’s, The Tempest, his final play, we see an extended examination of the role of art in one’s life. Prospero, the magician and conjurer, suddenly finds himself between two situations: celebrating his daughter’s love and fearing for his life. From the uses of poetic elements such as imagery, symbolism, and a shift in tone Shakespeare is able to convey the complex feeling of Prospero in this situation. Prospero’s celebration of his daughter’s love and future marriage…

    • 451 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Tempest

    • 1956 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The Tempest and a Colonialist Representation The Tempest, most likely written in 1610-1611 and staged for the first time at the royal marriage of Princess Elizabeth around 1612, is the final play that Shakespeare's wrote on his own. It is shrouded in the classic ambiguity that is unique to Shakespeare's work and thus allows for multiple interpretations. For over a century, and particularly in the past twenty years, one of the more popular approaches to The Tempest is the influence of colonialism…

    • 1956 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Tempest

    • 987 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Tempest William Shakespeare, one of the greatest play writes of all time, often uses the struggle for authority as a central theme within his plays. In his final and possible one of his greatest plays, The Tempest, the protagonist Prospero is the character plagued with this struggle. The play tells the story of a father and his fifteen-year-old daughter who through cruel fate have been marooned on an island. Suffering the hardships of his past tragedies Prospero becomes addicted to power…

    • 987 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays