The Miranda Trap
"The Miranda Trap" dealt with feminism in The Tempest. It was interesting to see how the author showed Miranda as being a counterpart to Queen Elizabeth. This brings up the idea that Shakespeare modeled his characters after members of the actual royal court. Another fact to prove this statement was that Elizabeth had fallen in love with the bridegroom that her father had chosen for her. This directly parallels Prospero's choice of Ferdinand for Miranda.
The hierarchy in the play is very evident between the higher class individuals and those at the base of the pyramid, for example those where Caliban is placed. Not only is the theme of servant/master brought up once again but now we begin to see the relationships between the many social groups in England at the time of the play. Caliban's own origin (being born the son of a witch and the devil) is important regarding his reception by the other characters in the play and this is not just in reference to his social class. His appearence is hideous which suggests his evilness. Jerz once mentioned that characters with deformaties (perhaps a missing limb, or distorted face) are percieved as being evil because of their 'fear factor.' Often times we associate fear with evil things. After all there is general fear of all things defined as evil.
The ranking of individuals in the story does not only apply to social class and race (w/Caliban being percieved as a black male) but also gender. Miranda is ranked lower in society (even though she is a wealthy woman) than Prospero her father. There is an interesting point made about why Miranda fears Caliban and this made me begin to draw my own conclusions about it. I began to think that obviously she fears him because he is evil (or is seen as evil) but also because of the things that evil people are capable of such as rape (the one thing all women fear). There is a sexual threat present from any males. Miranda is portrayed as being chaste and full of virtue the entire time which is seen as a prize for Caliban if he could ever "have her." Just a thought.