i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

Trappings of Miranda

March 01, 2005

Lorie Jerrell Leininger's article "The Miranda Trap" is definitely a case of modern ideals being forced upon a 400 year old text - I mean, I don't think you can write off Shakespeare as being an anti-feminist racist prig just because the ideals of his society didn't happen to match those of ours.

The language in this article was definitely leading, which is okay for someone trying to make a point but I found it disconcerting - phrases like "fallen dutifully in love", "sexual bait", and "foolhardy acceptance" pass a judgement upon the characters without allowing a reader to form his or her own opinions - in other words, I feel that this author is not-so-subtly trying to tell me what to think and believe... and I don't like that! I mean, it's interesting... but it is really *appropriate* ?

I did enjoy reading about the possible similiarities between Elizabeth Stuart and Miranda - biographical information like the fact that she had 13 children, lost her husband to the plague, and a son in a tempest in interesting but really... what does that have to do with anything? Miranda is simply a character in a play. Elizabeth Stuart was a living breathing human being. Is a comparision between the two really apt?

I mean, 400 years ago, the world was a LOT different - we can't possibly imagine what the world was like, except perhaps from writings like Shakespeare's that show us a more accurate view of the world than, perhaps, our politicized history textbooks... but can we really pass judgement on that worldview? I don't think that we can.

My question, I suppose, is what relevance do you suppose that this text really has, if any?

Moira at 06:59 PM :: Comments (3) :: ::

I agree; I didn't see a reason to compare Miranda with Elizabeth, either. Miranda is only like Elizabeth in that she is the daughter of royalty, who is going to get (or just got?) married. That's really about it. And then, if I read correctly, the article says something about Elizabeth not seeing the play as a warning? I don't understand why she should. Maybe if the play went on to show Miranda having a bad life, she could look back years after her own life got screwed up and think "Geez, I should have listened to Will!" But at that point in her life, how was she to know anything? She was getting married, for goodness sake! She had other things on her mind besides deeply analyzing a play.

Woah...sorry...that was a lot more ranting than I planned to do. :-)

Posted by: Valerie Masicarelli at March 1, 2005 10:07 PM

True, the article did have a rather large feminine slant. Women were obviously viewed as different 400 years ago and everyone was sexist. The thought of women as equals is a new idea and should not be applied to a text so old.

Posted by: Nessa at March 1, 2005 11:25 PM

Now if only Miranda had taken some literature classes at SHU...

Posted by: moira at March 2, 2005 07:42 AM
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