In what ways can we consider Miranda in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest a weak character?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Miranda in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest is a stock character, a female romantic lead whose major role in the narrative is to serve as the love interest for the romantic male lead. In contrast with many of Shakespeare's other heroines, she tends to be passive, generally following first the wishes of her father and then those of Ferdinand. While she displays the stereotypical female virtues of kindness and compassion, she does not show the sort of strong personality, intelligence, or determination we find in Beatrice of Much Ado About Nothing, Rosalind of As You Like It or Portia of The Merchant of Venice. Her most distinct act in the play is to be smitten with Ferdinand, and in her innocence of accepted court manners, propose to him, saying

“I am your wife, if you will marry me;

If not, I’ll die your maid” 

Of course, as she is only fifteen years old in the play, and has lived an isolated life with limited human contact, she has not really had the opportunity to develop the sort of complex personality and sophisticated social interactions of more mature and worldly characters.

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