Realistic Love in an Unrealistic Situation
The plausibility in the love story between Miranda and Ferdinand is extremely unlikely to happen in today’s world because of the time-span in which it occurred at. No woman will ever ask a guy to marry her within 3 hours of meeting him. If you do happen to find one, please appoint me to her. Personally, it was unbearable to read through the passages in which Miranda and Ferdinand are supplicating each other with their undying love. However, this is from a modern day male perspective. I’m just upset that no female approaches me within 3 hours of meeting me and proposes, let alone demands to be my servant if I rejected. However joking aside, Shakespeare manages to pull off such an unrealistic relationship and makes it feel convincing within the confines of the text. By analyzing both Ferdinand and Miranda’s quest for individualism and choice of words, we’ll realize how Shakespeare manages to pull off such a ridiculous marriage within 3 hours.
Fast forward a bit to Act III where Miranda proposes, Shakespeare subtly introduces the concept that the relationship between Miranda and Ferdinand is plausible. The fact that a girl (younger than 15) is proposing to a guy is extraordinarily unrealistic. Especially for Miranda’s character. I say that simply because Miranda’s character is, up to this far, extremely obedient; the fact that throughout the book she plays the curious and shy little girl hiding under the power of her father. However in this scene, we’re noticing a sudden shift in her characters development towards her own desires and individualism. She, not only proposes (all emphasis mine), but firmly states to Ferdinand “I am your wife, if you will marry me; if not, i’ll die your maid [. . .] you may deny me; but i’ll be your servant, whether you will or no.” Her choice of words in the scene also suggest her desires and sexual individualism, using statements such as “desire to give”, “shall die to want”, “the bigger bulk it shows”, and “i’ll be your servant”. This brings to realization that Miranda is desperately trying to be independent from her father; by personally pursing her own desires and individualism herself. There is a connection in which both lovers are characterized as individuals now because of the disconnection of ‘fathers’ in this scene to dictate what they can say and do. Up to this point in the book, Miranda is presented as an introverted girl. However, Shakespeare introduces a sudden change in her character alignment that suggests not only a shift in her personality but the plausibility in the relationship to somehow work. Like most relationships, both lovers try as equally hard to make things work. Note that from the beginning of the story, we have Ferdinand expressing his love to her by proposing to her the position of queenship, and now Miranda is proposing to him; creating a connection in which both lovers are trying to make the relationship work out. She is firm and expressive about her desires towards Ferdinand by offering an ultimatum that men today will acknowledge with terms otherwise known as “psycho” and “stage 5 clinger.” Surprisingly this does not stop or scare Ferdinand, in fact he happily accepts despite how opposite they both are.
Ferdinand is in love with Miranda from the very beginning. Although he is blinded by love, he sets out in good faith to earn Prospero’s acceptance over Miranda. I say good faith simply because of Ferdinand’s initial reaction when meeting her in which he addresses her as a goddess. I guess I could understand how hard it is for a woman to not develop some type of feelings for a prince whose choice of words to describe you is “dearest”, “precious”, “noble mistress”, and “perfect and so peerless”. Speaking of perfect choice of words, in his speech while carrying out his service for Prospero, Ferdinand uses complete opposite phrasings to compare him and her together indirectly:
There be some sports are painful (all emphasis mine), and their labour
Delight in them sets off. Some kinds of baseness
Are nobly undergone, and most poor matters
Point to rich ends. 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.
Opposite words in the same sentence such as painful, delight, poor matters, rich ends, dead, and pleasures (as in happy and alive) uniquely personifies Miranda and himself. It is because they are complete opposites (let me explain further) that by using analogies and personification such as these, that blurs the differences between them and ultimately unites them in the end. To explain further, in the story Prospero is presented as the evil puppeteer who controls everything and since Miranda is Prospero’s daughter we’re believed to assume she is on the ‘dark side’ simply because of her father. Meanwhile, Ferdinand is the prince and presented as somewhat of a ‘knight in shining armor’ to Miranda in which we’re believed to assume he is on the ‘good side’. It is because of this presentation of both good versus bad that by using opposite wordings in juxtaposition that creates a blur in the differences between them, which allows them to be together in neutrality. It is because of this neutrality, that he happily accepts Miranda’s proposal. This ties deeply into the storyline in which Shakespeare intended the relationship to be plausible enough to pull off because of the personalities both Ferdinand and Miranda possess.
With evidences such as those presented above, we notice how Shakespeare pulls off this ridiculously fast marriage and makes it plausible. While Miranda was presented as a introverted and quiet gal in the beginning of the book, we catch a glimpse of her wants for individualism and sexual desires when she proposes to Ferdinand. This is how Shakespeare breaks down the plausibility between both lovers. We notice Ferdinand’s individualism when he acknowledges and accepts the possibility that his father, King Alonso, didn’t survive the shipwreck. He states “by immortal Providence [Miranda’s] mine. I chose her when I could not ask my father for his advice, nor thought I had one.” The quest of individualism by both lovers ultimately unites them in matrimony. The way Shakespeare presents the love story is quite plausible in the story itself. But in real life? definitely not. No one can fall in love that fast and propose within 3 hours of meeting. Unless you’re in Vegas.