The Tempest Feminist Analysis

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Women’s Depiction in Shakespeare 's 'The Tempest '
William Shakespeare developed his work “The Tempest” in a time when a woman was the most powerful human in his society—the era of Queen Elizabeth. To rise to such a position in any culture, a woman is required to be very influential, respected and trusted in the community. In this regard, with Queen Elizabeth on the throne, any reader of the tempest would expect that a woman had a good reputation and important role in the society. However, in “The Tempest,” it is totally the opposite and one would even wonder seriously how Queen Elizabeth made it to the throne. The play seems to ‘deny the significance, and even, occasionally the presence of the female characters, however, basing vast power on their chastity and fertility while revealing a patriarchal society.
A patriarch society is one that is under the control of men. The males are the heads and the masters, the females are the tails and subjects (Dash, 81). In other words, it is a society that takes women as inconsequential people. During the time of “The Tempest,” a female monarch—Queen Elizabeth—had ruled England for about four decades. Nonetheless, women had limited rights and, like properties, belonged to their husbands or
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Ariel, the shape-shifting creature is a servant to Prospero. Even though the other actors in the play refer to this character by male pronouns in the play, its gender remains rather ambiguous. Ariel takes on the shape of a water-nymph, which mythology associates with a female deity (Dash, 122). When Miranda states that Ferdinand is the “third man that e’er I saw” (Shakespeare and Kermode 1.2.441), she also supports the postulation that Ariel a female. Moreover, throughout the drama, Prospero refers to Ariel as “quaint,” “my bird,” and “Dainty,” the terms that the society, stereotypically uses to describe a woman (1.2.322, 4.1.178,
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