A Hypocritical Treatment of Hierarchy in The Tempest

A Hypocritical Treatment of Hierarchy in The Tempest” is a product of an ample revision process and showcases my ability to defend an argument with only quotations excerpted from The Tempest. In this essay I expose the treatment of hierarchy in The Tempest to be biased against women, specifically those in paternal relationships: Miranda and the only-mentioned-in-passing Claribel. Except in the case of the two women, hierarchies are treated as arbitrary and at best, unstable in reward and merit for those who partake in them. However, in the paternal hierarchies that Miranda and Claribel are engaged in, where their fathers wholly preside over them, rewards are concretely guaranteed for the ones who keep the women oppressed—a sobering reality brought to light by Gonzalo’s last speech. I ultimately claim that this biased way in which hierarchy is handled normalizes and advocates for the degradation of women in The Tempest. With a final push, I bring this essay out of its solely literary context and into the real world, recognizing that identifying this double standard in The Tempest reveals the same gender bias to be alive today. So please, without further ado, enjoy.

A Hypocritical Treatment of Hierarchy in The Tempest