Like all the works of Shakespeare, The Tempest has been studied in great detail. There are books and articles on every imaginable aspect of the play and on that of its adaptations. What is remarkable though is that most of these books and articles focus on Prospero and Caliban. In the light of recent events (decolonisation and changing views on racism) and the flourishing field of postcolonial studies, it is not strange that most attention goes to these characters , but it does not mean that some of the characters get less attention than they deserve. Most scholars seem to forget Miranda or are of the same opinion that she is not relevant, that she is only an object of exchange in Prospero’s schemes to regain his position and get back to the mainland.
In the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, there were mainly sentimental readings of the Tempest. Miranda is described as the ‘Goddess of the Isle’, and the courtship between Ferdinand and Miranda is described as one of the chief beauties of this play. It is the very purity of love. Caliban, according into many, is the essence of grossness.
One would think that the attempted rape of Miranda is a clear example of one of his gross acts, but some critics do not make anything of it. It is common for the critics of the earlier periods to remain silent on the subject of Miranda. They hardly mentioned her, or perceived her as some goddess or natural woman. In the 20th century, postcolonial readings of the play came to dominate the field. Postcolonial critics emphasised the relationship between Prospero and Caliban, and again often ignored. Miranda or labelled her irrelevant. Miranda was, according to many, only important to help realise her fathers goals. When she is seen as a person, she is often seen, like her father, as the oppressor. Some critics even believe that Caliban cannot be blamed for his acts, as there are many who argue that anyone who is forced into servitude, confined to a rock,...