February 18, 2005

Ever Heard of Courtship Will?

While this doesn't necessarily have to do exclusively with "The Tempest", it is something I've noticed in several of Shakespeare's plays. Apparently he was a big believer of love at first sight. As I've noticed in "The Tempest" (and "Romeo and Juliet". I'm sure there are others too), man sees woman and boom, wants to marry her. With Miranda and Ferdinand it happened almost instantly. While the idea of love at first sight is nice, this is ridiculous! They didn't even talk! Now with Miranda I understand it since Ferdinand is the only man she's seen other than her father so of course she'll want him right away. Yet Ferdinand? He could have his pick of the women. Now, I know that Shakespeare couldn't show the whole drawn out love process is the few acts of his play. This is just something I noticed.

Posted by VanessaKolberg at February 18, 2005 03:50 PM | TrackBack

Well, The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet are both part of the group of Shakespeare plays known as "Romances" (there are also Comedies, Tragedies, and Histories). He had already done several different plots with different reasons for lovers to be separated -- and without some struggle, there isn't any drama. The main struggle in this play isn't Ferdinand trying to win Miranda's heart, or vice versa. Did you notice what Ferdinand and Miranda are doing when they are discovered towards the end of the play? What does that say about how Shakespeare wanted us to view their romance?

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 18, 2005 06:25 PM

Was that sarcasm Dr. Jerz? :) I know he wrote "romances", "comedies" and "tragedies". I was just saying, looking at the relationships today, it seems a little rushed.

Posted by: Nessa at February 18, 2005 09:10 PM

Heh, I wondered about how fast that relationship seemed to develop, too. For awhile, I thought Ariel had some sort of spell on Ferdinand that would make him fall for Miranda, so it kind of creeped me out when I saw he did that part on his own...

I wonder what Shakespeare would write about today's relationships...

Posted by: Valerie Masciarelli at February 19, 2005 05:26 PM

What I meant was that in the romance genre, you're not supposed to worry too much about realism. Just like in the action film genre, it doesn't matter that all the bad guys with submachine guns are no match for one guy with a knife. It's just understood. When you consider that Ferdinand's sister got married to a foreign leader against her will, then Prospero seems like a much more understanding father. (At least he makes sure Ferdinand has a good character before he finalizes his plan.)

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 19, 2005 07:24 PM
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