Internet Shakespeare Editions


Ferdinand and Miranda, the young lovers

A "damsel" as sketched by Inigo Jones.

Ferdinand and Miranda are virtually required by plot conventions to fall in love. Although their coming together is not surprising to Prospero, he seeks to cool their passions by forcing Ferdinand to labour for him, asserting his power in order to ensure Miranda's purity.

Nevertheless, the enforced labours of Ferdinand are far from herculean and serve, in relationship to the plot, to delay the lovers' happiness until its appropriate moment at the play's end. The happy ending for the two lovers also has larger consequences: as they are the offspring of Prospero and Alonso, their states -- Milan and Naples -- will be unified under Ferdinand's eventual rule, thus completing the reconciliation between the older generation.