How Shakespeare Presents the Encounter between Ferdinand and
Miranda from Lines 450-499
The encounter between Miranda and Ferdinand in lines 450-499 of The
Tempest is presented using three characters, Miranda, Ferdinand, and
Prospero. Miranda and Ferdinand have fallen in love at first sight to
Prospero’s delight, though he doesn’t want them to fall in love too
quickly or interfere with his plans, so he lies to Miranda about
Ferdinand’s unworthiness and then charms Ferdinand from moving.
Miranda is presented as a helpless damsel distressed by the way her
father handled this situation.
“If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
Good things will strive to dwell with’t”
These are Miranda’s first words in these lines saying that physical
beauty is a sign of proper morals and righteousness. This was an axiom
during the renaissance period, hinting that she is only wise enough to
state the obvious argument.
After Ferdinand is charmed from moving she says,
“He’s gentle and not fearful.”
This sounding like she believes he is courageous, but more likely she
is emphasizing his gentleness and compassion. These short
interjections present Miranda as useless to the entire dispute.
There are only three lines of verbal exchange between Miranda and
“My father is of a better nature, sir,
Than he appears by speech. This is unwonted
Which now came from him.”
This shows Miranda’s inexperience with men as she is almost too shy to
say anything at all.
Ferdinand is depicted as a good-looking man, with the normal qualities
that come along with royalty such as courage, and a heroic nature.
“I will resist such entertainment (treatment)
Till mine enemy has more power.”
This expresses Ferdinand’s royal nature, as he is accustomed to
overpowering all enemies.