Ferdinand, controlled and made helpless by Prospero’s magical powers, is engaged in the task of carrying heavy logs of wood and piling them at one place. As the scene opens, Miranda on seeing him doing a very heavy task, feels sympathetic and is clearly in love with the handsome young man. She has come to speak to him. Prospero, hidden close by , watches the couple talking to each other. Miranda feels sympathy for Ferdinand and asks him to let her carry the wood for a while, but Ferdinand refuses to do so. He is fascinate by her charms and asks her her name and says that he has never seen such a beautiful woman. Miranda asks him, “Do you love me?” and Ferdinand swears by heaven and replies that he does love her. At this remark, Miranda bursts into tears and says that though she is not worthy, she will marry him if he wants her as his wife. He instantly gives his consent to marry her.
Prospero who is overhearing the conversation between Miranda and Ferdinand feels happy and satisfied as everything has worked well according to his plan.
This scene depicts the romantic love between Miranda and Ferdinand. It is generally commented upon as love at first sight. Ferdinand and Miranda see each other for the first time, fall in love with each other and then propose to each other for marriage.
The scene reveals Miranda’s true character. She has nothing to do with social conventions and false modesty. She acts naturally and impulsively. Her sympathy for Ferdinand , who is asked to do labour, is the outcome of her natural impulse.
The scene also throws light on the character of Ferdinand. Ferdinand, who is asked to fetch wood from different places, resists in the beginning but then accepts the necessity of his toil as a way to prove his love for Miranda. He accepts Prospero’s advice that sacrifice, discipline and hard work are necessary to win the hand of Miranda in marriage.
The scene reveal’s Miranda’s innocence and simplicity and his love for Ferdinand.
Significance of the Scene
- This scene reveals the characters of young lovers, Ferdinand and Miranda.
- The use of stately blank verse to articulate the delicate sentiments of the two lovers is quite appropriate.
- The scene brings in fresh air of relief and delight.
odious : hateful
crabbed : irritable
sore : severe
injunction : punishment
sinews : muscles
diligent : attentive
full soul : whole-heartedly
skilless : ignorant
precepts : instructions
log-man : a man who carries logs
boded : foretold
affections : loving persons
appertaining : relating to