In act 3 of The Tempest, how does Prospero treat Ferdinand? Why? How is this treatment like and unlike the treatment of Caliban?

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Both Ferdinand and Caliban are enslaved by Prospero. Ferdinand, however, performs his tasks cheerfully for the sake of Miranda, who begs him not to work so hard:

This, my mean task,
Would be as heavy to me as odious, but
The mistress which I serve quickens what's dead
And makes my labours pleasures...

The enslavement of Ferdinand, moreover, is only temporary. Prospero looks on the interactions between Ferdinand and Miranda with qualified approval. He treats Ferdinand like this partly from petulance and lingering resentment, but mainly because he wants to test the prince’s devotion to his daughter. Observing their courtship at a distance, he concludes:

So glad of this as they I cannot be,
Who are surprised withal; but my rejoicing
At nothing can be more.

While he engineers and endorses the betrothal of Ferdinand and Miranda, Prospero was appalled by Caliban’s advances towards her. Caliban remembers that Prospero was not always a harsh master:

When thou camest first,
Thou strokedst me and...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1053 words.)

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