What kind(s) of rulers are Ferdinand and Miranda likely to be in The Tempest? How will they approach issues of colonization? Why?

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On the whole, because they are good people, Ferdinand and Miranda are likely to be good rulers. Shakespeare firmly believed that morally good, honest, and merciful people made the best monarchs.

The two young people show their moral goodness in the way they express their love for each other as...

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On the whole, because they are good people, Ferdinand and Miranda are likely to be good rulers. Shakespeare firmly believed that morally good, honest, and merciful people made the best monarchs.

The two young people show their moral goodness in the way they express their love for each other as a form of selflessness. Ferdinard is glad to take over Caliban's slave labor of carrying logs if it will win him Miranda's hand. He does not believe he is above this kind of menial work, even though he is of royal birth, and he does not wish for Miranda to help him. He says to Miranda in act 3, scene 1,

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, /To make me slave to it

Miranda likewise shows her goodness in wanting to help him and in telling him she will be his servant whether or not he marries her.

However, how the couple will approach issues of colonization is more problematic. Miranda, who has the most firsthand knowledge of colonizing a land with natives—the island where she and her father crashed was already occupied by Ariel and Cailban—has learned from her father to look down on those who are different. She thinks little of Caliban, calling him a "savage," and lectures him that he should be thankful to her for teaching him her language. She does not seem able to enter into seeing life from Caliban's point of view. Caliban has legitimate reasons to be upset: he showed Prospero everything he needed to know to survive on the island with his daughter and was repaid by being enslaved, a microcosm of the colonial experience. As he says to Miranda in act 2:

And here you sty me
In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me
The rest o’ the island.

He despises her education because it is a symbol of his imprisonment and slavery. Miranda, blinded by prejudice, also misses the sensitive side of Caliban, such as when he notes his delight in the music of the island:

This isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears...

So, while Ferdinand and Miranda are good and upright people, if they get into any colonial ventures or have to deal with peoples or cultures that are different from what they are used to, they may end up being cruel and judgmental because of their lack of understanding—at least if Ferdinand follows Miranda's lead.

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