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How is the concept of masculinity presented in The Tempest?

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lolaleon | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 20, 2013 at 10:27 PM via web

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How is the concept of masculinity presented in The Tempest?

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted January 21, 2013 at 2:59 AM (Answer #1)

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In protecting Miranda from seeing men, her father Prospero creates a sort of blank slate for her perceptions of the opposite sex. Prospero is a fatherly archetype: wise and kind but also aloof and distracted by his own concerns. But the inhabitants of the barren landscape are male archetypes as well: Caliban is ugly, a "monster" and thus could be said to address Miranda's apprehension of male sexuality. Ariel is often portrayed as androgynous or sexless; this archetype allows the posisbility that Miranda can develop both gendered sides of her nature, to find the male qualities within herself. When men (sailors) finally do arrive on shore, Miranda refers to the "brave new world" which has such creatures in it: this confirms the positive result of sexual balance, the presence of both genders completing Miranda's world and offering a hopeful vision of the future.

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